Under the slogan “Design Moves Life Moves Design”, the second edition of Amman Design Week is set to offer an immersive experience in Jordanian and regional design. CID speaks to Abeer Seikaly and Rana Beiruti, directors of the Amman Design Week, to get an overview of this year’s programme.
“Last year, we explored the launch of the conversation on design in the city, highlighting the importance of design amongst us and within us, and its importance in improving our communities,” says Beiruti. “This year, we carry the spark we started last year and turn it into a full-fledged movement – exploring the creative power that is generated in the act of coming together, mobilising, and exchanging knowledge and inspiration.”
Amman Design Week will embody the active spirit of a movement, says Beiruti, adding that the design has “the capacity to move life and be moved by it”.
Seikaly is equally optimistic about Jordanian design and its capabilities.
He comments: “The designers, institutions, and people who work together towards the creation and innovation of ideas that can improve communities, enhance the functionality and aesthetics of our city, and raise awareness for the importance and appreciation of the environment, public space, and civic duty.”
As part of its city-wide engagement, Amman Design Week will feature creative spaces around the city that will host different events, workshops, conferences, exhibitions, and talks.
The 2017 Hangar Exhibition, curated by Ahmad Humeid, will present work by local and regional designers in response to the theme of movement.
“We look around us and see immense social, economic, educational and environmental challenges,” explains Humeid. “Further afield in our region we are surrounded by human tragedy, extremism, and conflict. I call myself a ‘critical optimist’. I am a designer, after all. So, I understood Amman Design Week’s message this year as a rallying cry for the design community to use its creative power to be a driver of positive change and innovation in our always challenging, sometimes depressing context: Design Moves Life Moves Design.”
This year will see the return of the pop-up Crafts District – a space dedicated to celebrating the social and critical discourse of crafts and making. Taking place in an open-air structure designed by architect Dina Haddadin, and at the Al Hussein Cultural Center, this year’s Crafts District will offer a series of demonstration booths, pop-up shops, design installations, cultural activities, food, and a selection of craft artisans working with a variety of ingredients materials.
Targeting architecture, urban, and landscape designers, Amman Design Week launched the competition in partnership with the Greater Amman Municipality to highlight the importance of design in shaping public spaces. Applicants were given five months to propose ideas for the continued development of the Samir Al Rifai Park, which will follow the successful work done by Mohammad Zakaria in creating the 7Hills Skatepark. The winner of the competition is to be announced during the design week.