In June 2020, mosaic artists Iman al-Banna and ‘Amal Akhnukh of the Helwan University approached ARCHiNOS with a concept of producing a monumental mural mosaic to be installed in the Qaitbey neighbourhood in the context of its traditional crafts. The enterprise, initially envisaged as a students’ course project, quickly evolved into a series of community workshops with local women (mostly young), developing creative and practical skills.
The monumental mosaic measuring 210 by 690 cm and designed by ARCHiNOS’ Islam Ibn Na’ib is composed of Arabic words signifying the four elements: Earth, Water, Wind and Fire, composed in square Kufic lettering. (The four elements and the calligraphic design have also been used as a leading motif of the jewellery collection handcrafted by the women of the neighbourhood who participate in the MISHKĀ social enterprise.) The mosaic has been produced in July-August 2020 with glass pieces provided by the glassblower Khalid ‘Ali and is now mounted on a wall of the courtyard in front of the renovated glassblowing workshop.
The “Four Elements” mosaic project was part of the work of ARCHiNOS A r c h i t e c t u r e in Sultan Qaitbey’s neighbourhood that is primarily funded by the European Union and the Drosos Foundation.