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Open Call for Public Programme proposals Saudi Design Week

Open Call for Public Programme proposals Saudi Design Week  Pictured Syriana collection conceptualized by Shaima Shamsi from Third Culture Co translating “Innovation Through Heritage” reviving traditional Syrian embroidery © Shamsi, Third Culture Co.

Pictured Syriana collection conceptualized by Shaima Shamsi from Third Culture Co translating “Innovation Through Heritage” reviving traditional Syrian embroidery © Shamsi, Third Culture Co.

19 June 2019
by Elena Tamosiunaite

Applications are now open to UK based creative organisations, curators and creative practitioners to develop a public programme as part of Saudi Design Week which will explore the theme of 'Designing Happiness'.

As part of the British Council collaboration with Saudi Design Week 2019 we are inviting creative organisations, curators and creative practitioners to submit proposals for the public events programme in response to the official Saudi Design Week theme; Designing Happiness. The proposed public programme can take the form of a talk, workshop or performance, and must include a minimum of 3 public events that will happen during Saudi Design Week in Riyadh from  5 to 9 November 2019.

Submissions must be received by midnight GMT on Monday, 15 July 2019

Public programme brief 

Designing Happiness

Even though advances in technology have enabled people to become more connected virtually, social isolation and chronic loneliness are on the rise as a global epidemic. A study by the Mental Health Association in Great Britain found that 48 percent of the population is getting lonelier in general resulting in the UK appointing a Minister for Loneliness.

Careers and educations are uprooting individuals from their families and the communities where they grew up, leading to a rise in ‘anomie’, a sense of not belonging to a community. Studies in psychology and sociology show that the need to belong is both inherent and fundamental to humans. Without close relationships, 82 percent of the population is uncomfortable and suffers from both mental and physical ailments as a result. Science-backed theories of sociology and environmental psychology help us understand and mitigate these problems through design.

In line with the Saudi Vision 2030, the Kingdom has initiated a QoL (Quality of Life) 2020 program. It aims to improve individual lifestyles and enhance the quality of life among its residents; in alignment with global indices. Part of its guiding objectives and planned programs focus on:

  • Increasing social engagement
  • Enhancing the livability of cities through urban design and architecture
  • Developing entertainment, lifestyle, and cultural experiences that fuses local identity with a sense of global belonging and citizenship

Click here for more information regarding the Quality of Life Program and Vision 2030.

This year’s Saudi Design Week explores the central pillars of Design that can bring us happiness. How do you, as a designer, bring happiness with your products? This can include but is not limited to any of the following:

  • Designing for Sustainability
  • Designing technology that makes our lives better
  • Design for placemaking – prioritizing design that encourages creativity and collaboration in public spaces/environments
  • Design that empowers people
  • Design that makes the mundane memorable

House of Hairs

In addition to the public programme the British Council and Saudi Design Week are inviting architects and designers to design a temporary pavilion representing a contemporary reinterpretation of the House of Hairs, a traditional Bedouin tent. The pavilion will be installed in the outdoor courtyard in the Saudi Design Week Exhibition space in Riyadh. The installation will be on view during Saudi Design Week from 5 to 9 November 2019. The curator will be required to work closely with the successful pavilion designers, as the pavilion designers will also be delivering an outreach element during Saudi Design Week.

We wish for at least one of the proposed public programme events to take place in the pavilion itself.

The House of Hairs, or, the Arabian tent, is synonymous with ancient Bedouin life, but with a significance that still resonates today. Firmly established as a quintessential element of Arabian culture, the House of Hairs also went by the name of “the house of poetry” and was the home of the Bedouins who resided there. Carried with them on their travels, there were traditionally two forms of Arabian tent; the summer tent, made of wool or wool bags and the winter tent, made of goatskin.

While the tents still serve the purpose of a home for friends and family, the House of Hairs has not escaped the technological grip of modern life, and many of these are now fitted with electricity, air conditioning, WiFi and satellite TV.

The project’s primary aim is to dive deep into the House of Hairs to better understand the role design can play in placemaking.  It seeks to investigate spaces in which we can feel and foster a sense of belonging to something greater than ourselves, facilitating stronger relations and a sense of community.

Events Programme location

Information regarding the final Saudi Design Week 2019 venue will be confirmed at a later stage of the project. The events can take space in the auditorium, small breakout workshop spaces (accommodating 15-20 people) or the House of Hairs pavilion located in the outdoor courtyard.

Event Requirements

  • Can take the form of a talk, workshop or performance
  • A minimum of 3 public events
  • At least one of the proposed public programme events will have to be delivered in collaboration with the House of Hairs designers and take place in the pavilion itself
  • Should include a minimum of 3 UK based creative practitioners delivering or speaking as part of the programme

Timeline

  • Proposals to be submitted via open call by midnight Monday, 15 July 2019
  • If further deliberation is necessary shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview via video conference in the week commencing 22 July 2019
  • Successful applicants will be notified by 1 August 2019
  • Appointed creative practitioners participate in Saudi Design Week from 5 November until 9 November 2019
  • Submission of the project evaluation report by appointed team week starting 18 November 2019

Eligibility 

Criteria for eligibility to apply:

  • Applicants should be UK-based creative organisations, curators and creative practitioners with some professional experience in delivering public events
  • Applicants should be able to participate in Saudi Design Week from 5 November until 9 November 2019
  • Applicants should not have participated in Saudi Design Week before

Please note: Applicants will be able to travel to KSA subject to successful visa application. Visa application process can take up to 6 weeks.

Budget 

The lead applicant from the appointed team will sign a contract with the British Council and be paid a fee of a maximum  £9,000 plus VAT if required.

The given budget should cover:

  • The lead applicants flight costs, travel insurance, visa costs, accommodation and per diems for a week from 5 November until 9 November 2019
  • The cost of bringing a minimum of two additional UK based practitioners to participate in the event programme, including flight costs, travel insurance, visa costs, accommodation and per diems for a week from 5 November until 9 November 2019
  • Fees for the lead applicant and all participants of the events programme. The lead applicant will be responsible for distributing the fee amongst the team.
  • The cost of any other required production costs for the events (excluding table, chair and lighting hire)

 How to Apply

The following materials should be included in your application:

  • A list of all participating creative practitioners indicating a lead applicant
  • CV’s of all participating creative practitioners
  • Up to 5 images of relevant past work
  • Statement defining how this public programme and participating in Saudi Design Week would fit in relation to all participating creative practitioners current practice and the broader context of their work, research, and interests (less than 400 words)
  • Public Programme proposal statement including description of all proposed events  (less than 600 words)
  • Budget breakdown (specifying daily rate fee for the lead applicant and all the other participants)
  • Please read the Request for Proposal Template for furher information here
  • Appointed practitioner will sign a contract with the British Council please see the template of the contract here

Selection

The selection panel will be formed by:

Basma Bouzo, Director, Saudi Design Week

Elena Tamosiunaite, Architecture Programme Manager, British Council

Eszter Steierhoffer, Senior Curator, Design Museum

Marie Bak Mortensen, Head of Exhibitions and Interpretation, RIBA

Jawaher Al Sudairy, Architecture scholar and and curator

Jawaher Al Sudairy, Architecture scholar and and curator

Submissions should not exceed 5MB in size and should be emailed to Elena.Tamosiunaite@britishcouncil.org by midnight GMT on Monday, 15 July 2019. Please format all written material as a single PDF document.