With the highest GDP per capita in the region and billions of foreign exchange reserves, Qatar has long topped the ranks of the Middle East’s wealthiest countries. As part of a major long-term push to diversify its oil and gas-based economy, M7 opened last November with great fanfare in the downtown district of Msheireb in the capital Doha. Housed in a purpose-built five-storey structure, it’s established as the country’s new hub for fashion and design innovation that aims to empower emerging local designers to explore, collaborate, and grow into successful entrepreneurs by providing the necessary tools and expertise to enable them to take their ideas from concept to market. Additionally, the prestigious venue features an incubator, a co-working and learning space, in addition to two exhibition galleries, a co-working space, a café, and last but not least, concept store Studio 7.
Since it’s not only a retail space, but also a venue for showcases, pop-up stores, workshops and private events, Seoul-based architecture and design practice MOTOElastico created a modular system that effortlessly allows endless configurations. The aforementioned system comprises a ceiling-suspended metal grid which is used to hang all the display furniture, including table displays of different sizes, clothes hangers, shelves and mirrors, partitions, the lighting system, and last but not least, a yellow curtain to create different spaces. Crafted from an industrial fabric used for car parking shades, it helps to create Studio 7‘s various sections with different levels of privacy, ranging from open inlets used to highlight special collections, to more private spaces such as the changing room and the office.