Italian design lab to tap Saudi culture in global project

Marco Laterza, left, and Pasquale Montemurro during the event. Montemurro said the school is about mixing knowledge from different backgrounds. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 09 November 2019

Italian design lab to tap Saudi culture in global project

  • One of the design week workshops run by the school involved the engraving of rubber stamps to create patterns combining Saudi and Italian cultures

RIYADH: The leaders of an experimental Italian design laboratory are aiming to tap into Saudi culture as part of an international creativity project.
Matera Open Design School has been participating in Saudi Design Week — part of the Riyadh Season of activities — with talks and workshops based around its 2019 cultural program.
Open Design School coordinator, Marco Laterza, told Arab News: “It is not a school in the literal sense, there are no teachers or students. We all learn, and we all teach. It is a living lab for interdisciplinary experimentation.
“Our goal is to share, so we are trying something experimental. We are testing (designs), making mistakes and trying to do it better. We are creating a model and want to share it with those that are interested.
“We aim to involve Saudi Arabia, and we have people from all over Europe, Brazil and South Africa. Mixing different backgrounds and cultures is what gives us strength,” added the architect from the town of Montescaglioso in Matera province, southern Italy.
Laterza was joined in Riyadh by Open Design School lab manager, Pasquale Montemurro, who said: “The school is all about mixing knowledge from different backgrounds, and we have people coming to us from all parts of Italy and Europe.
“So, for us it has been very interesting to present our model to another part of the world, and to see and learn from the reactions. It is a great opportunity to be here (in Riyadh) and to participate in the Saudi Design Week.”
One of the design week workshops run by the school involved the engraving of rubber stamps to create patterns combining Saudi and Italian cultures.


King Salman urges Iran to junk its expansionist ideology

Updated 55 min 12 sec ago

King Salman urges Iran to junk its expansionist ideology

  • Saudi Arabia has suffered from the policies and practices of the Iranian regime and its proxies, king says
  • Kingdom also welcomed US decision to return Iran's Fordow nuclear facility to its sanctions list

RIYADH: Iran should abandon its expansionist ideology that has only “harmed” its own people, Saudi Arabia's King Salman said on Wednesday, following violent street protests in the Islamic republic.

A wave of demonstrations erupted in the sanctions-hit country on Friday after an announcement that petrol prices would be raised by as much as 200 percent with immediate effect.

“We hope the Iranian regime chooses the side of wisdom and realizes there is no way to overcome the international position that rejects its practices, without abandoning its expansionist and destructive thinking that has harmed its own people,” the king told the consultative Shoura Council.

“The kingdom has suffered from the policies and practices of the Iranian regime and its proxies,” King Salman said, quoted by the foreign ministry, reiterating that Riyadh does not seek war but is “ready to defend its people.”

A satellite image from Sept. 15, 2017, of the Fordow nuclear facility in Iran. (Google Earth)

Saudi Arabia has welcomed Washington's decision to return the Fordow nuclear facility in Iran to the sanctions list. 

Washington said on Monday that it will no longer waive sanctions related to Iran’s Fordow nuclear plant after Tehran resumed uranium enrichment at the underground site. 

“The right amount of uranium enrichment for the world’s largest state sponsor of terror is zero ... There is no legitimate reason for Iran to resume enrichment at this previously clandestine site,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters earlier this week.