TypoMatch02 : Type In The City :: Amsterdam Dubai

This is the 3rd Team in the TypoMatch 02 project. Latin type designer Mr. Erik van Blokland, Architect Mrs. Joumana al Jabri and myself as the Arabic type designer.


The Khatt Foundation launched the project in February 2009 at Mediamatic in Amsterdam. The launching was a set of workshops, lectures and site seeing in Amsterdam. I gave a lecture about the history and development of the Arabic type alongside other lectures given by the other participants.


Below are sketches of Erik and I giving our lectures, drawn by Mr. Max Kisman.

Team work and brainstorming for the design approach that we will undertake. I will post further info about our design approach once we are in an advanced stage.

Since I was in the Netherlands for the launching and the workshop of the TMM2 project, I took the opportunity of visiting the Type & Media MD course at The Royal Academy of Arts [KABK] in The Hague and gave a small lecture for the students there. It was nice to come back after 2 years to the academy where I did my Masters of Design and give a lecture as a professional practicing type design.



In March, and during the art fairs (Art Dubai Festival, Bastakiya Art Fair, Sharjah Biennial) in Dubai and Sharjah, The Khatt Foundation was exhibiting the TypoMatch 02 project in one of the villas in Bastakiya. The Villa in the photo is the Khatt Villa.


The Villa was used to exhibit the concepts and design works of all the teams in the Typomatch02 project, and at the same time it served as a working space during the day and give presentations and lectures to visitors in the evening.


The image below shows the design posters of our team.

A beautiful red tape info and signage system was applied in the villa. Mr. Rene Knip and some students from AUD did the design of the villa in collaboration with Mrs. Huda Abi Fares of course.


In Dubai our time was divided between teamwork and site seeing in Dubai and Sharjah. We also gave presentations about the project in our villa in the Bastakiya Art fair, and in Art Dubai festival at the Bidoun Lounge.



Check out the Bastakiya Art Fair article on De51gn website.
You can also watch the little promo film Jan and Ans made for the Typographic Matchmaking project 2.0.

Erik was not able to be with Joumana and me in the Dubai week, but he was in our sketches and thoughts. ;)


On a side note, not related to the TMM 02 project, but part of the Bastakiya Art fair; Mrs. Nadine Kanso (Bil Arabi) made a photo installation called “wil’ané Beirut” in one of the other villas in Bastakiya. Her concept was to photograph the Arabic graffiti in Beirut and pair them with photos taken from Beirut’s bars and nightclubs. I was happy to see my “how is the arab; man howa al arabi” graffiti that I did in Beirut last November in one of the photo-collages she did.





Below this the brief info about the project from The Khatt Foundation:
Text written by Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFares.
Image created by Edo Smitshuijzen.

The Khatt Foundation is launching the Typographic Matchmaking sequel — Typographic Matchmaking in the City V2.0 project — which focuses on typography’s use in placemaking within an urban context.

The design teams consist of carefully “matched” Dutch and Arab designers, who are to create expressive type designs and their applications (exploring different material or virtual applications). Translating cultural ideas into concrete design products: digital fonts and 3D prototypes that could be exhibited outdoors or indoors at the specific sites in order to enhance a sense of place. The idea is not only to match the Latin and Arabic scripts harmoniously therefore stimulating cultural dialogue through design, but also to take the idea a step further and start a dialogue between two iconic cities from these two cultures. Cities that may have a shared history and traits but that are also sufficiently different. The two parallel cities are: Dubai and Amsterdam. More specifically the Creek in Dubai and the area around the river IJ in Amsterdam.

The participating designers:

Max Kisman (Netherlands),
Naji El Mir (Lebanon/France),
Hisham Youssef (Egypt/UAE)

Rene Knip (Netherlands),
Jeroen van Erp (Netherlands),
Reza Abedini (Iran/Netherlands)

Erik van Blokland (Netherlands),
Pascal Zoghbi (Lebanon),
Joumana Al Jabri (Saudi Arabia/Syria/UAE)

Artur Schmal,
Wael Morcos (Lebanon),
Richard Wagner (Germany/UAE)

Melle Hammer (Netherlands),
Yara Khoury (Lebanon),
Stealth: Ana Dzokic (Serbia) & Marc Neelen (Netherlands)

more details will be updated as the project progresses, so stay tuned.

10 thoughts on “TypoMatch02 : Type In The City :: Amsterdam Dubai

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  1. Thanks so much Pascal for including all these photos and all the information! Especially loved the red tape signage inside the Khatt Foundation villa by Mr. Rene Knip and the students, VERY funky.

    Appreciate you sharing this exciting and insightful experience in such detail!


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  3. I super liked that i am a graphic designer in Jordan working in a Design Agency i am so into art and stuff , i am so interested attending any presentation or workshops , its really great work , i love a lot , i liked the whole ideas its so incredible and unique idea’s , i am so into these things

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