Qatar Museums’ M7 at Msheireb Downtown Doha: A New Creatives’ Hub
Christian Dior Designer of Dreams to open on 6 November as first landmark exhibition at M7
Qatar Museums will open its new five-storey, 29,000-square-metre facility M7, dedicated to innovation and entrepreneurship in the nation’s growing fashion and design industry on Friday, 5 November.
Established under the leadership of Qatar Museums Chairperson, HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, M7 will serve as a catalyst for creativity 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 centrepiece of Msheireb Downtown Doha – the 31-hectare (76-acre) mixed-use development by Qatar Foundation 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
- Ground-floor public café
- Concept store
- Co-working space
- Multimedia gallery and two exhibition galleries (approximately 900 sqm each)
The inaugural exhibition at M7, Christian Dior Designer of Dreams, is opening on Saturday, 6 November, as part of the annual Qatar Creates cultural initiative.
According to HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatar Museums has developed M7 to provide much-needed support for Qatar’s own burgeoning creative sector, from concept design to production line, because the future of Qatar depends on cultivating the creative potential of all its citizens.
We are grateful to Qatar Foundation, headed by its Chairperson, HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, 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.
Sheikha Al Mayassa said there could not be a more fitting time to open M7 and present Christian Dior Designer of Dreams, its first major exhibition.
Christian Dior Designer of Dreams
Christian Dior Designer of Dreams is a retrospective exhibition dedicated to the house of Dior’s unique heritage. It will be on view at M7 from 6 November 2021 until 30 March 2022.
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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 HH 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.
M7 Director Maha Al Sulaiti said they 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:
- Scale 7 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 on physical and online platforms
- Cutting Studio, a centre of excellence for design production, learning, and development for creative professionals and aspiring designers within Qatar’s fashion and textiles industry
- Workinton, M7’s coworking space offering smart offices for smart creatives
- 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 COVID-19 delayed its opening, M7 led a series of virtual coaching sessions on Instagram – @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.
Visit m7.org.qa for more information about M7.
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