Abwab, a door to MENASA talents

Named after the Arabic word for ‘doors’, Abwab is a celebration and exploration of the MENASA region’s diverse creative thinking and gateway to the region’s design talent.
This year, curators from Algeria, Bahrain, India, Iraq, Palestine and the UAE have been invited to take part, and given the rare task of best representing their country’s aesthetic by guiding their selected designers and studios to produce works related to the chosen theme The Human Senses.

This year’s Abwab Bahrain features some great examples of modern design on both a theoretical and practical level. Featuring the works of Othman Khunji and Maitham AlMubarak, the show is set to amaze. Khunji’s work looks into social behaviors within the Gulf region from an Islamic prospective, where the language of design can encourage and engage a religious re-experience, breeding platforms for dialogue in hope of provoking new schools of thought. Maitham AlMubarak is a young Bahraini architect who graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design in the US. He currently works at Studio Anne Holtrop.

Abwab Palestine features some remarkable works that focus on the importance of the olive tree in local culture and features the work of Elias Anastas, a French-Palestinian architect and designer. Mass Imperfections is a project that experiments the capacity of artisanal mass customization to be faithful to a theoretical design simulation. The olive wood carvers use simple tools with which they fabricate a first model object. On a community level, it seeks to create a framework promoting innovation through research in the Bethlehem olive wood industry.

Curated by painter and designer Hellal Zoubir, Algeria will focus on how sound is transmitted through image by creating an interactive sonorous, audiovisual landscape that invites visitors to become musicians using contemporary Algerian design-drums.

Co-curated by architect/designer/cultural researcher Rand Abdul Jabbar and designer Hozan Zangana, Iraq explores its multi-layered history through the excavation site of found artifacts.

India, curated by multimedia artist duo Thukral & Tagra, will set up interactive ‘Memoir Bar’: guests are invited to deposit memories as a form of emotional currency at the ‘Memory Pavilion’. Thukral and Tagra’s works are a comment on the rise of a globalized consumer culture and its effects in India. Guests will be asked to write down a memory on paper, which will then be shredded and processed into a tile.

The UAE Pavilion draws inspiration from the cafeteria, whose direct translation is "coffee shop” in Spanish. The essence of its origin was to have a self-served experience to economise time and cost. The attempt of the multidisciplinary designer Salem Al-Qassimi is to highlight the many layers of this cultural phenomenon.