1.1 Project Description
The proposed idea introduces an institute that combines between artists, designers and entrepreneurs. This combination is usually found within those who start local home businesses, creating and selling a specific craft, that serve the Bahraini public. As a personal observation, in Bahrain, there has been an increase in the amount of local businesses starting up in the last 10-15 years, especially in the age of social media. These businesses are not as efficient and professional as they could be, since the people starting them have potential, but lack the correct tools and professional qualification to execute them properly. Many young Bahraini adults find themselves earning more money through these local businesses they start up on a social media platform than through a degree they graduated from university with. Bahrain is a small country, with many crafts not still widely spread in the country. Therefore, as soon as someone introduces a specific craft and begins to create quality products using that craft, they become popular quickly.
This report proposes an establishment, The Institute of Artistry, an educational art space that hosts artists, craftsmen and designers. It will be designed to accommodate talented locals in Bahrain to perfect their art and craftsmanship skills. It will provide facilities such as workshop studios, lecture halls, exhibitions halls and more. It will serve its registered students, as well as the public in the event of a public bazaar or market. The institute will encourage local youth to experience a professional educational art space in which they get to express their artistic skills.
The proposed institute is needed in Bahrain for more than one reason. Mainly, since an institute similar to the one proposed does not exist yet. There is no establishment in the country dedicated to teaching local youth and artists crafts such as sewing, metalwork, woodwork and more. Also, local businesses starting up to produce these crafts without professional expertise, experience or guidance, produce products at lower quality levels. Even though, the people practicing these crafts and marketing their skills on social media platforms have the potential to be delivering higher quality products with the correct education. Lastly, with accessibility to an institute providing professional education to crafts locals are interested in, they no longer need to travel abroad, paying large amounts of money to learn something they can learn in their own home country.
The proposed institute will offer a two-stage degree in the duration of two academic years. The first year is a general stage, in which a category of crafts under one topic will be taught
generally. The student will then choose one or two specific crafts in that same category studied in the first year to perfect during their second year at the institute. For example, if the student chooses to study fashion as a general category during the first year, he or she would be introduced to all the crafts under that specific category, whereas their second year would be focused precisely on one or two crafts they choose to study in depth from that same category. In this case, the student can choose sewing and textile appliqué from the general category of fashion.
There are two main departments; the Department of Arts and the Department of Crafts. The Department of Arts provides categories such as; Drawing, Painting, Ceramics, Photography, Sculpture, Conceptual Art, and Contemporary Art and more. The Department of Crafts provides categories such as; Fashion, Textile, Woodcraft, Metal Crafts, Glass Crafts, Pottery, Jewelry Making, Accessory Making and more.
Lastly, the proposed project is designed to solve the following design question; “How can the art and design industry in Bahrain flourish both artistically and economically through the facilities provided to teach and train correct craftsmanship?”
To provide a better understanding to what is being proposed in this report, there are definitions that must be presented and explained. Through the understanding of these definitions, the decision to name this establishment an institute was determined.
What is Craftsmanship?
According to the Oxford definition, it is the “Skill in a particular craft.” It is also defined as “The quality of design and work shown in something made by hand; artistry.” According to that, there is an emphasis on quality in craftsmanship. Without the quality of design and work, a specific skill lacks craftsmanship. This is something strongly highlighted throughout the proposal of the Institute of Artistry.
What is Design?
According to the Oxford definition, it is “A plan or drawing produced to show the look and function or workings of a building, garment, or any other object before it is made.” The design of anything is the planning process created to perfect any art or craft. Without design, no art or craft could be completed in a professional manner. Technically, an institute created to serve artists teaches design no matter what category is being taught.
What is the Difference Between Arts and Crafts?
According to the Oxford definition, Craft is defined as, “An activity involving skill in making things by hand.” Whereas Art is defined as, “The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.”
It could be hard to separate between these two elements, since they are incredibly similar in definition. Art could be something seen or felt, an expression using tools rather than just a skill, it can take you back in time, whereas craft is the method of that creation.
If craft is the method of creating an object then what is the term for the finished object? You can craft something, you cannot art something. Now the definition presented for art seems difficult to apply to present day creations, but since things are typically mass-produced, is craft less valuable than art?
What is an Institute?
According to the Oxford definition, an institute is “An organization having a particular purpose, especially one that is involved with science, education, or a specific profession.” The proposed project has been named an institute since institutes are more typical in the circle of education and research, without being as formal as a University or College. This ensures the atmosphere being created is one that suites the many different individuals that will register to learn any craft offered at the proposed Institute of Artistry.
1.3 Design Objective
1.3.1 The Aim of the Project
The proposed project’s main aim is to create a space that joins all craft and artistry options in the region, accommodating artists, designers and entrepreneurs, inviting them to start learning, developing and stabilizing their interest within the proposed facilities, in order to use that expertise and experience locally to create high quality goods and products in Bahrain.
1.3.2 The Goal
The goal during the design stage of this project is to design a permanent institute, using a modern style, to create a more advanced art center than the temporary current ones available in Bahrain.
• To support local artists and craftsman in Bahrain, in order to promote the development of arts in the country.
• To create an institute that will benefit Bahrain’s art and craft industry economically, through retail opportunities added to the proposed project.
• To provide a local artistry institute, that is feasible, to minimize the amount of students that travel abroad to study.
• To create a building that reflects the importance of arts and crafts, while using a modern contemporary style, in order to have a form that stands out, attracting both artists and the public.
• To connect the project to the urban fabric, as well as the cultural and social aspects of Bahrain, to create a strong relationship between areas.
• To connect the project to people through modern implements linked to contemporary architecture, as well as using psychological methods to understand the human body and its emotional reaction towards the space to generate the creativity needed to produce subjective art.
• To link the proposed project’s facilities to keep up with the current social media era by implementing media arts as an important field that includes Animation, Audio production, Digital film and Photography, which will help to express new ideas and in order to support advertising and marketing techniques.
• To unite talented individuals who might rely on such a place, not only to benefit from it economically in the future, but also to create strong bonds. Enhancing the cultural and social communities in Bahrain.
• To manufacture an environment that shines a spotlight on the future students and entrepreneurs of design, art, and craft through creating a space for the public through cafes and open areas which will enhance the advertisement of the institute to attract future generations.
1.4 Clients and Users Profile
1.4.1 The Clients
A project like the one proposed has many potential clients expected to be interested in financing it. Proposed clients whom would be interested in this project are; the Ministry of Education or the Higher Education Council. Though, it is expected that the Higher Education Council would be more intrigued because of the mindset that the project will convey to craftsmen scene. On the other hand, the project might also attract a private sponsor and sectors who are interested in arts and crafts and are willing to personally support it for a personal financial gain.
1.4.2 The Users
The proposed institute would generally be used by local youth and adults whom are interested in arts and crafts, ranging from the ages of 18 and above, beginners to professionals. There will be two types of users in the proposed project; constant users that come to the institute almost daily for educational purposes, and training studios. Temporary users, that only come during events and exhibitions. Just like public users, there will be staff members that work daily, all year long, to maintain and run the institute. While, other staff members will only come when needed at specific dates and times, such as specialized tutors, competition judges and event volunteers.