EXPO 2020 DUBAI – MENASA Design Pavilion



Hybridising motifs of Kuwait’s past and present, the series titled Desert Cast
contributes to the development of local design identity through its re-application of
regional and borrowed elements.
This collection analyses the kitsch replication of classical architectural motifs in
Kuwaiti houses. A trend that creates a disingenuous sense of vicarious and exotic
luxury, and contributes to Kuwait’s struggle to develop a context-based design identity,
due to an orientalist over-generalisation of Middle Eastern culture.
Desert Cast borrows the profiles used for extruded gypsum cornices and friezes,
morphing them by overlapping the designs with two other locally embellished
processes, sand-casting, and foam-cutting.
Synthesising local craft and design technology establishes a new Kuwaiti identity that
is rooted in its migrant history, yet embraces its contemporary image. The series
highlights the accessibility to master craftsmanship, typically used in a narrow
practice, with limited perceived value, and presents new possibilities.