Framework for re-visioning design in Iraq

Saad, Q 2013, Framework for re-visioning design in Iraq, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Architecture and Design, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Framework for re-visioning design in Iraq
Author(s) Saad, Q
Year 2013
Abstract Design in Iraq is the result of a rich mixture of many cultural, geographical and even climatic elements which have shaped this land from ancient times. Adapting man-made objects to cultural and ecological influences has provided various creative solutions from architecture, the crafts, fashion, calligraphy, furniture, food and many other fields. In the Arabic language, the word for design is tasmem. As a noun or a verb it means visualising, arranging or planning, and is traditionally associated with artistic skills that add aesthetic and ornamental compositions to man-made objects to strengthen their commercial, moral or spiritual values.

Since the modernisation began in Iraq in the late 1940s, there have been practical moves centred on the importance of its cultural heritage to create a contemporary design industry in Iraq. Many of these attempts occurred in art and architecture, and to a limited extent in wood work and furniture design.

This study attempts an interdisciplinary approach in introducing this field of research. Any description of the dimensions and structure of the framework of design in Iraq will never be accurate without engaging with Iraqi designers. This study strove earnestly for an effective engagement with these designers, searching for a rich experience with them, as related in the early chapters, to investigate the practice of design and discover how the Iraqi designer community is beginning to engage its knowledge and expertise with Iraq’s current design infrastructure. The realisation of this vision was disrupted by the lack of publications and material resources, as well as intensive security restrictions which prevented the researcher from being in Iraq for long enough to meet the needs of the study.

The study was designed to achieve its objectives by examination and explication of these main themes:
1. Review the project of modernity in Iraq. Search for insights into the roots and complexities influencing contemporary design thinking as a socio-cultural phenomenon.
2. Survey arguments and issues from the broader social sciences that have shaped the theory and practice of design in the context of development for developing countries. Trace its growth into a political ideology dedicated to developing countries since the post-war period.
3. Incorporate analytical reviews of Iraqi experience with material objects. Tackle the wider dimensions of the relationship between humans, objects and design.
4. Investigate the practice of design in Iraq and seek insights into the designers’ search for a new direction to meet the country’s future demands.

Proposing a framework of design of Iraq is one of the main objectives of this study. Drawing from insights in the early chapters, which broadly review and analyse the framework’s main elements, the study builds an understanding of their inter-relationships. This understanding produces an abstract, representative composition of the shape of ‘design in Iraq’.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Architecture and Design
Keyword(s) Design in Iraq
Design framework
Design Thinking
Professional Design Practices
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Created: Tue, 12 Nov 2013, 13:06:01 EST by Leona Campitelli
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