Abwab: Kuwait


Pavilion Title: tagga ib tagga

The Kuwait Pavilion titled; ‘tagga ib tagga’ or ‘move-by-move’ uses pictograms, spatial concepts and various forms to inform. Efficient design is used to communicate documentation and detail of historic games of Kuwait, to express the timelessness of their teachings, which although may appear local, or are given local names, are common to multiple cultures in essence.

Pictograms parallel the concept of play and its universality. Play is dependent on observing, and connecting. The designed pictograms lend themselves to the physicality of the games and movement, which in fact function as an antithesis of the illustrious flatness of the figures. Pictograms are prehistoric in nature. Cave drawings, hieroglyphics and calligraphy are forms that automatically lend themselves to the discussion of a visual language that transcends time and place.

By investigating the careful documentation of games in Our Traditional Kuwaiti Games, a book by Ayoub Hussein Ayoub, we can identify revolutions, discoveries and evolutions that have taken place in Kuwait’s cultural landscape. In play, there are no demarcation lines, there is merely a physiological need to entertain and challenge the self, the other, the imagination and the environment.

Curator: Waleed Shaalan

Waleed Shaalan is an architect, artist and storyteller. He is passionate about photography and travel, having crossed Europe, Iran, South Africa Turkey the US and the Middle East on his motorcycle, writing travel articles along the way.


Osama Hadeed is an architect and animation enthusiast from Kuwait. He took part in the country's first Venice Architecture Biennale participation in 2012.

Liane Al Ghusain is a widely-published writer and was recently a Forum Fellow at Art Dubai 2015. She has worked on various film, culture and visual arts projects.

Abdulaziz M. AlKandari is an architect and co-founder of yourAOK Network, which helps to empower designers and artists, publishes Pages Magazine, and organises workshops and the Benchmark forum.

A major Dubai Design Week initiative, Abwab is a series of six pavilions built to celebrate and showcase the work of the most exciting designers, studios and curators from six different countries in the MENASA region.

Abwab, which means ‘doors’ in Arabic, acts as a direct portal to the region’s local design talent. A curator from each participating country leads the designers to generate never before-seen design content under one unifying theme, this year being - Games: The Element of Play in Culture.

26 October | 5pm - 9pm
27 - 30 October | 9am - 9pm
31 October | 9am - 6pm
Open areas, Dubai Design District (d3)