Sharjah: Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council (Irthi) has unveiled a selection of exclusively curated, cross-cultural design collections at the Milan Design Week 2022.
As the only Arab entity at the world’s pre-eminent design fair in Italy, where about 2,000 exhibitors from around the globe have converged, Irthi is celebrating the spirit of innovation and creativity of indigenous craft heritage with five design collections that eloquently reimagine Emirati crafts and culture.
Two separate venues at Cambi Auction House and Palazzo Litta are hosting Irthi’s curated collection of exhibits that are taking the fair’s discerning visitors on a multicultural journey through the region’s geography, customs and generations-old techniques and materials.
The collections unveiled at Milan Design Week underline the entity’s efforts in re-contextualising the craft traditions of the UAE and adapting them to contemporary tastes to preserve the crafts for the future and ensure the long-term and sustainable economic empowerment of women artisans.
Fostering intercultural dialogue
Reem BinKaram, the NAMA director, said: “It is a great honour to represent Sharjah at the prestigious Milan Design Week and to be the sole representative of the Arab region’s design and crafts scene on this international platform where we nourish and initiate intercultural dialogue and diversity through the medium of crafts. Irthi’s exceptional works at Milan are the result of strong intercultural collaboration and play a vital role in upholding the intangible assets and cultural fabric of the region.”
“By bringing indigenous crafts heritage to the forefront of design and promoting technical and material innovation, Irthi continues to empower female artisans to build on the narratives of their collective identity while also taking the handmaking heritage of the region into the future,” she added.
Under the guidance of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed al Qasimi, wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, Irthi continues to develop craft connections, support and champion artisans and designers, and empower women artisans through a programme of creative, cultural and commercial initiatives.
Irthi is also networking with international design houses and renowned designers at Milan Design Week to forge collaborations and create a new ecosystem for handmade crafts to take forward its agenda of providing a fresh narrative for women, by developing new market opportunities.