March 11, 2013

We started our Labs at the mathaf museum. We are working within their spaces to create a variety of different works of art, encompassing lots of different mediums. There are 13 separate labs, and each one is focusing on “hybrid making”, and how the theme applies specifically to Qatari culture, since most of their goods have to be imported into the country. The economy of this small nation boomed with the discovery of oil reserves  in the 1960s, so their culture tends to come across as a mixture of many other traditional aspects. There were not many native Qatari citizens when the oil was discovered, many that live here now are ex-pats, or foreign altogether. 

What I find most interesting about Qatar is that the government takes advantage of this booming economy by investing in their people and the budding culture. 70% of all the world’s construction is currently taking place here in Doha. The government commissions state-of-the-art buildings, like the "narwhal building", which has won many architectural awards, and is designed so that all parts of the building [which is lined with solar panels] receives the exact same amount of sunlight, so that it is not unevenly heated in the hot summer months. Their Museum Federation, which plans to open 17 new museums in the country by 2020, is currently the world’s largest art buyer. They even won the bid for the 2022 World Cup. This area has a lot of potential, and I’m really excited to be a part of it!

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