Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council fosters cultural exchange between Sharjah and Milan at world’s biggest annual design gathering

60th anniversary of Milan Design Week, from June 7 to 12, honours design and craft traditions of region’s artisans 

  • Irthi to launch contemporary handmade collections that integrate Emirati craft traditions with global craft practices at international design event

Sharjah, 29 May 2022

Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council, an affiliate of NAMA Women Advancement, is creating compelling, immersive experiences for the global design community as it highlights the refined beauty and contemporary aesthetics of Emirati craft traditions at the upcoming Milan Design Week from June 7 to 12, 2022. 

Irthi will also leave a firm imprint on the international design scene in Milan with the launch of new contemporary handmade collections featuring Emirati and global craft traditions.

The high level of diversity, innovation and expert craftsmanship that characterise the design explorations of Irthi’s women artisans will take center stage at two separate venues at the world’s leading event for contemporary design. Milan’s renowned Cambi Auction House and Palazzo Litta will host a curated collection of exhibits from Irthi’s five distinctive collections that combine Emirati and regional craft traditions with artisanal techniques and cutting-edge design.

The curated collection of sculptural objects and collectibles merge the crafts of Safeefah palm frond, recycled felt and camel leather weaving, Talli cotton thread and metallic thread weaving, marquetry, woodworks, vegetal leather moulding, glass blowing, clay building and carpet weaving.

As part of its participation in Milan Design Week, Irthi will also engage in a panel discussion with Atelier LUMA, a design and research laboratory based in Arles, France, at the Civico Museo Archeologico – Milano on June 8. A full-day networking event is scheduled for June 10 at Milan’s Bulgari showroom to carry forth the joint efforts of ICCC and Bulgari in highlighting the importance of preservation and documentation of cultural heritage and crafts. The event will create a cultural exchange between Sharjah, UAE and Milan, Italy, through a curated immersive experience combining traditional Emirati Talli craft, food and flora, along with Bulgari’s heritage jewels.

Commenting on Sharjah’s representation at Milan, Her Excellency, Reem BinKaram, Director, NAMA, said: “Showcasing the fruits of Irthi’s cross-cultural partnerships that mobilise high levels of skill and tradition are giving greater momentum to our ongoing efforts in revitalising the region’s intangible cultural heritage. Under the vision and guidance of H.H. Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of NAMA, Irthi’s continuous efforts in safeguarding traditional crafts and craft products have broadened the global appeal of the indigenous craft heritage of the region.”

The NAMA Director added: “The Milan Design Week is a perfect platform to showcase Irthi’s leading efforts in organically interweaving traditional craft and modern design practices with diversified materials and processes to provide a fresh narrative for heritage crafts from across the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, Central Asia and South East Asia.”

-ENDS-