Liwan Design Studios Launches AL Journal, Showcasing Regional Design Discourse


(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Joelyn Baluyut | The Peninsula

Doha, Qatar: Liwan Design Studios and Labs unveiled the premiere printed edition of AL Journal, an engrossing amalgamation of essays, articles, and visuals which showcases contemporary design themes across Southwest Asia, North Africa, and beyond.

The launch was graced by Qatar Museums Chairperson, H E Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, alongside other dignitaries, and was held yesterday at the Liwan Design Studios and Labs.

Liwan Design Studios and Labs Director, Aisha bint Nasser Al Sowaidi, described AL Journal as a platform bridging local and global design perspectives, cultivating collaboration and commentary on creative, cultural, and intellectual matters.“Featuring pioneering Qatari creatives, the journal connects local and global design voices and encourages collaboration and commentary on creative, cultural and intellectual matters. Special guest-edited issues focus on semiannual themes ranging from how design has adapted during pandemics to sports and design and artificial intelligence's impact on the design industry,” she said in her speech.

The inaugural edition, themed 'Archiving & Design,' underscores the potency of archiving in preserving heritage and its function in shaping future design endeavours in the region. Scheduled biennially, AL Journal aims to offer readers an insightful exploration of design's evolving narrative, encapsulating themes ranging from pandemic-induced adaptations to the intersection of sports and design, and the influence of artificial intelligence on the industry.

“This platform will serve as a dynamic space for showcasing the multifaceted talents that contribute to the rich design landscape of our region,” Al Sowaidi explained.

Highlighting the event, Qatari architect Ibrahim Jaidah delivered a presentation on“Documenting Architectural History,” which is also part of the first edition of AL Journal. Jaidah's discourse, drawing from his extensive publications including“The History of Qatari Architecture,”“Qatari Style,” and his latest book“Discovering Arabian Deco,” emphasised the imperative of preserving the nation's architectural legacy through rigorous documentation and ongoing study.

Acknowledging Qatar's rich cultural heritage, Jaidah stressed the significance of cultural preservation and recognition, urging the younger generation to perceive heritage not as constraints but as foundations for learning and innovation. His commitment extends to engaging with students at Qatari institutions, imparting insights into the importance of cultural stewardship.“Highlighting the importance of cultural preservation and recognition; I tell them: 'Your heritage should not be seen as chains that weigh you down but as an anchor to learn and build from'.

AL Journal will be published biennially by Liwan Design Studios and Labs, and serves as a dynamic nexus for showcasing the multifaceted talents shaping the region's design panorama.

Housed within a meticulously repurposed historic building in Downtown Mshiereb, Liwan Design Studios occupies the former Banat El Doha school, founded by education pioneer Amna Mahmoud Al Jaida in the late 1950s.

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