Today after speaking to a friend that works in Qatar, we discovered a lot more about life and culture within the country. After deconstructing the information and tying all our thoughts together we have developed a concept to help us move forward in the project. We had previously thought about illustrating different cultures merging into the Qatari culture, however after talking to my friend we discovered that although they do all work together we see that there are different classes of people – even though they add to the people of Qatar, they are not all equal as we had thought.
We have found family life to be the strongest bond amongst the people because it’s the relationship the people have with those nearest and dearest to them. This is confirmed and further emphasised during the month of Ramadan which we understand is a time for ”strengthening the family ties and community”.
We understand how Doha has emerged so quickly as the girls on skype emphasised that construction is happening left, right and centre! It is recognised that many buildings have been built purely because the people are so rich, SO rich that the buildings don’t even need to have a purpose. Linking these two paths have resulted with Doha being built up quickly to create a visually appealing ‘facade’. There doesn’t seem to be any real point or purpose for a lot of these buildings as of yet. Therefore we are thinking of designing a kiosk that emulates the visually attractive city of Doha by focusing on the people of Qatar and how they are the true image of Qatari culture.
Entrance to DJCAD – Matthew Building, school of architecture and design.
Halls of residence on campus, inhabited by first year students mostly
Tennis courts on campus
Entrance to University of Dundee student union
The aspect of Qatari culture we are most interested in are the people and how the relationship between the people make up the culture of Qatar. We think this appropriately links in with the roots being the substance of Qatari tradition and the basis for all that they are today.
Today on skype we asked a few questions about hobbies/activities in Qatar and the most honest answer we received was eating! We also asked about where they like to hang out and they explained that they hang out in a place called a ‘majalis’ which is their equivalent to a pub. They described the ‘majalis’ as a popular indoor cosy place which is normally occupied with men, rather than women.
Earlier today we got a really useful reply in response to one of our questions.
The question was: “is Qatar a lively place?”
-“Although it may not seem lively at first, you really have to know the places and the people to really enjoy what Qatar has to offer.”
Our initial reaction to this question was to try and reflect the people of Qatar, their nature and how they mesh together with the other cultures through our design. We felt that if we reflect their answer through our design then visitors of the world fair seeing our kiosk will see what Qatar has to offer.
We came across this really good website about Qatar on http://www.explore-qatar.com/ and all that it has to offer, places to visit etc. There is a few nice quotes from this video that we think sum up Qatari culture, these are as follows:
“where business is pleasure”
“a sense of elegance second to none”
“comforting home for many”
“its future flourishes from within”
“where the sea washes away the warmth of the desert”
From the conversation on skype earlier we realised a common theme between what was relevant to them and our line of research. This theme was the importance of family. They said that everyone knows everyone and there seems to be lots of connections between the people there. This was something that gave us some inspiration for design. We agree and notice a link with family and roots, this is reflected in the following quote “we have been rushed into the modern era, but haven’t forgotten our roots.”
After looking into Ramadan there was a quote that tied in with family said “Ramadan is a time for strengthening ties with one’s family & community, a cornerstone of Islam.”
When we asked the Qatari students about their culture and if there was a fear that the other cultures coming in was a negative thing in changing their own culture they strongly emphasised that it wasn’t a bad thing. They felt they weren’t losing their identity in any way, but felt that they were learning and benfitting from each other instead. We get the impression that they are embracing all the other cultures and in fact it adds to the Qatari culture.
Questions for you Qatari’s!!!
We often meet up socially over a drink, coffee or a meal, would you say that this is something you would do or if not, what would be your equivalent?
It was said in a video that Qatar is one of the safest places to be…and also that it is really lively – would you agree?
Would you say that you and the people of Qatar are proud of what your country has achieved in such a short space of time?
– If so, what is it you’re proud of? Perhaps the money? oil? tourism? education? ….?
When researching about Qatar, we discovered that only 20% of your country are from Qatar, this obviously means that the other 80% is made up of other countries and cultures from around the globe. Is there a fear of the 20% of Qatar’s culture & individual identity getting lost amongst the other 80%?
Do you share the same opinions with your parents and grandparents about the rapid development of your country?
After looking into the Qatar pavilion, we were also interested in our own pavilion – United Kingdom. We feel this may be of interest to our fellow partners in Qatar to have a look at.
“We love Heatherwick’s idea of combining a complex structure with a simple, quiet, reverent message. The designer says he was inspired by the “relationship between nature and cities” and decided to celebrate the UK’s beautiful green spaces by teaming up with the world famous Kew Gardens in London and the Millennium Seedbank project, whose mission is to collect the seeds of 25% of the world’s plant species by 2020.”
Find out more on: http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-product-design/awe-inspiring-seed-cathat-shanghai-world-expo-2010-photos.html edral-wows-