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14 March, 2013

Tasmeem Doha 2013 Hybrid Making Workshops and Labs conclude

Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, in partnership with the Qatar Foundation and Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art concluded the Lab and Workshop sessions of its biennial international design conference Tasmeem Doha 2013.

Tasmeem Doha 2013 – ‘Hybrid Making’ is open to the public and takes place at VCUQatar, Mathaf and the Hamad Bin Khalifa University Student Center from 10 to 17 March, 2013.

Visit www.tasmeemdoha.com to see the conference site.

A major component of the Conference was the exploration of the role art and design is playing in the transformation of Doha, Qatar—from a small pearl fishing community to a preeminent center for the arts, popular tourism destination, and home to more than 1.8 million—all in just a few decades.  The Conference’s theme of “hybrid making” explores hybridity within the acts of making, building and sustaining a contemporary society, engaging with art, design and other interventions that have been conceived, designed or fabricated in Qatar.

Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art hosted the 13 designer led student laboratories which were full-scale explorations done through the very act of making. For five days (March 10 to 14), groups made up of 20-25 students and faculty, led by invited international designers and artists, designed and created full-scale semi-permanent structures (walk-in sculptures), performances or other catalytic interventions.  The outcomes of the labs will remain on view at Mathaf through March 31.

Labs included: creating a group of hybrid products - five pieces that are wearable by any person, and the pieces also have the ability to transform into five interior products, specifically, five lamps; eTextile fashion accessories that  augment the wearer's experience thru light (LED) and haptic feedback (vibration motor);  synthesizing the historic materiality of Qatar with the contemporary materials of the city and the souk  and mapping and documenting the making of this structure documented by a series of time lapse, motorized cameras and image scanners that are engaged as a part of the structure; using bikes to construct simple solar power systems and using the solar energy collected from their journey to illuminate a sculpture at Mathaf; creating a curiosity cabinet of physical and digital found objects that reflect the city’s fascinating cultural dynamics; examining ‘display’ as an arresting spatial tactic and site of encounter where the access and engagement with an interior can be realized; conceptualizing, designing and producing a “drawing machine,” that translates user input into large-scale drawings; building (or modifying) a number of experimental cameras to integrate the concept of the photograph into the camera and pushing the of photography beyond its normal format, role and use; dimensional representation inspired by ‪the arabesque and traditional handicrafts of Qatar, combining the precision of digital modeling and fabrication; exploring how a limited resource is transformed through the pressure of increased demand starting with a basic dwelling unit for one, and transforming it through a process of division into a dwelling unit for several; creating a new unique regional product with a cultural reference and opening up a discussion on how Qatar can add value to its farming; mixing the disciplines of architecture and graphic design into a 1:1 scale construction.

The Tasmeem Hybrid-Making Workshops which took place at VCUQatar, are interdisciplinary, collaborative, charette-style workshops that were designed to produce viable end products by the conclusion of the workshop. Over five days, groups of 15 team members comprising faculty and professional artists and designers, collaborated to synergistically create innovative end products. These products, or 'makings', are in the form of academic papers, videos, full scale semi-permanent structures and performances. They include Felt Case Study # 1: the Material is the Metaphor is the Material; Doha Borrowed City; Re-claiming the wild colors of Qatari voices; Food Preparation as Interface; Objects as Locus of Hybridity and Hybrid Making: Transhistorical and Transcultural Explorations; Geometric Aljamía; Innovative Considerations for Traditional Fashion; Souvenir of the Senses; “Illusions”: A Cross-Disciplinary Project for Dance, Music and Multimedia Design; VJ’ing the Narrative and Five Days with Five Senses. 

All of these activities are summarized and framed by the two-day symposium at the Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s Student Center on 16 and 17 March. Tasmeem Doha 2013 – ‘Hybrid Making’ will include a series of exhibitions and presentations by artists, designers and architects who have realized projects in the country, or have led workshops and labs during the active phase of Tasmeem Doha 2013. The exhibitions run from March 1 to 31, in the various spaces of the Hamad Bin Khalifa University Student Center that surround the conference hall.

Acclaimed architect and winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize Rem Koolhaas, whose current projects include the new Qatar National Library, will deliver the Conference’s keynote address on 17 March at 7:30pm at the Hamad bin Khalifa University Student Center Ballroom. The event is open to the public.

Rem Koolhaas founded OMA in 1975 together with Elia and Zoe Zenghelis and Madelon Vriesendorp. He is recognized as one of the foremost architects working today, acclaimed not only for his pioneering buildings around the world, but also for his books, exhibitions, teaching and various projects in the realm of media, sociology, fashion and technology with OMA’s think tank, AMO. 

Rem Koolhaas has received several international awards, including the Pritzker Architecture Prize (2000) and the RIBA Gold Medal (2004) and the Golden Lion for the 12th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice (2010). In 2005, Koolhaas received the Mies van der Rohe Award for the Netherlands Embassy, Berlin, and in 2001 Koolhaas was awarded the French Legion of Honour.

Recently completed OMA projects led by Koolhaas include the new headquarters for China Central Television (CCTV) – a tower reinvented as a loop – in Beijing; Milstein Hall – an extension of the college of Architecture, Art and Planning at Cornell University; a new headquarters for Rothschild Bank in London; the Wyly Theatre, Dallas (2010); Prada Transformer, a rotating multi-use pavilion in Seoul (2009); Zeche Zollverein Historical Museum and masterplan in Essen (2006); Prada Epicenter in Los Angeles (2004); Seattle Central Library (2004); Netherlands Embassy in Berlin (2003); and the Prada Epicenter in New York (2001).

Koolhaas’ OMA projects currently under construction include the Shenzhen Stock Exchange – China’s equivalent of the NASDAQ exchange for high-tech industries; Taipei Performing Arts Center in Taiwan and De Rotterdam, the largest building in the Netherlands.

Tasmeem Doha 2013: Hybrid Making

Tasmeem Doha Hybrid Making Workshops in progress

VCUQatar students working with visiting artists and designers, and students from Qatar, the GCC and the world in the labs at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art

VCUQatar students working with visiting artists and designers, and students from Qatar, the GCC and the world in the labs at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art

VCUQatar students working with visiting artists and designers, and students from Qatar, the GCC and the world in the labs at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art

Berlin-based artist Alex Scheweder La delivering a lecture during Tasmeem Doha 2013: Hybrid Making