We were asked to choose a reading and proposition ourselves by engaging in dialogues with the reading. I chose the reading “Seeking stronger plurality: Intimacy and integrity in designing for social innovation” by Yoko Akama and Joyce Yee (2016). 

The authors state that Asia-Pacific is seeking answers for their design for social innovation from Western design through workshops and expert talks that is echoing Western thinking. The authors worry that by looking at the west to seek answers for social problems in Asia-Pacific, unintentionally, the cultural, traditional, and heterogeneous practices would be replaced by dominant paradigms of design. The authors of this paper used Kasulis’s heuristic of integrity and intimacy as the cultural patterns that define different ways of relating. They begin by describing the integrity orientation as an external relation between two entities, in which the two parties have their own integrity outside their relationship, and the relation between them is built upon agreed values and principles. On the other hand, Kasulis’s view of intimacy is described as an inter-related relation between two entities that seek to emphasize the points of commonality, find and empathize on the overlaps instead of focusing on differences. In intimacy-oriented relations, the two entities keep influencing, shaping, and reshaping the nature of each other. Western design is depending on the integrity view while the authors are suggesting finding a middle ground between integrity and intimacy-based orientations.

In Kuwait, Men have power over women because of the society and traditions which created inequality between genders. Some women don’t have the mobility to live the life they want. For example, women have to be accompanied by a member of their family to travel or study abroad even though she is legally allowed to travel alone after age 21 years old, on the other hand, men are allowed to travel alone whenever and wherever they wish. Instead of addressing the issue directly to men about gender inequality, we could approach them by speaking about their own rights inequality to open a conversation and start speaking about women’s rights which creates open and respectful communication.

Final outcome

I decided to design a board game called “Close the Gap”. It’s a logic game represented through a board game with two sets of cards; women’s and men’s questions cards. All gender going to start from the opposite side of the game board and the finishing is in the middle of the board as we all go toward equality. Women are going to ask men questions related to women’s rights and vice versa to create a space of conversation and engagement. If the participant answered the question correctly, he\she will then roll the dice to see how many steps to go forward, however, if the answer is wrong, the same concept is applied but instead of going forward, the participant will go backward. The winner is the one who reaches the end first. In this game, the participants are introduced to “Close the Gap” as an entry point for discussing how inequality can affect women’s and men’s lives and to raise awareness about this matter in an interactive and engaging way.  

The box is consist of:

  • Two sets of cards in a total of 600 cards.
  • Dice
  • Game board
  •  Instruction
  •  Players pieces
The game’s box
The game’s board
The game’s cards


Design + Research statement



I selected Arabic Calligraphy, the “Al-Diwani” style as my daily practice. 4 years ago, I have attended a workshop in the Al-Diwani Calligraphy and enjoyed it so much, but I haven’t practiced it then. I have always been passionate to learn Calligraphy, so I took this chance and opportunity to start practicing it. 

My daily practice process

I Started my practice using an educational method book called “Alkhat Al-Diwani”. Each page shows the steps of drawing each individual letter, and understanding the concept of scale in the Diwani Script by using dots to measure the length, width, and extension of the Arabic letters. And, it includes some tracing exercises which help me in understanding the steps and practicing the movement of the pen.

After that, I practiced on graphic papers, which was a helpful tool to accurately measure the distance of the strokes vertically and horizontally. 

Finally, I started practicing on the main baseline with 6 dots on the right side as guidance to indicate the starting point of drawing the letter. 


I have faced a lot of challenges through my practice. The movement of the pen was the most challenging part to me, changing directions and angels of the pen to create a contrast of the strokes in a precise way while being careful with the scale of the letter. Being patient with the process is another challenging part, there are 33 letters in Al-Diwani calligraphy, and each letter has different forms and individual measurements, which takes a long time to practice. 

Final outcome

Before I started my daily practice, I have drawn some letters to see how much I remember since the workshop. I also did that at the end of the two weeks of practice, and I was so amazed by my process in such a short time. The outcome looks clean, the contrast of the strokes, better proportion, and the curve strokes look defined enough.  However, I could still see a lot of mistakes in the final outcome. It’s definitely not a skill to be learned overnight and needs a lot of patience and dedication for long period in order to advance my level, therefore I am looking to continue my practice and see where the journey takes me.    

Before two weeks of daily practice
After two weeks of daily practice

Theme of origin

The Arabic Calligraphy was originally derived from the holy Quran and evolved into different styles across the eras. Calligraphers have been inspired by the Arabic Language and they are expressing this language as a kind of unique art through traditional and contemporary art. However, The Arabic language and culture throughout Kuwait and the Middle East are lacking in its artwork. Today, many designers in Arab countries are ignoring the Arabic language. This is a large reason for my motivation to practice Arabic Calligraphy, and it’s a way to step back into my roots and discover something about myself as an Arab and a designer.