Theme announced for the first graphic design biennial in the Middle East

Theme announced for the first graphic design biennial in the Middle East

Fikra Graphic Design Biennial, Graphic design, Sharjah

Sharjah-based studio Fikra has announced the theme of its inaugural Fikra Graphic Design Biennale – the first of its kind in the Middle East- titled Fikra Graphic Design Biennial 2018: Ministry of Graphic Design, which is set to explore the influence of graphic design in shaping the present and imagining the future.

Anchored in Sharjah, the biennial will open on 9 November 2018 and will run until the end of the month, aiming to reach out to the wider region and offering a global platform on the role of graphic design in the 21st century.

The theme’s concept is inspired by “innovative governmental structures  the UAE, such as the Ministry of State for Happiness and the Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence. The fictional yet familiar format of a “Ministry of State” will facilitate innovative and nuanced thinking about graphic design and its influences on public opinion, entrepreneurship, culture, and society at large”, a release stated.

The ‘Ministry’ will feature several departments, each curating a distinct analytical focus within graphic design. These departments include the Department of Graphic Optimism, Department of Dematerializing Language, Department of Non-Binaries, Department of Flying Saucers, and Department of Mapping Margins.

Each department has been chosen to help catalog and exhibit existing graphic design works; to respond to theoretical questions; and to create “speculative” designs that address “future scenarios and solutions for the discipline”.

“We are excited to launch this first-of-its-kind, international graphic design biennial in the region. We envisaged creating a graphic design biennial for both professionals and the general public alike,” said Salem Al-Qassimi, founder and principal of Fikra, and director of the Fikra Graphic Design Biennial.

“The event aims to communicate the importance of graphic design as a practice and help designers understand it better. More importantly, I think that it is crucial to have a representation of this region in the discourse related to graphic design practice across the globe. It is equally important for us to carry forward our ideas, culture, and narrative.”



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