Typographic Matchmaking in the City / Symposium, Film screening & Book launch IN BEIRUT

Location: Beirut Art Center [BAC] Date: Monday, 11 April 2011 Time: 19:00 – 22:00
Free Entrance but registration is required.
RSVP to khatt.foundation@gmail.com

Illustration by Naji El Mir: the Hamsa Project by Erik van Blokland, Pascal Zoghbi & Joumana Al Jabri.

The Typographic Matchmaking in the City project is a design research project investigating new approaches for bilingual lettering and poetic narrative for public space. The project have proven to be highly inspirational for the participating designers; it brought together designers from different cultural backgrounds to intensely collaborate, over a period of 2 years, on creating coherent products with groundbreaking results. This project shows the important role that design can play in initiating cultural change, assimilation and integration—by simply using our daily basic communication mode: the written word.

The project consisted of 5 teams of 15 Dutch and Arab designers (type designers, graphic designers, architects, and industrial designers) who collaborated on designing new bilingual typefaces conceived for 3-dimensional/architectural design applications. The end result of this project is 5 new bilingual font families (Arabic & Latin) that are inspired by and made for the urban public space, one book and a documentary film about the design process and the people behind it. The designers included designers such as Max Kisman, Melle Hammer, René Knip, Jeroen van Erp, Erik van Blokland, Artur Schmal, Pascal Zoghbi, Naji El Mir, Hisham Youssef, Joumana Al Jabri, Yara Khoury, Wael Morcos, Reza Abedini, Khajagh Apelian, and STEALTH.

The event will consist of a symposium and presentations of the research projects, a screening of the documentary film, a book launch/signing and some refreshments.

The symposium
Moderated by Max Bruinsma (editor, Items Magazine), the symposium will consist of short presentations by the project designers and a select group of the book’s authors, closing with a roundtable discussion with the designers and film maker.

The book
The Typographic Matchmaking in the City book offers a highly illustrated account of the project and the design research of each of the 5 teams. This forms the heart of the book, and in a sketchbook style it presents the design process and end results of each team. The design research is framed and contextualized by a range of brief essays that discuss the complex topic of public space, shedding light on the function and role of text and monumental typography in architectural/public spaces. The book discusses the implications of designing for “public space” in multicultural communities.

This book and the design research project, provide concrete observations on differences as well as shared principles between the Latin and Arabic scripts, and on cultural and architectural conventions for the use of typographic design in three-dimensional urban space in different cities and cultural contexts. It raises thoughtful questions and provides useful tools that designers can use in creating new works for interventions in their own cities.

Edited by Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFares Khatt Books, Amsterdam 2010 Highly illustrated 396 pages in color Languages: Dutch, English, Arabic Size: 21 cm x 28 cm, soft cover with flaps

The Film
A documentary film directed by Jan de Bruin
Jan de Bruin Productions and the Khatt Foundation
Shot on several locations in Amsterdam, Dubai (UAE), Sharjah (UAE), Pingjum (Friesland), and Doha (Qatar), Typographic Matchmaking in the City : the Film follows the 5 teams of Dutch and Arab designers that participated in the project over a period of 18 months while they were traveling, working together, and presenting their work in progress to culturally and professionally diverse audiences. The film makes visible not only the design process, the struggles and challenges of the designers, but also addresses the larger topics of bringing two cultures into a dialogue through design. The personalities of the designers show through their collaborative process, discussions, interactions and the final design outcomes. the film gives a very humane and personal portrait of the process of creation and creativity.

6 thoughts on “Typographic Matchmaking in the City / Symposium, Film screening & Book launch IN BEIRUT

Add yours

  1. Hey there! Good thing I came across your blog in time for the event! It would’ve really pissed me off to miss it :)

    I had wanted to follow the same masters you followed but that didn’t work out for me! So I’m kinda envious when I see your work but in a good way I promise :)

    Keep it up!

  2. Hi Pascal, this is Charbel Najem, we met in Doha During the City Matchmaking Event in Souk Wakif. I just wanted to suggest if you can add a link to follow on twitter. Just a suggetion :) keep up the good Work.


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