A window on design in the Arab World

Contemporary Arabic typography for an open and crosscultural public space

9 May 2012

Huda Smitshuizen AbiFarès presents, within SPD's Design Talks, the Khatt Foundation platform for cultural dialogue to promote better understanding between Western nations and the Arab World.

InTheShade - StoryLine Font adapted to a 3D Sculpture. Design: Max Kisman, Naji El Mir, and Hisham Youssef. Naji El Mir

The lecture in the Design Talks 2012 series focused on the role of writing and the contemporary representation of Arabic lettering in the built environment. The symbolic role of Arabic typography as the connector between city, building, and visual culture was discussed. Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFarès investigated and argued the importance that text and typography can play in building an engaged and culturally sustainable open public space in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Case studies of public art projects and proposals for new alternative public space that respond to contemporary needs and create places of rest and pleasure were presented in detail. Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFares strongly believes that typography and text can represent a means of creating alternative, engaged and interactive public space. Arabic lettering in particular possesses a strong narrative power. Trying to revive this tradition, she introduced monumental writing and new innovative trends in the use of script in and on buildings.

Here's a link to the review of the lecture on Designboom, online design portal based in Milan, Italy.