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The ‘Night of Ideas’: Msheireb Museums and Institut Français du Qatar Host Global Design Seminar

Msheireb Museums, the new cultural destination located at Msheireb Downtown Doha, in partnership with Institut Français du Qatar, hosted the ‘Night of Ideas’ yesterday (25th January), under the theme: ‘Power to the Imagination: DOHA 2022 – PARIS 2024.’

Launched by the Institut Français in 2017, the ‘Night of Ideas’ is a global project staged simultaneously around the world, from Tokyo to Los Angeles, from Stockholm to Johannesburg, where people gather to celebrate ideas. This year, Msheireb Museums brought together design leaders at Bin Jelmood House to join 41 other cities across five continents taking part in the global innovation initiative.

The event welcomed four expert Arab and European panellists who discussed with the audience three discussion points; ‘the main challenges facing urban areas in Doha and Paris,’ ‘how major events can help shape cities,’ and lastly, ‘if public spaces can humanise cities’.

The panellists included; Ibrahim Mohamed Jaidah, Group Chief Executive Officer, Chief Architect, Arab Engineering Bureau; Dr. Ali A. Alraouf, Professor of Architecture and Urbanism, Head of Research and Development at QNMP- Doha; Pierre Alain Trévelo, Architect (DPLG – National School of Architecture–Marne-la-Vallée) and urban designer (MDesS – Harvard GSD), founder with Antoine Viger-Kohler of Paris based international architecture and urban design office TVK; and Stéphane Lecler, Deputy director of urban planning for the City of Paris.

Commenting on the event, Mr. Hafiz Ali, Director of Msheireb Museums, said: “We at Msheireb Museums are proud of hosting this global event in partnership with Institut Français du Qatar. The ‘Night of Ideas’ helped create a platform to discuss art and design issues and provide creative solutions. The evening was a tremendous success and we would like to thank everyone who took part in the dynamic and engaging debates.”

Mr. Olivier DESEEZ, Counsellor for cooperation and cultural affairs at the French Embassy, Director of the Institut Français of Qatar, said: “The goal of the Night of Ideas (‘La Nuit des idées’) is to celebrate the stream of ideas between countries, cultures, topics and generations. Every year, the Night of Ideas gives the opportunity to discover the latest discoveries in knowledge and arts, to listen to the ones who contribute to bring more ideas to their field, and to take part in the discussion about the main issues of our times. In Doha we are celebrating the imagination displayed by urban planners in the buildup of spectacular urban transformations in two cities, both hosting major global events in the coming years.“

Located within the oldest part of the capital, Msheireb Museums form an important part of Qatar’s national history and Doha’s new Msheireb Downtown Doha. The reconstructed buildings and gallery spaces allow the community to engage in the significant aspects of Qatar’s past and memories of life before the country’s rapid economic development. Designed as a safe space to converse and inspire dialogue, the hosting of the ‘Night of Ideas’ seminar is part of Msheireb Museums ongoing efforts in bringing the community together to create a positive creative space.