BY: Robert Canak

Hybrid Gulf - Excavating Future Identities


This Project examines the coexistence of two cultures - in this case the host Gulf, and the imported Western – and addresses certain problems that still need attention. This Project celebrates the creation of the third, hybrid, culture as a result of their intermingling. In this Research, Postcolonial Theory and Transitional Object Theory are used as conceptual frameworks, and are combined with Archaeology and Design as a practice. On a personal level, the Project evolved out of my cross-cultural origin and experiences. On an academic level, the Project serves as an experiment, trying to fill the gaps in the Gulf region’s search for identity.

This Project utilized Design in two phases, initially during the research, and then as tool?/ language to mediate the issues found within the cross-cultural context. The Project explores and questions the ways in which artifacts/objects alter our perception, experience and memory. On an interdisciplinary level, this Project claims that Design – as a discipline – is integrated in the process of curating memories through the creation of physical objects. Since objects have always been used as tools to dictate the narratives of our social memory, questions of power and control are essential – the current status of this region is a third culture, a hybrid product of Culture ‘A’ and Culture ‘B’. This project is interested in mechanisms that can be used to preserve this interesting phenomena often stigmatized as negative.

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