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Amman Design Week is a biennial immersive experience in local and regional design and culture, focused on creating a forum for learning, exchange and collaboration. This platform empowers designers through its comprehensive program of large-scale curated exhibitions, student and community programs, workshops, talks, competitions, and cultural events.
Under the theme of Possibilities, Amman Design Week 2019 looks 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. “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.
It may appear futile in the context of our current time and place to shift the focus of design from one that is preoccupied with the many urgent social and economic challenges to one that allows us to dream of new possibilities – or maybe it is specifically in this moment that it is the most relevant.
Shifting our reading of the everyday and the vernacular, the abandoned and the unused, the problematic and the unnecessary, allows our views on design to transcend from a performative and problem-based viewpoint to one that uses the existing as a toolbox for creation.
The 2019 edition aspires to be bigger and more inclusive than ever, expanding into Jordan’s capital city, Amman, and engaging multiple “districts” in its programming. The Ras El Ain district will come alive once again with the 2019 Hangar Exhibition, ADW's largest exhibition, curated this year by Noura Al-Sayeh Holtrop (see the biography), who has brought in a more regional dimension to the show. The district will also feature the Student Exhibition, showcasing work by students from 14 highschools and universities around the country. Another new feature this year is a themed showcase, under the title of Future Food / Future City, focused on the possibilities of converting public spaces into havens for food production, as well as offering discussions around urban agriculture and greening our cities. The program also includes food, cultural events, family activities, workshops, and talks at the Hussein Cultural Center plaza.
Also under the 2019 theme, Amman Design Week 2019 examines the possibilities of the past by undertaking programs in the neighborhoods of Jabal Amman and Jabal Al Lweibdeh. Significant for its heritage buildings, historical schools, and for the commercial Rainbow Street, Jabal Amman has become a hub for arts and culture with its multiple galleries on all corners of the district; Design Institute Amman, Wadi Finan Gallery, Nabad Gallery, the Mohammad and Mahera Abughazaleh Foundation (MMAG), Jacaranda, and many more.
Jabal Amman will play host to a series of exhibitions and programs at these institutions, as well as the Crafts District exhibitions at the Kabariti Village, a private property of old residential buildings, and gardens located off of Omar Bin Al Khattab Street and built in the 1930s. Further exhibitions at Kabariti, such as Material Innovation, and Jordan Script Routes approach sustainable and alternative materials, writing systems and alphabets, and craftsmanship.
Finally, Jabal Al Weibdeh’s programs include exhibitions at Darat al Funun, Dar al-Anda, and the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, as well as some other locations around the neighborhood, known for its sidewalk cafes and arts institutions. Working with several institutions, Amman Design Week will also publish a series of trails and programmed tours around Jabal Amman and Jabal Al Lweibdeh, looking at these historical sites and heritage homes.
Complete and updated program 2019
(From press information. Photos courtesy of Amman Design Week)
Amman Design Week team:
Rana Beiruti - Director
Walid Jankhut - Deputy Director
Muna Al Fayez - Exhibitions & Programs
Hala Haddadin - Design Coordinator
Yara Hindawi - Communications & Marketing
Ahmad Zatari - PR & Media
Rasha Tabbalat - Graphic Design
Machiel Van Nieuwenhove - Production
Greater Amman Municipality:
Lubna Huneiti - Project Director - Greater Amman Municipality
Noura Al Sayeh-Holtrop - Curator of the Hangar Exhibition
Arini (Liyan Jabi, Sara Yaseen, Mohammad Jabi, Heba Najada, and Jafar Jabi) - Curators of the Crafts District
Huda Schmitshuijzen AbiFarès - Curator of Jordan Script Routes
Graphics and Web:
Mothanna Hussein and Saeed Abujaber (Turbo)
2018/2019 Advisory Circle:
ADW's panel of advisors is made up of individuals who have always been part of Amman Design Week, and supportive in its development from its first beginnings: Abeer Seikaly, Ammar Khammash, Lara Zureikat, Lina Asfour Kanafani, Dr. Mohammad Al Asad, Nora Akawi, Sahel Al Hiyari