Spaceman Mural

Post by Mark


Graffiti artists Monstariam and Bufifty spray painted a gigantic spaceman mural over the weekend outside Al Khaled Complex in Salmiya. It’s the same complex where Gia and Lorenzo are located and this has to be my favorite Monstariam graffiti work yet. I love it.

Doodles by @browneyesstudio

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The Nuqat Workshops

Post by Mark


Last week I wasn’t posting as much since I was taking two workshops at the Nuqat design conference, a furniture design workshop from 9AM to 1PM followed by a fashion design workshop from 2PM to 6PM. They both turned out to be a lot of fun and the whole experience was memorable.


Furniture Design: Defy the Existing Function
The furniture design workshop was done in collaboration with IKEA and was run by the award winning furniture designer Younes Duret. It was basically an IKEA hack workshop in which we had to repurpose one product out of the 35 they had made available to us. There were around 26 people taking the workshop with many of the participants coming in from around the region to take part. The final work was pretty astounding since there were quite a bunch talented people taking part.


Fashion Design: Fashion Meets Technology
The second workshop I took part in involved wearable technology and as a geek/designer I wanted to see if there was anything I could possibly bring to the table. The workshop was run by the super talented Sarah Hermez of the non profit fashion school, Creative Space. While the furniture design workshop was held at the Sadu House, the fashion design workshop was held at Fab Lab. What is Fab Lab? Fab Lab is part of MIT’s Fab Foundation and the Kuwait Fab Lab is part of the world wide network which spans 30 countries. It’s a ridiculously cool place where you can go fabricate products as well as take part in educational workshops (all for free). They have 3D printers, CNC machines, laser cutters, a robotics lab and even an in house patent registration office. I’m actually going to post a separate post about them since the place is just insane. After experimenting with different technologies over the four days, for my final project I ended up creating a fashionable and functional pair of mountaineering boots that came with a built in frostbite detector (pictured above). I also just for the experience learned how to drape a dress which if you were following me on snapchat you would have gotten a glimpse of my undeniable talent in making sexy dresses.


The Nuqat workshops were filled with positive energy and I got to meet a lot of people and learn quite a bit. I’ll definitely be taking part again next year although most likely I’ll take just one workshop next time since two was just too exhausting.

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Nuqat Creative Conference – The Missing Link

Post by Mark


Although Kuwait isn’t known for holding the best events, every now and then we do get some spectacular ones that are world class. The most recent one that took place was the Battle of the East event two weeks ago and the next great event is taking place starting tomorrow. Nuqat has now become the largest creative conference in the MENA region and they’re into their 5th year. It’s such an impressive and organized event that its hard to believe its a locally created concept. Every year it just keeps getting bigger and this year isn’t any different.


Nuqat will be taking place at the Amricani Cultural Center and will comprise of two main parts, the first is a three day lecture that will be taking place this weekend starting from tomorrow Thursday 13th and ending on Saturday the 15th. There will be 24 short lectures taking place over these three days that will be given by different speakers from around the region (pictured above). The cost to attend these lectures is just KD30 for the three days and you can check out the full schedule on their website [Here]

Nuqat 2013 [YouTube]

The second part of Nuqat is the workshops. This year there will be 11 workshops ranging in subjects that will be held over four days either 9AM to 1PM or or 2PM to 6PM. I’m personally considering taking two workshops, the first is “Furniture Design: Defy The Existing Function” and the second is “Wearable Technology: Fashion meets technology 101”. Furniture Design and Fashion Design are two topics I have no experience in which is why I’m excited to try out. It’s something new for me and new is generally always fun. The workshops cost KD110 which is ridiculously cheap compared to regular workshop prices in Kuwait and also considering who the lecturers are. To sign up and check out all the workshops available click this [Link]

Cultural Entertainment
There will be a lot of food stalls and pop up shops in the courtyard of the Amricani Cultural Center so even if you’re not signing up to the lectures or workshops it should still be a fun social event to check out. I tried my best to condense as much information as I could into this post without making it too long and boring which is why I’ve left out other activities that are taking place like film screenings, book signings and more. To really get a proper idea of what exactly is taking place you need to visit the Nuqat website. It’s a great event that shouldn’t be missed. [Link]

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Al Salam Palace Renovation

Post by Mark


Back in April I was lucky enough to get access to photograph the inside of Al Salam Palace (or Qasr Al Salam). There were rumors that Al Salam Palace was going to get demolished and I wanted to see the place before it was gone. Turns out those rumors were just rumors and instead Al Salam Palace was going to be restored and turned into a museum. I was shown renderings of the museum back then but I wasn’t allowed to share them online until now. A member of the skyscrapercity forum yesterday posted renderings of Al Salam Palace which means they’re out now and I can share them here. So if you’re interested to see how Al Salam Palace is going to look like once renovated click [Here]

Also if you want to check out the photos I took of Al Salam Palace before the renovation work began click [Here]

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Q8 Bookstore Mural

Post by Mark


In honor of Q8 Bookstores one year anniversary, graffiti artist Monstariam created a mural for the store. The video above is the making of that mural. If you haven’t been to the Q8 Bookstore before or don’t know what it is, check out this [Link]


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The First Graffiti Park Coming Soon

Post by Mark

Cozmo Entertainment will be opening Kuwait’s first Graffiti park really soon. The park will be called Cozmo Spraybox and it’s going to be located near Sultan Center Shaab. I passed by recently to check it out (which is how I ended up with a small cameo in the video above) and I really liked the idea. The space isn’t very big but the ideas they have for it is pretty interesting, basically they’re going to rend out space for artists to come graffiti and they’ll provide the spray cans and everything. For now the video above is a bit of a preview, will share more info once I get it. [YouTube]


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Kuwait Towers could become a World Heritage Site

Post by Mark


The Kuwait Towers are now on UNESCO’s tentative list to become a World Heritage site. The first report was submitted back in May and later accepted by UNESCO in July. It’s only the first step but if it does get approved, then the Kuwait Towers will become the first modernist building in the entire Gulf region to be designated a World Heritage Site.

There are a number of reasons UNESCO found the Kuwait Towers a suitable candidate including the fact that when the Kuwait Towers was designed and built it was a complex task to allocate a big volume of water at a high level, in an elegant object and in such a delicate location. The symbolism behind the Kuwait Tower also sparked their interest, Kuwait being a barren dry desert while the Kuwait Towers representing water, the symbol of life. It’s an interesting report which you can check out [Here]


But, as many of you are aware, the Kuwait Towers are currently closed and although my investigation didn’t result in a conclusive reason to whats going on right now, I did manage to get some idea.

For a building to become a World Heritage Site it’s not an easy process involving a lot or requirements. If the Kuwait Towers does becomes a World Heritage Site then it will no longer just belong to Kuwait but it will belong to all of humanity (figuratively speaking). So if later someone in Kuwait decides they want to change the spheres from blue to gold and cover them in Swarovski crystals, they would have to get permission from UNESCO first. But, for the Kuwait Towers to become a World Heritage Site it also needs to be restored to the original state and this is where I understood the issue is.


The Kuwait Towers were undergoing an internal makeover to make the interior look more Kuwaiti. To UNESCO that means destroying the integrity of the building and UNESCO requires the interior to keep its original elements. For the Kuwait Towers to gain the World Heritage status, they now need to flip through all the old documents and photos and try to restore the Kuwait Towers interior as close as possible to the original state from railings to the carpet.

On a similar note, the Kuwait National Assembly Building which was designed by the Opera Sydney House architect Jørn Utzon was also submitted to UNESCO to become a World Heritage Site. Sadly it was rejected with the main reason being the huge ugly extension that was built adjacent to it.

For a wealth of information on the Kuwait Towers and some construction related documents, check out my favorite source [Here]

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A Graffiti Wall Timelapse

Post by Mark


If you’ve ever been curious to know how Monstariam creates his beautiful graffiti wall check out the timelapse video below. The wall in the video was created in Shuwaikh Market for the Little Ones event that was recently held there. [YouTube]

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Monstariam presents Street Spray Soup 2

Post by Mark

I’ve told them to let me know of their next event before it happens that way I can post about it here in case anyone wants to take part in it.

The 2nd Street Spray Soup took place in Shuwaikh Market. Some of Kuwait’s most talented artists gathered for good conversation, an exchange of ideas and to just draw together while giving one another tips. Mogahwi Stationery, LB o J’zazz, The Kuwait Times and some of Kuwait’s best dancers Doss and C-Sick also dropped by to support the event.



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Red Bull Doodle Art Competition – Kuwait

Post by Mark


Monstariam, Artspace and Red Bull recently teamed up to give talented artists in Kuwait a chance to win a trip to South Africa. They held a doodle art competition and the winner was chosen today and it was the doodle below by Mohamad Mayya. Mohamad will now be going to Cape Town where he will compete with other international artists for a chance to have their art put on a special edition Red Bull Can. Check out the video above on the competition.


Thanks TJC

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