Towards Huroof Central
Radical Project by Riem Ibrahim & Hala Al-Ani
This project encapsulates an attempt to shift the current curricular focus in academia away from the global north, and more towards marginalized identities by carving out space for alternative contextual practices and processes. The class titled “Experimental Arabic Typography” introduces relevant theories and histories of Arabic type design from calligraphy to more contemporary typographic practices, and expands on the basic vocabulary and tools related to Arabic typography and font design. The six-weeks long classroom project resulted in functional Arabic fonts exploring a myriad of features and systems, ranging from illustrative and playful to bold and structured. The work highlights the flexibility and versatility of Arabic type design and the emerging new talent that is injecting a new lively spirit into the Arabic script. This humble infiltration aligns with a long-term vision inspired by the emerging movement in the SWANA region for decolonizing design education; a pursuit required to resist capitalist, colonial world-systems that center the design practice in Anglo-European spheres, and remove any traces of non-Western epistemologies and practices from canonical design courses. This mandate relates to the fourth axis “The Department of Disinformation” in its interrogation of post-colonial realities, attempts at inclusive representation and a pluriversal design methods.