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Thursday, Jun 01, 2023

Ruba Al-Khaldi, Lujain Rafie to represent Saudi Arabia at London Design Biennale

Ruba Al-Khaldi, Lujain Rafie to represent Saudi Arabia at London Design Biennale

The Architecture and Design Commission announced Saudi Arabia’s participation in the fourth edition of the London Design Biennale, which will be held at Somerset House, London from 1 to 25 June 2023.
The biennale, with the theme of “The Global Game: Remapping Collaborations,” is a global gathering of the world’s most ambitious and imaginative designers, curators and design institutes.

The Saudi pavilion in the biennale is featuring with an artwork titled “Woven” with the participation of the curator and designer Ruba Al-Khalidi, a specialist in innovation and strategic design, and the curator and designer Lojane Rafie, designer of organic and modern materials.

Ruba has experience in the field of industrial design, interior architecture, and branding design. She holds a master’s degree in design and innovation strategies from Brunel University London, and a bachelor’s degree in interior architecture from Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University. She is currently working as an academic lecturer and head of the Innovation Unit at the Faculty of Designs at Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University.

She strives to activate the role of design and innovation strategies in the development of local brands and their products. The university’s innovation studio is specialized in designing purposeful, unique and circular innovations to build a sustainable future for local brands, and contribute to enabling the circular creative economy in the Kingdom.

Lojane draws on long experience in product design, interior architecture, and design research. She holds master’s degree in design through modern materials from the Elissafa College of Architecture and Design in Barcelona, and another master’s degree in design research from ISEC Lisbon Institute of Education and Sciences, and a bachelor’s degree in interior design from Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University, where she works as a faculty member at the faculty of designs. She runs her own laboratory for designing organic materials, in addition to her focus on the balance between science and art to raise the quality of life.

‘Woven’ is an interactive creative experience in which visitors’ visions of the future intertwine to form the fabric of humanity. This fabric is made by simulating the handmade craft of Sadu art, as it is an important element of culture and architecture in the Kingdom. Saudi women have distinguished themselves in its design throughout history.

Each thread in this fabric represents a promising development field, and so each visitor chooses what it represents from the development fields, and lives the experience of weaving itself, and their choices contribute to building a decorative organic model that develops throughout the London Design Biennale.

The commission also used the expertise of Dr. Dalil Al-Qahtani, a specialist in Sadu from the Royal Institute of Traditional Arts, and Israa Al-Sakhri and Haya Al-Naima, students of the institute in the traditional weaving apprenticeship program of Al-Sadu to weave the fabric with installation work during the duration of the exhibition.

At the time of the closure of the exhibition on June 25, the Saudi pavilion would have completed a 50-meter-long tapestry design, in which each visitor participates by braiding a woolen thread into the tapestry inspired by the visitor’s ideas and aspiration for the future.
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