In 2019, we are looking at design as a catalyst for dreaming; the act of imagining what can be different from the way it is today, and moving towards it. We are shifting the conversation from the reactive act of problem-solving to the bridging of dreams and reality.
We invite designers to engage with us in a process of re-imagination, both of who we are, but also of what we can do, and the future we can deliver through design. We hope to collectively embark on a journey of discovery – to leave behind what is, and imagine what could be.
“Possibilities” is a celebration of the fictional, incomplete, and unsolved. It invites the creation of scenarios and storytelling, narrations by the makers through the act of making. In the spirit of speculative design, it is more about asking questions than finding the answers.
We are not in search of one all-inclusive utopia, but a celebration of the plurality of all that is possible; the many utopias that can be created by the mind that uses design as a tool for reinterpreting possible pasts, redesigning possible presents, and reimagining possible futures.
The future is makeable, so what are the possibilities?
The Hangar Exhibition
The 2019 Hangar Exhibition, curated by Noura Al Sayeh-Holtrop, is presenting work by over fifty designers from the Middle East and North Africa in response to the theme of “possibilities”. By investigating new material and aesthetic possibilities, new fields of creation emerge that imagine a different future, from the scale of the city to that of the object, enabling different ways of interacting and living.The Hangar was constructed in the 1930s to house the electricity generators that powered Jordan’s burgeoning capital city. Situated in a valley that is surrounded by Amman’s iconic hills, the structure is emblematic of the city’s modernization and industrialization, so much so that it became a landmark in its own right. A rehabilitation by TURATH: Architecture and Urban Design consultants and the Greater Amman Municipality has transformed the striking building into a cultural space that plays host to exhibitions, fairs, lectures, and more.
Back for a second edition, Amman Design Week’s Student Exhibition is a connecting point for students from all educational institutions in Jordan. As the only cross-university and cross-disciplinary showcase in Jordan, the Student Exhibition offers all students enrolled in Jordanian high-schools and universities across the country a chance to kick-start their careers by joining a mentorship program and showcasing their work to our audiences. The Student Exhibition will showcase work resulting from the mentorship program, and highlight the research and work done by students across Jordan.
Future Food / Future City
Lying at the intersection of science, technology, invention, and design; Amman Design Week 2019 brings designers together with farmers to present new ways of looking at the future of food.Future Food/Future City is an open-air demonstration of possibility; an imagined future for the city’s public spaces, and a re-examined illustration of how our rooftops, gardens, streets, and schools could be transformed into green spaces that bring communities together and transform livelihoods. It introduces a holistic approach that tackles different parts of the food chain; the way food is grown, processed, transported, consumed, reused, and recycled.
The Crafts District
As the most popular exhibition at Amman Design Week, the Crafts District is a celebration of the act of making; both traditional and contemporary. Taking place in a new location each year, this pop-up experience combines design installations, exhibitions, shops, and cultural programs that offer craftspeople and makers from across the country a chance to share their ideas and stories. From weaving and embroidery to ceramics and pottery, craftspeople have kept their methods, traditions and aesthetic values alive, offering us a strong link to our national and cultural heritage. As the pioneers of design and making, craftspeople have informed the vernacular of design in Jordan, and continue to inspire contemporary design practices today.
Tucked away in a hidden corner of Jabal Amman, the Kabariti Village is a private property owned by the Kabariti Family. It is a compound of old residential buildings, heritage homes, and gardens located off of Omar Bin Al Khattab Street and was built in the 1930s. Sparsely visited by the public since its renovation in 2011, and unoccupied since 2008, the Kabariti Village will be open to the public during Amman Design Week 2019, where it will host the Crafts District exhibitions and showcases, thanks to a generous donation by the Kabariti family.
Jordan Script Routes
Human civilizations are defined by the legacy left behind by their respective ancestors. Identity politics are a major concern to people around the globe today. In this context, we need to look back at our complex cultural heritage and present a positive image of tolerance and inclusiveness. Jordan has been for millennia a crossroads of many cultures, religions, and ethnicities that have blended into what constitutes contemporary Jordanian culture. Jordan Script Routes is an exploratory and playful series of installations that features the history of Jordan in relation to its neighbors, presented through the various writing systems and alphabets that have passed through or were invented in this fertile cultural melting pot. It celebrates thousands of years of written and material culture and poetically links ancient artifacts to contemporary design. The three sections of the exhibition place letters in relation to other valuable artifacts and are subtitled Of Letters & Coins, Of Letters & Silk, and Of Letters & Stones.
There has been a recent upsurge of interest by fashion designers, architects, artisans, and craftspeople working with textiles to preserve, collect, and take inspiration from tradition in an attempt to redesign and create a contemporary understanding of textile – both in aesthetics and in the sustainability of its production and distribution. The Material Innovation exhibition introduces new processes in which sustainable and alternative materials can be produced and used in textile applications. It showcases works by designers who have experimented with merging the traditional techniques of natural dyeing, paper-making, embroidery, and weaving, with new experimental methods and materials such as bioplastics and kombucha leather growing.
And much more around town…