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Afaaq Al Mustaqbal


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Afaaq Al Mustaqbal highlights the social and cultural aspects, and aesthetics, of cafeterias in the United Arab Emirates, with a special emphasis on the design thinking that goes into designing for cafeterias. Cafeterias, ubiquitous in the UAE, are sites ripe for examination through the lens of graphic design. Signage, logos, colors, and the choice of a name are examined, and their roots in cultural trends and design defaults are explored.

This exhibition catalogue, produced to accompany the UAE Pavilion at the 2016 Dubai Design Week, draws inspiration from the aesthetics of the cafeteria, its colors, gradients, and typography. In order to emulate their colorful, dynamic and deliberately “non-designed” look, the book was entirely created using default settings (sometimes slightly tweaked) in design software. The type was set in system fonts and free Google fonts, and default colors were black and white with the additive primaries of Red, Green, Blue (converted to CMYK), and the subtractive primaries of Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow. Printing utilized the most common default wood-free paper.

Includes essays, interviews, and graphic interpretations of the cafeteria. With contributions by Alia Al-Sabi, Shafaat Shahbandari, Mishaal Al Gergawi, Ricardo Hernandez, Salem Al-Mansoori, Tarik Zaharna, and Ahmed Alanzi. With an introduction by Salem Al-Qassimi

Exhibition curated by Salem Al-Qassimi and Maryam Al Qassimi

Designed by Maryam Al Qassimi, Fikra Design Studio

In English and Arabic

102 pages, full color, 6 × 8.75 inches