04 October 2018

Works by VCUarts Qatar Faculty, Students and Alumni on Display at Istanbul Design Biennial

VCUarts Qatar faculty members Richard Blackwell, Rachel Cohn, and Diane Derr, along with Chris Buchakjian from Qatar Museums, led a workshop in metal casting, titled, "Made by Qatar" at the Fire Station in August 2018. The results of the workshop are now on display at the Istanbul Design Biennial

The workshop was done in collaboration with Merve Bedir and Jason Hilgefort (from Aformal Academy, an experimental school program initiated by the Rotterdam and Pearl River Delta-based architecture and design office Land and Civilization Compositions) for "Transitional School", which is on display at the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial. 

This year's Istanbul Design Biennial is titled, "School of Schools". "Transitional School" investigates themes concerning the global flow of materials and trans-local knowledge exchange. 

The Fire Station workshop participants visited a partnering factory in the Industrial Area in Doha, S'Hail Metals, to learn about the development of the recycling industry in Qatar. They then experimented with casting recycled metals using a DIY foundry. 

Outcomes from the workshop are currently being exhibited at the Istanbul Design Biennial which is running from September 22 to November 4, 2018, alongside participating institutions from five countries within the region (Middle East through South East Asia).

The Biennial describes “A School of Schools” as a “multi-platform biennale that will use, test, and revise a variety of educational strategies to reflect on the role of design, knowledge, and global connectedness in contemporary Istanbul and beyond… A School of Schools manifests as a set of dynamic learning formats encouraging creative production, sustainable collaboration, and social connection.’

The workshop participants (which included a number of VCUarts Qatar alumni and students) were: Rabab Abdulla, Bahaa Abudaya, Fatma Al-Naimi, Abdul Rahman Anwar, Hazem Asif, Mohammad Jaffari, Rabeya Khatoon, Fatima Mohammed, and Sebastian Betancur Montoya. 

The workshop took place with support from Fire Station Artist in Residence, Qatar Museums, Rassas Battery Recycling Factory, National Factory for Copper and Aluminum, S’Hail Metals, and VCUarts Qatar. 

The Istanbul Design Biennial is running from September 22 to November 4, 2018

Working on the casting in August 2018

Designs from the "Made by Qatar" workshop

Diane Derr and Richard Blackwell at the Biennale

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