Art Jameel announces open call for water fountain design for Expo 2020 site

Art Jameel announces open call for water fountain design for Expo 2020 site
Published: 9 July 2019 - 7:45 a.m.
By: Aidan Imanova

Art Jameel, an organisation that supports the arts, heritage and education, has annonced an open call, inviting designers, architects and artists to submit proposals for 'innovative drinking fountains' for the Expo 2020 Dubai site.

The designs have to be inspired by the traditional 'sabeel', a community drinking fountain stationed in city squares and outside mosques for travellers and passers-by.

In collaboration with Expo 2020, Sabel 2020 draws from the Expo's theme of Connecting Minds, Creating the Future and its subthemes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability, tasking UAE-based creatives - as well as those who have a "strong connection to the UAE" - to design an 'icon' for the Expo 2020 site.

The winning design will enable visitors to the Expo 2020 to access fresh drinking water, and remind them "of the nature of water as a shared precious resource".

Up to three winners will be selecyed by an appointed jury, with Expo 2020 offering AED100,000 in prize money to each winner.

The winning fountains will be developed and reproduced across the Expo 2020 district, with over 45 fountains set to be built.

The jury panel includes London-based architect Asif Khan; Christopher Turner; dean at Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI) Hani Asfour; director general at Sharjah Museums Authority Manal Ataya; chief pavilions and exhibitions officer at Expo 2020 Dubai Marjan Faraidooni; principal at Kuwait- and Spain-based AGi Architects Nasser Abulhasan; and Dubai- and Berlin-based writer and curator Shumon Basar.

"Sabeel 2020 is an exciting initiative that is bringing this feature to the Expo 2020 site by inviting the UAE’s creative community to reimagine the traditional sabeel. Through this initiative we aim to show our visitors an important part of our culture and heritage, while at the same time honouring our shared humanity," said Marjan Faraidooni, Chief Pavilions and Exhibitions Officer at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Art Jameel is serving in a curatorial and project management capacity for the initiative.

Registration for the open call closes on August 31, 2019. Applicants can access the Sabeel brief here and apply online.

In addition to the open call competition, the Sabeel 2020 programme also includes three commissioned public sculptures that act as drinking fountains, created by UAE-based artists. The names of the selected artists and their works will be announced alongside the competition winners in November 2019.

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