19 August 2019

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Fikra Graphic Design Biennial

9 November 2018 @ 7.00 pm - 11.59 pm

AED 95

The inaugural Fikra Graphic Design Biennial launches with label ‘Ministry of Graphic Design’, taking its inspiration from the more innovative governmental structures of the UAE (notably the Ministry of State for Happiness and the Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence).

In this scenario the fictional Ministry should be able to consider graphic design in terms of its impact on public opinion, entrepreneurship, culture, and indeed society at large. To that end, the Ministry of Graphic Design will include several ‘Departments’, some with their own shows:

Department of Graphic Optimism head of department: Alia Al-Sabi
Department of Flying Saucers head of department: Hala Al-Ani, Möbius Design Studio
Department of Dematerializing Language head of department: Kith And Kin
Department of Non-Binaries head of department: Common-Interest, Nina Paim & Corinne Gisel

The thinking is that the Ministry/Departments format will provide a structure for exhibiting existing graphic design works. But it also works as a format for workshopping theoretical questions and real-world problems; and to create speculative designs that project future scenarios and solutions for the discipline.

There’s also a one-day conference on 10 November with some interesting looking presentations. We’re drawn to ‘Pedagogy and the future of design’ with Elizabeth Tunstall, Dean Of Design at OCAD Toronto; Corrine Gisel and Nina Paim, who set up the Swiss non-profit “cultural association” common-interest; and Mitch Sinclair, Creative Director of the Dubai design-led consultancy Palmwood.

Salem Al-Qassimi, principal of Fikra and director of the Biennial, says his team envisaged creating a graphic design biennial for professionals and the general public alike. “The event aims to communicate the importance of graphic design as a practice and help designers understand it better. More importantly, I think that it is crucial to have a representation of this region in the discourse related to graphic design practice across the globe.

The festival runs to 30 November. There are performances, activations and workshops throughout the month; check the website. Tickets are AED 95 for one day, AED 150 for multiple entry; students get a discount.


9 November 2018
7.00 pm - 11.59 pm
AED 95
Event Category:


Fikra Campus
Sharjah,+ Google Map
+971 6 533 3371