Design Stories between Italy and Qatar

From a shelter made for the cricket ground by an Italian design firm based out of Doha to a furniture brand based in Doha with strong connections with Milan, the Italian design presence in Doha is quite strong and impactful. The Embassy of Italy and VCUarts Qatar organised a Italian Design Day event on March 9, 2023 at the VCUarts Qatar’s Atrium and it was a celebration of design and collaboration.

Amir Berbić, Dean of VCUarts Qatar addressing the gathering.

The event was opened by the addresses of H.E. Maria Tripodi, Italian Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and Amir Berbić, Dean of VCUarts Qatar.

Italian Design Day is the annual celebration of Italian design outside of Italy, promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, the Italian Trade Agency and the Italian Association of Industrial Design. The 2023 edition of Italian Design Day in Qatar was co-organised by the Embassy of Italy in Doha and VCUarts Qatar with the support of the Italian Trade Agency Office in Doha, with also the intent of promoting the upcoming “Salone del Mobile di Milano” – Milan Design Week, which will be held from 18 to 23 April, 2023.

Salone de Milano 2022.

While Salone Milano needs no introduction in the design world, its impact being already felt with its showstopper exhibition and unleashing of creative talent, this years’ Salone del Mobile di Milano is supposed to be a bigger, better design event after the delays caused by Covid in the last few years.  In Doha, the Italian Design Day was entirely dedicated to the influences that link Italy and Qatar through the experiences of professional designers from both countries, hence the title “Design Stories Between Italy and Qatar”.

Marco Bruno, a VCUarts Qatar faculty and a practising Italian architect presented the Italian design stories that can be seen in Doha.

Marco Bruno, Simone Muscolino, Giovanni Innella, Simone Carena, Stella Colaleo and Maryam Al Suwaidi in collaboration with FROMM presented a selection of projects that are inspired by a mutual understanding of Italian and Qatari culture.

Simone Carena at the Italian Design Day

H.E. Undersecretary Tripodi stated “I am particularly glad to have the opportunity to take part in the Italian Design Day in Doha, which is nowadays one important recipient of our best products. As Ministry of Foreign Affairs we are well aware of the importance of design as a means to promote Italian lifestyle and industries, and that is why we partner with an international event as the Milan’s Salone del Mobile. The values of beauty, sustainability and human-centred approach that are at the basis of our design are also at the core of our campaign for EXPO Rome 2030, which is now entering in his final and most intensive stage”.

“Every year, Italian Design Day reminds us of the beauty and elegance of objects that respond to our needs, offer solutions and provide inspiration” affirmed Ambassador Paolo Toschi. “This year’s event is even more special because it is opened by a high-level political guest like Undersecretary Tripodi. It shows us how different cultures can influence each other to create new aesthetics and ideas. This is particularly visible in Doha today, a city which has grown to become one of the world’s design and arts capitals. Research and academic collaborations are crucial to these developments and our partner VCUarts Qatar represents a standard of excellence”.

Amir Berbić, Dean of VCUarts Qatar stated: “Today we are celebrating the legacy of Italian design which has transcended borders, culture and time.  Italian design has captivated the world and we are fortunate here at VCUarts Qatar to have a collective of Italian artists and designers on our faculty to bring this fusion of Italian and Qatar design to life through their research, stories and their works.”

Images Courtesy VCUarts Qatar.