Typographic Matchmaking in the City Public Presentation

Symposium – Film screening – Book launch

4 Feb 2011


Location: De Balie, Grote Zaal, Amsterdam
Language: English
Free Entrance. Reservation is required.
RSVP: khatt.foundation@gmail.com

The Typographic Matchmaking in the City project is a design research project investigating new approaches for bilingual lettering and poetic narrative for public space.

14:00 — Deuren open, Koffie & Thee
14:30 — Welcome/introductie door Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFares
14:45 — Keynote address door Gerard Hadders
15:10 — Film Screening ‘Typographic Matchmaking in the City’ documentaire
15:45 — Pauze
16:00 — Introductie door Max Bruinsma (Items magazine)
16:10 — 10min Presentaties door de vijf ontwerp teams
17:00 — Ronde tafel gesprek
17:50 — Boek prestatie en Borrel

TMMC_Khatt_Invite2011 - Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFarès

The project have proven to be highly inspirational for the participating designers; it brought together designers from different cultural backgrounds to intensely collaborate, over a period of 2 years, on creating coherent products with groundbreaking results. This project shows the important role that design can play in initiating cultural change, assimilation and integration—by simply using our daily basic communication mode: the written word.

The project consisted of 5 teams of 15 Dutch and Arab designers (type designers, graphic designers, architects, and industrial designers) who collaborated on designing new bilingual typefaces conceived for 3-dimensional/architectural design applications. The end result of this project is 5 new bilingual font families (Arabic & Latin) that are inspired by and made for the urban public space, one book and a documentary film about the design process and the people behind it. The designers included designers such as Max Kisman, Melle Hammer, René Knip, Jeroen van Erp, Erik van Blokland, Artur Schmal, Pascal Zoghbi, Naji El Mir, Hisham Youssef, Joumana Al Jabri, Yara Khoury, Wael Morcos, Reza Abedini, Khajagh Apelian, and STEALTH.

The symposium

Moderated by Max Bruinsma (editor, Items Magazine), the symposium will consist of short presentations by the project designers and a select group of the book’s authors, closing with a roundtable discussion with the designers and film maker.

The Film

A documentary film directed by Jan de Bruin
Jan de Bruin Productions and the Khatt Foundation
Shot on several locations in Amsterdam, Dubai (UAE), Sharjah (UAE), Pingjum (Friesland), and Doha (Qatar), Typographic Matchmaking in the City : the Film follows the 5 teams of Dutch and Arab designers that participated in the project over a period of 18 months while they were traveling, working together, and presenting their work in progress to culturally and professionally diverse audiences. The film makes visible not only the design process, the struggles and challenges of the designers, but also addresses the larger topics of bringing two cultures into a dialogue through design. The personalities of the designers show through their collaborative process, discussions, interactions and the final design outcomes. the film gives a very humane and personal portrait of the process of creation and creativity.

The book

The Typographic Matchmaking in the City book offers a highly illustrated account of the project and the design research of each of the 5 teams. This forms the heart of the book, and in a sketchbook style it presents the design process and end results of each team. The design research is framed and contextualized by a range of brief essays that discuss the complex topic of public space, shedding light on the function and role of text and monumental typography in architectural/public spaces. The book discusses the implications of designing for “public space” in multicultural communities.

This book and the design research project, provide concrete observations on differences as well as shared principles between the Latin and Arabic scripts, and on cultural and architectural conventions for the use of typographic design in three-dimensional urban space in different cities and cultural contexts. It raises thoughtful questions and provides useful tools that designers can use in creating new works for interventions in their own cities.

Edited by Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFares.
Khatt Books, Amsterdam 2010
Highly illustrated 396 pages in color
Languages: Dutch, English, Arabic
Size: 21 cm x 28 cm, soft cover with flaps

The Typographic Matchmaking in the City project is generously supported by the Fonds BKVB (The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture) and the Mondriaan Foundation.

In The Press: