1971 – a multifunctional design space dedicated to the showcasing and discussion of all forms of contemporary design ranging from graphic, furniture to interior presents ‘Desert Cast - Towards an Identity’ by the Kuwait-based designers Jassim AlNashmi, Kawther AlSaffar and Ricardas Blazukas.

Hybridising motifs of Kuwait’s past and present, the series first made its debut at Dubai Design Week 2018 as part of Abwab’s Kuwait City Pavilion, highlighting and contributing to the development of the local design identity through its re-application of regional and derived elements. Desert Cast borrows the profiles used for extruded gypsum cornices and friezes, morphing them by overlapping the designs with two other locally embellished processes, sand-casting, and foam-cutting.

Synthesising local craft and design technology establishes a new Kuwaiti identity that is rooted in its migrant history, yet embraces its contemporary image. The series highlights the accessibility to master craftsmanship, typically used in a narrow practice, with limited perceived value, and presents new possibilities.

The exhibition currently on show at the 1971 – Design Space on The Flag Island in Sharjah presents some of the original pieces of the series which showed at Abwab during Dubai Design Week 2018 at the Kuwait City Pavilion, the developed pieces commissioned by 1971 and a visual story of the process.

The trio behind this project also invited the UAE-based designer Talin Hazbar to express her interpretation of Desert Cast using Emirati materials and taking inspiration from the UAE’s architecture. The results from the collaboration titled ‘Extractions’ referring to the extractions of patterns on the façades of excessively designed buildings that surround us are projected in the form of public installations within the Emirate of Sharjah including Khorfakkan Flag Square and The Flag Island.

Visit the exhibition on show till 27 March 2021, in Sharjah.