The building design promotes women's involvement in society by creating new possibilities for education and training in traditional arts
Spotted: While Morocco has made legal strides to improve the social dynamics of its society in recent years, the country has traditionally imposed gender inequality. This is a culturally embedded problem that has resulted in few practical improvements in women’s rights. Masters student Doruk Kayali has attempted to tackle the issue through design – one of several graduation projects highlighted by the Royal Danish Academy.
Kayali’s design was centred on a location in the outskirts of Marrakech, Morocco. Called ‘Park Saada’, the idea of the project was to promote women’s involvement in society. The design contains a main foundation building, the Noor of Art Foundation, as well as spaces for women to create, imagine, produce, and socialise. The park is meant to be space where women can be free from the restrictions imposed on them in daily life. By providing this space, the project allows women to express themselves and connect with other women in a supportive and creative environment. The project also encourages female education and economic empowerment by giving women an opportunity to learn traditional craft skills.
The second part of the project consists of six pavilions that showcase the different stages of production for clay pottery, bricks, and Zellige (a type of traditional Moroccan tile). Production already takes place on the site but the process is currently male-dominated, and the pavilions aim to improve production efficiency. By making the production process visible while showcasing the involvement of new actors, the design aims to encourage a change in societal power dynamics.
Gender inequality remains a major global issue, even in countries that consider themselves to have equal. This inequality can have economic implications with Springwise recently featuring an article on the investment gap between male and female-led startups. Other innovations spotted by Springwise that empower women include a social enterprise that employs socially disadvantaged young women and girls as sales representatives for menstrual products and an ethical accessories brand works closely with predominantly female artisans to help develop their businesses.
Written By: Katrina Lane