From Pearls to Palm Trees – Developing an Appreciation of Natural Forms in Bahrain


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Please share a brief background of your innovation.

Using Adobe Illustrator, students of Grade 7 at American School of Bahrain created an impressive-looking wallpaper design using a range of icons from this industry-standard software.

How was it planned?

Grade 7 explored the graphic design software of Adobe Illustrator. In early January 2022, the project started with students developing an understanding of Bahrain’s Art & Craft movement, paying close attention to the natural forms. From the hand weaving of leaves to the world-famous pottery industry in A’ali, this all helped to gage and inspire their minds. Beyond the theoretical start, Grade 7 took primary source photos of natural forms on the island, from the date trees to the lush parks; they captured the true essence of the diverse beauty in Bahrain.

Did you face any challenges in implementation?

Once the photography element was completed, they drew from their images inspired by various artists, like Picasso’s line drawings to Orla Kiely’s motifs, as seen in her interior design work. All this led to the students developing a series of draught drawings for a wallpaper strip, ensuring that the entry and exit points were aligned. Once the designs were in place, they took their work onto Adobe Illustrator, producing a wallpaper strip using various tools and techniques from the anchor point to the curve tool. For many students, this was the first-time they had used this challenging software; however, they showed great resilience in overcoming several obstacles to produce a series of impressive-looking wallpaper designs.

A brief assessment of your results

The wallpapers the Grade 7 students have produced display a firm understanding of the concepts taught from entry and exit points to developing more of an appreciation of natural forms in Bahrain.

In hindsight, what were the most valuable lessons learned? Could things have been done differently?

As we look to develop the project in the future, an extension to the unit will allow students to print their work on a host of household items, from lampshades to mugs.

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