Qatar Museums has announced that it will open its new five-story, 29,000-square-meter (312,000-square-foot) facility M7, dedicated to innovation and entrepreneurship in the nation’s growing fashion and design industry on 5 November 2021. Established under the leadership of the Chairperson of Qatar Museums, Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, M7 serves as a catalyst for creativity in people of all ages and backgrounds and will host world-class exhibitions, educational programmes, and public discussions in addition to an array of offerings through its Resident Partners. M7 is the latest initiative developed and supported by Qatar Museums to help build a strong creative ecosystem in Qatar.
M7 is the cultural, educational, and entrepreneurial centerpiece of Msheireb Downtown Doha – the 31-hectare (76-acre) mixed-use development by Qatar Foundation that is reviving Doha’s historic district as a sustainable new live-work neighbourhood.
M7, along with its Resident Partners, will feature training, workshops, and incubator spaces; a ground-floor public café; a concept store; a coworking space; a multimedia gallery and two exhibition galleries of approximately 900 square meters (9,750 square feet) each. The inaugural exhibition at M7, opening on 6 November as part of annual Qatar Creates cultural initiative, will be Christian Dior Designer of Dreams.
Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, said:
“Because the future of Qatar depends on cultivating the creative potential of all its citizens, Qatar Museums has developed M7 to raise public awareness of the vast influence of fashion and design as an industry and to provide much-needed support for Qatar’s own burgeoning creative sector, from concept design to the production line. We are grateful to Qatar Foundation, headed by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, its Chairperson, for initiating the Msheireb Downtown Doha project, for our M7 partners Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar and Qatar Development Bank and of course, the contributions of the private sector.”
Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa continued:
“There could not be a more fitting time to open M7 and present Christian Dior Designer of Dreams, its first major exhibition, as Qatar Creates begins its celebration of fashion and design and we have the opportunity to introduce our young and emerging creators to some of the top industry professionals who will be in Doha to share their contributions and experience the very best that Qatar has to offer.”
Christian Dior Designer of Dreams is a retrospective exhibition dedicated to the house of Dior’s unique heritage and will be on view at M7 from 6 November 2021 through 30 March 2022. Following presentations in Paris, London, Shanghai, and New York, the exhibition is adapted specifically for Qatar, with a selection of ensembles from the private collection of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. Curated by Olivier Gabet, the exhibition celebrates nearly 75 years of creative passion, punctuated by captivating haute couture dresses and works from the collection of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.
Designed by John McAslan + Partners, M7’s interior spaces are organised around a skylit atrium, in which light filters down through a patterned screen inspired by traditional Qatari motifs. The architectural approach harmonises with the overall goal in Msheireb Downtown Doha to combine insights from the past with present-day technologies and thinking to achieve a new, distinctly Qatari architectural language.
Maha Al Sulaiti, Director of M7, said:
“At M7, we are dedicated to empowering designers and creatives to explore, collaborate and develop successful businesses. Through comprehensive programmes, M7 equips aspiring creative entrepreneurs with the skills and know-how to realise their business ambitions. It is indeed an exciting and inspiring time for designers in Qatar and M7 is honoured to support and nurture the local creative ecosystem."
As an innovation hub within Doha, M7 has engaged several educational partners to present public programming throughout the year. M7 will collaborate with partners including Doha Film Institute, VCUarts Qatar, Injaz Qatar, Caravane Earth, Architects Hub, QSTP, and IbTECHar to develop pop-ups that showcase local designers and talent, a speaker series exploring the role of design locally and regionally, activities facilitating connections between designers and the community, and an annual conference reviewing Qatar’s creative economy through panels, keynote speakers, and networking events.
In addition, M7 offers workplace development opportunities for young and emerging creatives through a number of Resident Partners such as Scale 7, which provides skills development, financial support, mentorship, and working labs for Qatar-based entrepreneur designers to perfect their craft and grow their careers; Studio 7, a concept store devoted to empowering emerging designers by showcasing their work and enabling them to commercialise it in physical and online platforms; Cutting Studio, a center of excellence for design production, learning, and development for creative professionals and aspiring designers withing Qatar’s fashion and textiles industry; Workinton, M7’s coworking space offering smart offices for smart creatives; and Profiles Café, a space for creatives to connect that inspires a cohesive environment between art, design, and creations. In collaboration with these partners, M7 will host masterclasses by industry leaders, skill development workshops, one-on-one mentorships, and school-based programming.
When the COVID-19 pandemic delayed M7’s opening, M7 led a series of virtual coaching sessions on its Instagram channel, @M7.qatar, to provide ongoing inspiration and support. The series featured local and international industry leaders leading coaching sessions for aspiring designers exploring topics such as nurturing creativity during challenging times, using technology in the fashion business, testing products in the market, developing business plans, and promoting products through marketing and public relations.
Source: Qatar Museums Press Release
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