In line with its commitment to combine design excellence with environmental stewardship and sustainability, Qatar Museums is now the official main partner of the 2021 Ro Plastic Prize, part of RoGUILTLESSPLASTIC, the international initiative founded and curated by Milanese designer Rossana Orlandi.

HE Sheikha Al Mayassa
Qatar Museums Chairperson HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani

The Prize aims to unite the design community to use plastic waste before it reaches waterways and to develop the next generation of design: plastic reuse, recycling and upcycling.

As the official main partner of the initiative, Qatar Museums is the first donor to undertake sole sponsorship of the Prize, which will be presented on 7 September 2021, in conjunction with an exhibition at the Museo Scenza e Techologia Leonardo da Vinci for Milan Design Week. Qatar Museums Chairperson HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani has been named honorary president of the Prize’s international Jury.

The Qatar Museums sponsorship was made public in conjunction with a webinar preview of Milan Design Week on 13 April, where, as part of the preview, HE Sheikha Al Mayassa also announced QM’s commitment to the Prize.

The Ro Plastic Prize

Since the invention of plastic, more than 8 billion metric tonnes of the material have been produced and more than half has been discarded or incinerated. This number is constantly growing: over 322 million metric tonnes are produced each year, and 8 million metric tonnes end up in oceans.

The Ro Plastic Prize, established in 2019 seeks creative entries in the categories of exemplary urban and public furniture design and innovative projects to help communities transform waste into wealth and create inspiring communications campaigns.

According to HE Sheikha Al Mayassa, it gives her great pleasure to announce Qatar Museums’ commitment to combine design excellence with environmental stewardship and sustainability in sponsoring the 2021 Ro Plastic Prize.

I have had the privilege of working with the namesake of the Prize, the critical future thinker Rossana Orlandi, to support Doha’s creative economy with our exciting townhouse project in Msheireb Downtown Doha, the world’s newest and largest regenerative city. I am doubly excited that the winners of the 2021 Ro Plastic Prize will be exhibited in Qatar next year as part of our ever-growing commitment to sustainable programming.

Rossana Orlandi shared that she started all of this in 2018 with her daughter Nicoletta, out of sheer desire to avoid feeling helpless in the face of the issue that the world was facing at that time: plastic. Orlandi said she didn’t know exactly what to do, but she knew what she didn’t want to be: one more complaining voice.

With passion, I dedicated myself to spreading the concept on which GUILTLESSPLASTIC is based: Plastic is not at fault. Instead, it is the abuse and misuse of it which have caused such profound environmental tragedy.

She said that she and daughter Nicoletta began to involve many designers who are friends of the Gallery as well as those who are involved in their work to demonstrate the idea by asking them to conceive of design with the reuse, recycle and upcycle of plastic in mind.

We became increasingly passionate and excited and we wanted to do even more to involve as many people as possible.

Enter the Ro Plastic Prize, an international award dedicated to creatives from all over the world with no age limit. The goal is to find, stimulate and encourage the creation of design, social responsibility and communication projects that could concretely become part of the solution to a real problem. Alongside are organisations who share the same emotion and passion.

The Official Partnership of Qatar Museums and the Patronage, as Honorary President of the International Jury of the Prize, of HE Sheikha Al Mayassa, is a recognition beyond any that they could have dreamed, according to Orlandi.

It gives us the strength and conviction to go forward with ever more commitment, responsibility and emotion to be among those whose actions ensure a better future for us all.

Commitment to sustainability

A commitment to sustainability and environmental education is integral to the work of Qatar Museums. Permanent exhibitions at the National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ) offer dramatic and immersive introductions to the natural history of the Qatar peninsula and the ways in which culture, heritage and society have been shaped by human interaction with the natural world.

A special exhibition at NMoQ, Seagrass Tales, Dugong Trails, is designed especially for children and their families, educating the community of shy marine mammals that lived off the coast of Qatar for more than 7,500 years and now is under threat of extinction.

In conjunction with the exhibition, QM is offering for sale a limited edition ‘Dugong Banquette’ chair – made up of a herd of plush, stuffed toy dugongs – designed by Brazil’s Estudio Campana, with all proceeds earmarked for the preservation of marine life.

The Qatar Children’s Museum, now under development, is similarly committed to teaching about sustainability, with interactive displays designed to encourage children to be responsible stewards of the environment.

In another recent QM commission, Qatari designer Wit Noiz created a statement Bag-It Abaya, using 327 single-use plastic bags collected and upcycled from clean-ups on the outskirts of Doha. In an example of how thinking about waste reduction is becoming the norm for young Qatari fashion designers, the bags were fused together to create a wearable fabric.

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