Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council unveiled its first exclusive product line, with a special exhibition at London Design Fair in September 2019, as the Fair’s official Guest Country Pavilion. Irthi’s first range of crafted design objects is the result of two initiatives: Design Labs and Crafts Dialogue, both of which are founded on the creative potential of collaboration.

Crafts Dialogue seeks to merge the arts and crafts of the UAE with global crafts. The programme allows for a design and production dialogue between pairs of international and local designers to create collections that combine Emirati and European elements. This project is a result of a collaboration between the Barcelona-based “Creative Dialogue” cultural agency and Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council. The Crafts Dialogue project features a series of four limited edition collections.

Design Labs, much like art residencies, allow for an exchange of crafts, design, and knowledge between international or regional designers, and Bidwa artisans and trainees under the creative direction of Irthi. The designers bring in new production techniques and crafts into the Bidwa Centre*, while the Bidwa Centre offers the space and productive capacity of Emirati artisans and trainees for collaboration, and product manifestation.

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