28 April 2014
by Karen Richmond
Design Explore brought together a group of young Moroccan creatives to discover a shared contemporary understanding of what it is to be a product designer in the country.
Running from April 2013 to April 2014, Design Explore was comprised of a two-week residency, guest lectures, practical workshops and one-to-one mentoring. The programme culminated in an exhibition celebrating the year-long journey of the group at the Riad Denise Mason in Marrakech.
Design Explore kicked off with an exploration of international and Moroccan contemporary design, driven by an intense programme of workshops and presentations from UK designers and leading Moroccan creatives. A two-day workshop began by re-examining everyday objects and progressed to working with local artisans and experimenting afresh with traditional materials and techniques
The Design Explore participants were then joined by more than 60 secondary school children to take part in a “Saturday Special” of practical workshops in designing and making skills run by British-based designers at Ecole Supérieure des Arts Visuels de Marrakech. The group then moved on to developing products as well as their business and professional skills as the year went on.
The group's boundless curiosity led to an exciting collaborative exchange of ideas and the designing and making of many experimental objects, a tribute to the open-minded and experimental nature of these ten young . Their willingness to explore new and traditional materials and to embrace the reflective dialogue of the course was remarkable. Each budding designer brought their own aspirations, experience and personal talent to the group.
The programme was concluded with an exhibition of the participants’ work and photography by Simon Mills of the journey they completed curated by Karen Richmond and Aicha el Beloui hosted at le 18 in Marrakesh. This finale also included a workshop led by Oscar Diaz and a “Saturday Special” with workshops designed by the participants. A special publication was produced to mark the exhibition designed by Studio Hato.
The design explorers were:
Abdel Mounaim Dalia
Khalid El Bastrioui
Achraf El Kouhen
UK designers were:
Committee – Harry Richardson
Custhom – Jemma Ooi
Studio Silo – Oscar and Attua
Thorsten Van Elten