Design and Eastern Arab Countries (EAC): Its Past, Present and Future

Qassim Saad

My research embraces creative practice outputs and traditional scholarly publications related to design and social innovation ‘outside the centre.’ The research aims to articulate a future scope of design to empower societies, in developing countries.

Working with Tony Fry (as Co-Editor) I am working on a new book. This edited volume aims to offer an insightful overview of applied discourses of design in EACs Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq. These countries are known for their pioneering status, creative engagements and influence on shaping and resourcing the emergent project of modernity in the region since the 1940s. Studies of the contemporary discourse of design for these countries are acknowledged as underdeveloped, with extremely limited studies addressing its context and practices. This volume will challenge the stereotypical and limited local publications (the majority of which are in Arabic) that dominantly present design knowledge and practices aligned with traditional culture and social preferences, and in which design is based on an intense dependency on artistic foundations, craft skills and the surface ornamentation of artefacts.

The volume is intended to survey traditions and identical phases throughout the contemporary history of these countries, observing major stages that transformed the societies within them into sovereign territories and national states after WWI, these stages allocated through the following three parts:

    • Part I. Looking back on the history of design: tradition, colonialism and modernity
    • Part II. An evaluation of ‘the now’
    • Part III. Futuring the Region

SaadEACBookThe volume is accepted for publishing in 2020 by The American University in Cairo-Press, Egypt.