Cairo, Egypt June 2010 saw a very special creative initiative. Last week, set amongst the historic splendours of one of the world’s most ancient cities was +20 Egypt Design, the first urban design
event for the region.
+20 Egypt Design is an initiative of the Egyptian Furniture Export Council (EFEC) and Industrial
Modernization Centre (IMC) with support from Egyptian Exporters Association (Expolink) committed to DesignPartners, the general contractor engaged in the organization of the event,
which is the Milan base international marketing and communication company of ZonaTortona fame.
Leading, international design maverick, Paola Navone was invited to curate an installation based on themes of the home. Seventy exhibitors including around fifty-five Egyptian producers, factories from all over Egypt and designers were selected with a deliberate focus on the combination of established brands with emerging names. Visitors were treated to a unique fusion of local craftsmanship with innovative design objects; new global design pieces with traditional
artisan; a true melting pot of design, culture, manufacturing and technology – worlds’ apart yet synthesised within this unique collaboration.
+20 Egypt Design used the culturally and aesthetically rich backdrop of three historical Cairo buildings to draw on the expertise of local manufacturers including Al Cazar Fine Woods, Asal, Crystolight, Ferforge, Mohm, Fiorito, Meuble El Chark, Hid'n, Hardwood, Siro Wood, Nadim and Williams presenting classic, modern and contemporary furniture, office, kitchen, outdoor and lighting fixtures; and designers including Shahira H. Fahmy, Amr Helmy, Karim Mekhtigiam, Cherif Morsi and Dina Shoukry setting their products and ideas alongside leading global brands
and design names such as Agape, Alessi, Kartell, Molteni and Moroso, as well as products bought from Cairo’s Khan el-Khalili Bazaar.
Over 3,000 individuals visited the location over the four days of the event, discovering a complete and real living environment. Highlights included the ironic take on the water-pipe smoking table using Shisha legs by local designer Dina Shoukry juxtaposed with colourful plastic chairs and stools by Kartell on the house terrace, a room including Ferforge's remarkable chairs with plexi-top
tables by Flux and a room including a dramatic chandelier by Italian manufacturer Luceplan paired with hi-tech side tables by Egyptian designer Karim Mekhtigian (Alchemy) and a highly ornate chair by Shoulah Furniture, creating a truly breathtaking result.
+20 Egypt Design hosted collateral initiatives as KYME "Rising of an Egyptian design identity" which took place in Moheb hall, a walking distance from the 3 houses in Muiz Street. The products
exhibited - emerged from Egypt's Design + Industry workshops - are the result of a collaboration between local manufacturers, Egyptian young designers and international renowned designers
such as Gum Design, Lucy Salamanca, Pierandrei Associati, Dodo Arslan, and many more. Dressing an Icon, the first deco exercise by Egyptian Fashion Designers paying tribute to the
traditional Egyptian chair took place at Hamam Inal. Applying the fashion codes in the living interior using delicate creativity, ribbons, lace, stones and ornaments giving life to the wooden chair.Sabil El Silihdar, another location dedicated to young designers and design students, where students from both AUC (American University in Cairo) and GUC (German University in Cairo) showcased a collection of various stages of their work. In addition to an exhibition of lighting
fixtures prototypes designed by young designers integrating contemporary lighting design and local crafts and materials.Drive for business and cultural expansion
EFEC, representing more than two hundred Egyptian furniture factories, launched this first step as part of a long term project, with the aim to drive business through creativity and design and to encourage local enterprises and the international market to gain awareness of the Egyptian way for design.
Egypt’s design industry is experiencing a period of rapid growth, with many companies now producing for international brands. The country has faced the challenge of modernizing the industry to meet the needs of these global markets. The commitment to high standards has led to an increase in exports – and so this was the right time to place Egyptian design and Cairo, a rapidly emerging player on the cultural scene, onto the international design map.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry Mr. Rachid Mohamed Rachid and Egyptian Minister of Culture Mr. Farouk Hosny opened the exhibition at a reception for around 1000 people.
Ahmed Helmy, EFEC Chairman, comments on exporting the first design urban event to Cairo:
"We are all very proud of the New BORN +20 Egypt Design. It has created an amazing positive atmosphere where different cultures and experiences materialize into forms of architecture, design and visual communication that gathered different parties from Manufacturers, Designers, Architects, local and international visitors to see a unique demonstration of Design, Industry and Culture. +20 Egypt Design has brought a new way of communication in Egypt and from Egypt to the rest of the world."
Maurizio Ribotti, DesignPartners CEO, comments: "+20 Egypt Design has been another successful business case about the creativity economy. Egypt has a great potential as for production as for creativity. It was exciting to contribute to the birth of the first urban design event in Cairo where we shared our knowledge and passion for design with a local team highly motivated.”
FACTS AND FIGURES:
- 3 magnificent historical houses in the renovate area of the old city of Cairo, El Muiz street,between shops, mosques and museums, which hosted the main exhibition. Suhaymi House, from 1648, Kharazati House from 1881 and Gaafar House from 1713 are a rare example of a true revaluation of magic spaces once occupied by local important person
- 30 exhibition rooms
- 70 exhibitors including around 55 Egyptian producers and designers
- 2.000 sqm of exhibition spaces
- 3.000 registered visitors during the four days of the event
- 940 people attending the opening reception
+20 Egypt Design coincided with FURNEX, (Egypt’s International Furniture and Home Furnishings Trade Fair). The Furnex Fair 7th edition, spread over 21,000 square meters of the Cairo Exhibition and Convention Centre, hosted more than 200 Egyptian manufacturers, showcasing their latest products of furniture and home furnishings, as well as their production capabilities.For press enquiries please contact:
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