Redesign Arabia

Design challenge

12 Sep 2011
12 Oct 2011

Deadline: 5 October 2011 !

Redesign Arabia: Design hub challenges designers to imagine and create a new Arab reality

In 2013, the Free Arab Union will be born. Your mission: design its flag, currency & visual identity.

Design-Challenge-Poster- - Ahmad Humeid

When considering the problems of the Arab world, experts all have their different opinions about what the best remedies are. Education, economic cooperation, technology and better governance are some of the answers that typically come up.

But an initiative recently launched on the web gives a different, bold answer: Design will save the Arab world! That's the claim being made by Redesign Arabia (www.RedesignArabia.com).

It’s an initiative to bring design, in the widest sense, into the contemporary mainstream life of the Arab region.

"When we look at the Arab world, the absence of “design” (as in: intent and will) is obvious. During the past few decades it seemed as if Arabs have been outside history all together. Neither the Arab’s wealth nor their sheer numbers has managed to bring about real human development nor scientific or economic breakthroughs. Quite on the contrary, Arab life has seen deterioration and regression on numerous levels," says RedesignArabia's initiator Ahmad Humeid.

"The Arab world is poorly designed in the technical and aesthetic sense. Are our cities, houses, books and markets, let alone our policies and governments designed in a way that serves people and the environment? Isn’t good form and function absent from so many facets of our lives? Haven’t we lost our traditional ways of living, replacing them with the veneer, but not the essence, of modernity? Isn’t our reality divided between a sense of poverty and waste?" Humeid asks.

It's not tat there aren't creative designers, artists and inventors in the Arab world. But, from Redesign Arabia's perspective, the problem is that their contribution to the Arab lived reality seems limited. On many occasions, Arab designers, whether they are graphic designers, architects or planners, find themselves outside the game or overshadowed by imported experts.

The mission of Redesign Arabia is to incite Arab designers: architects, graphics designers, urban planners, inventors, publication designers, web designers, fashion designers, interior designers, product designers. "We want to incite them to come forward with force and play the social, technical, aesthetic and cultural role that is assigned to “design thinking” in today’s world," Humeid stresses..

At the heart of Redesign Arabia is the Manifesto: a passionate appeal to every Arab designer to play a positive role in contemporary Arab life.

RedesignArabia wants to celebrate all forms of design on it's blog, showcasing the achievements of Arab designers everywhere, and invite designers to share their successes, failures and attempts, so that designers across the region can learn from each other and show decision makers in government, industry and civil society how design can contribute to creating a more positive reality.

Redesign Arabia also seeks to challenge designers in the region by presenting them with design competitions that propose real or futuristic problems in need of design solutions. It would showcase these solutions to audiences around the region and start rich discussions on the role of design in life.

Redesign Arabia's first challenge is for designers, communicators and branding experts to imagine and create a visual identity for a so-called "Free Arab Union" a European Union-like cooperation body of democratically governed Arab countries that is imagined to emerge in 2013. "wouldn't be amazing if we can visualize a new Arab future. How would a unified Arab currency look like? What flag design can be used for such a union. What visual language would be used for cultural or tourism promotion. That's what we want Arab designers to show us," explains Humeid.

The work submitted by Arab designers in response to this challenge (which ends by 5 October, 2011) will be exhibited on the web and in a prestigious art institution in the Jordanian capital Amman.

"This is just an experimental beginning. We ultimately aim to build a movement of designers, supporters and enthusiasts, and to network our efforts and ideas. We hope to have rich interactions with designers in the region and across the world. Ultimately, design is a human endeavor that knows no borders," Humeid concludes.

For more information check out www.redesignarabia.com or email team@redesignarabia.com

Endorsed by the Khatt Foundation