M7’s Zwara Programme Returns With A Focus On Furniture Design

Intiqab Rawoof

May 1, 2024


Inspired by ‘Masterpieces of Furniture Design’ exhibition, this year marks the fourth edition of the programme

M7Qatar’s epicentre for innovation and entrepreneurship in fashion, design and technologyhas announced that the fourth edition of its Zwara programme is underway, this time with a focus on furniture design. The programme will culminate with an exhibition at M7 in September 2024 where the selected designers will present their finished objects.
Developed by M7, Zwara is a fluid programme that seeks to spark creativity and collaboration against the backdrop of Qatar’s creative landscape, showcasing the importance of storytelling, and experimentation in design. The programme invites creatives to explore exhibitions, archives, and collections before responding to a design brief. M7 provides tailored support, mentorship, and development opportunities for the participating designers as part of Zwara.
The current iteration of Zwara aligns with Masterpieces of Furniture Design, a recent exhibition showcased in M7 in partnership with Qatar Museums and the Vitra Design Museum in Germany exploring the evolution of more than 200 years of design through 52 iconic pieces of modern furniture from the museum’s renowned collection. Presenting a comprehensive selection of modern furniture, the exhibition included original works by prominent designers such as Alvar Aalto, Le Corbusier, Charles and Ray Eames, Charlotte Perriand and Virgil Abloh. Using the exhibition as a stimulus, the programme looks at how iconic modern furniture influences the future of contemporary design.
Maha Ghanim Al Sulaiti, Director of M7, said: “The large-scale international exhibitions are not only meant for everyone to enjoy and explore, but also serve as a source of inspiration for aspiring designers based in Qatar. Teaming up with cultural partners like the Vitra Design Museum is a great honour and underscores our commitment to passing on knowledge and preserving legacies for the upcoming generation of designers.”
Through an open call, designers from different fields such as product design, architecture, furniture design and interior design were invited to apply for the programme. Applicants were asked to provide a design proposal focusing on a single piece of furniture in Masterpieces of Furniture and re-imagine it to resonate with contemporary contexts as per their design perspective. A judging panel evaluated each application and selected 4 participants for the programme: Galiyah Al Mohannadi (interior and furniture designer), Hammam Al Abdulla(interior designer), Abdul Basit (interdisciplinary designer) and Stephen Amoyo (multidisciplinary designer).
M7 collaborated with the Education Department of the Vitra Design Museum to deliver bespoke mentorship and support throughout the programme, assisting in the development of the design prompt, jurying the applicants, delivering an introductory session to the campus incubation, and hosting a week-long design incubation experience in February 2024. The week-long incubation experience took place on-site at the Vitra Campus, allowing participants to draw inspiration from the Vitra Design Museum first-hand and explore the architecture on the campus and the manufacturing and production. Participants were also assisted in further developing their design prompt, and at the end of the week, had the opportunity to present their design prototype and process to their design tutor and the Vitra Design Museum team, gaining invaluable feedback to implement in their design process going forward.
As the process of their mentorship and design progresses, M7 Resident Partner FROMM. are also engaged in the programme to provide on ground mentorship sessions as a support to the Zwara designers.
The Masterpieces of Furniture Design-inspired work of the participants will be displayed in an exhibition, in September at M7 in Msheireb Downtown Doha.