After its huge success in 2017, Amman Design Week is back for its third edition from the 4th till the 12th of October. The biennial program, supported by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, continues its dedication to promoting local creators and pushing the boundaries of design in the Arab world. This year, the program is focused on the theme of “Possibilities” and probes the potential of design in creating a futuristic narrative for our cities. As this edition of Amman Design Week establishes its impact throughout a comprehensive program (largescale exhibitions, concept stores, cultural events), it’s easy to miss out on some interesting work. Here is JDEED’s guide to Amman Design Week so you know what to expect—and what to look out for.
Considered as the most popular attraction at Amman Design Week, the Crafts District explores the possibilities of both traditional and contemporary craftsmanship in shaping our future. This edition makes sure that craftsmanship is seen as a dynamic, ever-changing discipline which relies on traditional practices but also directs future techniques. Visitors will be able to interact with craftspeople and get to know their stories through installations, exhibitions, and shops. They will also be able to explore crafts from Jordan’s Badia and Ghor region, works from the Levantine area. Most importantly, visitors can witness these traditional crafts’ alteration through digital fabrication and computational design. Do not miss this unique experience of going through a journey of storytelling, mapping, and performance in Kabariti Village, in Jabal Amman.
If you’re wondering how Jordanian designers are reinterpreting the concept of streetwear, head to Dezain’s pop-up store in Ras El Ain/Hangar. This Jordanian platform is all about promoting local product and fashion designers. It provides creators with workshops, networking opportunities, and funding. For Amman Design Week, Dezain is celebrating fashion and streetwear in Jordan through 19 local labels. Items displayed will focus on the possibility of merging haute couture with casual clothing as a mean to offer a new hybrid style.
The future of design cannot be independent anymore from science. As this edition is interested in exploring the possibilities of a better future to the full extent, Amman Design Week 2019 goes beyond design and into the fields of science and technology in this exhibition. Future Food / Future City investigates the future of food through works and ideas by designers and farmers. Visitors will be able to explore evolving food technologies such as hydroponics and aeroponics while also learning about past agricultural practices.
They will also be confronted with possibilities of a future in which rooftops, streets, schools, and other public spaces can be transformed into fertile green spaces. If you’re interested in how design and science can intersect in order to revolutionize food production and consumption, make sure to check out this collaboration with Greening the Camps in Al Hussein Cultural Center, in Ras El Ain.
One of the bigger display spaces of Amman Design Week, the Hangar Exhibition will showcase work by more than fifty designers from all across the MENA region. Curated by Noura Al Sayeh-Holtrop, the exhibition investigates novel means of operation and creation on both macro-scale and micro-scale. Participating designers will propose new materials, aesthetics, and techniques that could impact possibilities of interacting and living. Their works are anchored in one (or more) of four emerging themes: material research, territorial explorations, narratives of the city, and weaving.
For this edition, Amman Design Week has chosen The Hangar as a strategic location to present this vast array of work. Initially built in Ras El Ain as a structure to house Amman’s electricity generators, the Hangar is considered today a cultural space and a landmark of Amman’s modernization. Head out to the exhibition and spot exciting works by Abeer Saikaly, Ishraq Zraikat, Amina Agueznay, Kutleh and others.
It wouldn’t be a successful edition around the theme of possibilities if the subjects of sustainability and recycling are not addressed. This year, The Corner Art Space invites Amman Design Week’s visitors to imagine new ways of reusing discarded materials—from rubber and plastic to wood waste and aluminum.
Through works by Lily Luz, Waleed Qaisi, Laith Alessi, Maha Gharaibeh, and Nut & Ptah, the exhibition will showcase products that have resulted from upcycling and recycling practices. Artists are especially concerned with how aesthetic and application can together shape possibilities of reprocessing. If you want to find out how sustainable operations can permeate into the fields of furniture design, fashion, and other disciplines, head to Campbell Gray Living’s retail area in Abdali and look out for a vibrant modern art space!
Nothing feels as Jordanian as Tania George Studio, a concept store located in Jabal Al Lweibdeh, in the heart of the old city. The clothing brand finds its inspiration from everything-Jordan, whether it’s the overly decorated pickup trucks or the saccharine cotton candies found in the city. The studio playfully transforms local icons and memories into patterns and concepts that end up making up ready-to-wear items.
Each of these pieces is handmade and handcrafted by local tailors. As the inspiration and the production of the studio is Jordanian-centric, Tania George’s collections align perfectly well with Amman Design Week’s message of celebrating the local cultural heritage. Be sure to check out the concept store to see the possibility of traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design intertwining.
The third edition of Amman Design Week will take place from 4 – 12 October 2019 in Ras El Ain, Jabal Amman and Jabal Al Lweibdeh.