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British Council finalises shortlist for Unlimited Doha Design Prize

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16 Mar 2016

British Council Qatar has finalised the shortlist for the Unlimited Doha Design Prize, which is being held under the patronage of H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums, in partnership with the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy.

Giving updates on the Prize at a press conference held Tuesday, 15 March 2016, Frank Fitzpatrick, British Council Director in Qatar explained that the residency will take place from March 18 to 26, and added that the levels of innovation and creativity reflected the dynamic architecture sector in the Gulf region in general and Qatar in particular.

British Council finalises shortlist for Unlimited Doha Design Prize

He commented that the 21 cherry-picked submissions demonstrated high level of creativity and professionalism and added that being shortlisted wasan achievement in itself for the entries. “The winning team will be awarded a grant of £15,000 to further develop the project proposal,” he announced.

Currently, 21 shortlisted contestants, including 5 from Qatar, 6 from the GCC and 10 from UK, are developing the concepts of their designs, and going through various educational activities, before their final submission of drawings, models, photographs, films or documents.

“This year’s event is focussed on mobility within the city, and in particular on how designers can improve the experience of movement, thereby ensuring that buildings and public realms are accessible to all,” said Fitzpatrick. “They will work in teams to research and explore the theme of ‘The Open City’ and develop new ideas and innovative design solutions that will improve the experience of movement and accessibility in the 21stcentury city.”

Explaining the goals of the exciting initiative, Fitzpatrick said that British Council and its partners seek to nurture and exchange ideas that could pioneer new approaches and innovative design solutions which could impact the future development of Qatar and beyond.

“In line with the directives of H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums and as part of our vision to develop, promote and sustain the cultural sector at the highest standards, we are supporting the Unlimited Doha Design Prize, which will serve as an ideal platform to support the next generation of cultural audiences, generate a national spirit of participation, and inspire audiences and producers of the future. This also aligns with our purpose as an organisation to be a cultural stimulator as far as creativity is concerned,” said ‏Mansoor bin Ebrahim Al Mahmoud, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Museums.

On his part, Ghanim Al Kuwari, Competition Venues Executive Director, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, said: “The Unlimited Doha Design Prize provides a great opportunity to develop inclusive designs, a core value at the SC, to ensure our commitment to creating an integrated and accessible approach to our designs for the tournament and for the legacy of the 2022 FIFA World Cup™. The Unlimited Doha Design Prize will serve as a hub for incubating ideas in various sectors of Qatari industry and society.”

Abdulla Al Kaarani Director at Urban Planning Department Director, Ministry of Municipality and Environment said:“Our responsibility is to align the undergoing projects happening in Doha with our comprehensive urban plan. The Unlimited Doha Design Prize will help us look into the distinctive quality from the various architects and designers from the region as well as from the UK. We will identify the type of orientation and training needed for our national architects to excel in their work. The week-long residency is a creative idea to encourage the youth to innovate for Qatar.”

The Unlimited Doha Design Prize is organised by the British Council with its strategic partners -- the Qatar Museums and the Qatar Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy.

“Participants will get a chance to develop their creative thinking and ideas following an on-site brief, whilst also building knowledge and creating international networks. A key benefit of the design-residency is the

collaborative environment it generates for the sharing of knowledge, skills and insights between UK and Gulf designers and between different specialists and disciplines. All participants will benefit from a wider educational programme of associated lectures and events,” said Dr Waseem Kotoub, British Council, Head of Arts and Creativity.

As part of the Unlimited Doha Design Prize, there will be an education and practice programme featuring key experts from the field, including high profile UK and Gulf leaders from the architecture and design sector and eminent institutional representatives, such as: Brian Timmoney, Partner, Foster + Partners, Professor Nick Tyler, CBE FREng, Professor of Civil Engineering, University College London, Abdullah al Baker, Board Member Qatar Engineering Society, President of the Architectural Association, Mark Dyer, Accessibility and Inclusive Design Advisor, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, Mohuiddin Jamaleddin, Senior Architect and Senior Regional Planner, Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning, Alastair Donald, Architecture Programme Manager, British Council, Tim Makower, Director and Founder, Makower Architects, Dr. Yasser Osman Moharam Mahgoub, Head of Department of Architecture and Urban Planning College of Engineering, Virginia Newman, Director at KSR Architects and RIBA Diversity Ambassador, Royal Institute of British Architects, Maha Al Hajri, Director of Architecture & Engineering Department, Qatar Museums, and Dr Yasser Elsheshtawy, Associate Professor, Architecture, UAE University.

The Unlimited Doha Design Prize ensures a big deal of interactivity and inspiration among contestants from the Gulf region and the UK. The British Council has extended an open invitation to the media to attend some of the key events in the programme, including the public talk on the 25th of March which will take place at the Fire Station artists’ in residence at 6pm.

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