An exploration of locally available materials and fabrication methods of gypsum-moulding and sand-casting with foam, to reach a local ‘maker’ identity.

Desert Cast is an exploration of locally available materials and fabrication methods, to reach a local ‘maker’ identity. Gypsum-moulding, for example, is a method used to easily reproduce classical Greco-Roman architectural motifs. Most of Kuwait’s decorated mansions and modest villas employ this affordable decorating technique. Although methodically simple, the end-results are formally elaborate and considered “Oriental”. Consequently, the city’s fabric has become filled with collaged iterations of classical architecture found in European cities.

Addressing a lack of local identity arising from a desire to recreate Classicism in Kuwait, different Kuwaiti production methods were explored and reconstituted, resulting in the marriage of gypsum-moulding and sand-casting with foam as a mediator. Extruded gypsum profiles were cut in foam by the foundry’s master craftsmen, and used to cast complete metal objects. The Kuwait Pavilion attempts to shed light on the accessibility to master fabricators’ craft by showcasing new forms of functional objects made through lost-foam casting.

Design Team: Jassim Al Nashmi, Kawther Al Saffar & Ricardas Blazukas
Supported by Becarre, Boubyan Bank, LiFANG International

Jassim Al Nashmi is an architect, artist and designer interested in cities and the harmony between all human values, with work ranging from architecture, to furniture, to art, and incorporating the same global issues. Al Nashmi studied his BArch at Iowa State University and has worked as an architect in the USA and Kuwait.

Kawther Al Saffar is a product designer, she attained her BFA in Industrial Design from Rhode Island School of Design, and her MA in Design Products from the Royal College of Art in London. Her work is multi-disciplinary, it uses storytelling and craft to traverse the fictional lines between art and design. Kawther founded Saffar, a furniture design practice exploring the local craft resources of Kuwait such as sand-casting and copper sinking.

Ricardas Blazukas is an independent architect, artist & designer born and raised in post-soviet Lithuania, whose eclectic work portfolio ranges from architecture and art, to product design, installations and curatorial projects. Ricardas attained his MArch at University of Westminster and is now working in Kuwait.

About Abwab
Translated as ‘doors’ in Arabic, Abwab is an exhibition, architectural installation and a highlight of Dubai Design Week. It's the only initiative of its kind to offer a platform for design talent from across the Middle East.

For the fourth edition, located at the centre of Dubai Design District (d3), Abwab will host a collection of design experiences drawn from five communities in the Middle East. Two designers are invited from each place to collaborate and produce works situated in dedicated pavilions related to the theme: ‘Between the Lines’.