Qatar-UK team wins Unlimited Doha Design Prize
Following a week-long residency in Doha, a total of 21 finalists - 10 from the UK, five from Qatar and six from other GCC countries - took part in the final stage of the prize, which is held under the patronage of Chairperson of Qatar Museums H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, in partnership with the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) and organised by the British Council.
Through the endeavor, participants will pioneer new approaches and innovative design solutions to create accessible cities that can contribute to the development of Qatar in 2022 and beyond.
Each year the prize will have a specific theme to encourage designers to focus on key areas of design, and this year's was 'The Open City'. At the heart of this theme lies the consideration of movement within Doha city and the experience of mobility and access within the 21st century city.
The participants formed teams and developed ideas around the theme of 'The Open City'. They focussed on concepts such as mobility, and movement through space and accessibility.
The participants focussed their research on the areas of Al Doha Al Jadeeda and Al Ghanem Street. To provide context and insight into the areas, they visited Msheireb Downtown Doha, a 31-hectare site which has been redeveloped, Msheireb Museums and Msheireb Arts Centre (MAC) among others.
The winning proposal offered a profound insight into the past and future of urban communities in Doha. Founded on a vision for health, education and family life in the heart of the city, a chain of street transformations in the form of new play spaces was proposed by the proposal. This was meant to humanise and revitalise living urban heritage in this characterful and much-loved part of Doha.
"We are proud to support this initiative alongside Qatar Museums, British Council and other partners. This initiative promotes spirit of creativity and encourages innovative practical solutions in raising the quality of life. This comes in line with our vision for the 2022 FIFA World Cup as we look at the award as an opportunity to motivate development and build capacities. It also aims to help the youth realise their potential and contribute in their countries' development. Congratulations to the winning team and I wish the best of luck for all the other teams," said Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of SC.
"The patronage of H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums, and professional organisation by the British Council and its partners led to a successful edition of Unlimited Doha Design Prize. One of our main goals is to nurture emerging talents by creating ideal conditions for creativity and new talent. The projects submitted exceeded our expectations, and we congratulate the winning team. Needless to say that all participants are already winners for being on this prestigious stage, and lending a hand to shaping a better future for the city of Doha," emphasised Mansoor bin Ebrahim Al Mahmoud, Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Museums.
"We are delighted to support the Unlimited Doha Design Prize, and the exceptional creative ideas put forward by the participants. Such initiatives are in line with our vision to boost urban development in a prosperous modern city that is committed to clean and safe environment. We saw very innovative ideas presented by young architects from the GCC and the UK, and were inspired by their approach to develop the concept of 'The Open City'. We applaud the organisers and supporters, and reassure our commitment to improve the quality of life in the city of Doha," said Doha Municipality Director Mohamed Ahmed Al-Sayed.
"Doha Design Prize will change the career graph of the winners and add to their professional portfolio. The fruit of this week-long residency was a magnificent set of creative ideas and exchange of expertise between participants who came from diversified cultures but shared their creative design talents," said Dr Waseem Kotoub, Head of Arts and Creativity at the British Council.
"It has been an incredible experience. Being in Doha with such a diverse group has meant that the conversations, arguments and ideas have been inspiring. I have made some really amazing friends and am very excited to continue working on the project with my team and the stakeholders in Doha," said Ming Teong on behalf of the winning team.
The Unlimited Doha Design Prize is supported by Doha Architecture Forum, Foster + Partners, Makower Architects, Qatar University – College of Engineering, Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Qatar Society of Engineers, and University College London in Qatar.