Outdoor Installations During Amman Design Week 2017
Amman Design Week in its latest edition offered something for everyone. It successfully managed to attract a large variety of audience from all walks of life, with a concentrated effort on community outreach, women communities, crafts communities, and schools in governorates across the country, the designers tackled issues from limited resources to digital high-tech fabrication in their designs and installations.
“Our focus is on nurturing design from within Jordan by allowing the space for local designers to experiment, offering them the appropriate connections to learning opportunities, projects, and other like-minded designers.” said ADW co-directors Abeer Seikaly and Rana Beiruti
The following installations portrayed how design can play an important role in raising awareness to the limited resources crisis facing the Kingdom.
Arid by MEAN (Middle East Architecture Network)
The work is symbolic of a post-drought landscape in Jordan that calls attention to the imminent problem of water scarcity in the country. Geometrically, the piece expresses itself in a geological landscape, resembling cracked earth of a sinuous topography in an arid environment.
Robotic CNC arms milled Natural Jordanian stone from AlHallabat area, in the north of Jordan, into individual pieces each one unique, from geometries generated by computer-programming the organic phenomena of ‘Fractured Cracking’.
Plasma CNC cutters were used to cut a steel base, assembled by a kit of parts, all designed digitally.
MEAN (Middle East Architecture Network) is a design research collaborative. It is an interdisciplinary community of Architects, Designers, Programmers, and Artists.
Salt Pond by Amal Ayyoub
A commentary on the current condition of the Dead Sea, the landscape installation, located at the entrance of the Hangar Exhibition, is a pond that fills up and empties out every forty minutes to reveal salt crystals at its center. A platform placed in the center of the circular salt bed allows an individual to stand and experience the process of the water draining into the base until the entire pond’s bottom is visible.
The time interval gives viewers the chance to see the pond in its two contrasting states – once before entering the Hangar Exhibition, and once after exiting it. This personal experience draws attention to the profound alterations in water levels of the Dead Sea.
Designers in Jordan work consciously, whether in the problems they choose to address through design, their use of local or sustainable materials, and their processes. They have used the limited resources in the country as an opportunity to innovate in their work. The following installations portray how design can address urban or city-wide scale problems such as the lack of public cultural spaces and children-safe urban spaces sustainably.
Playscapes by Sarah Abdul Majid and Sandra Hiari
This mobile, multi-purpose installation derives its inspiration from Jordanian landscapes. Through its design and functionality, ‘Playscapes’ addresses child-associated urban pains by activating pocket, vacant, and open spaces for children, and encouraging group play by providing educational and playful elements.
Dalieh by Arini*
Dalieh – grapevine – is a free-flowing and kinetic canopy that stretches over Zain Cultural Space at Al Hussain Cultural Center. The suspended structure’s translucency, which alters depending on the viewing angle, enhances the sense of spatial ambiguity and acts as a protective layer to limit unwanted heat and glare.
Dalieh is composed of 10,300 pieces of bamboo strips that were discarded from the curtain industry. Dalieh was inspired by Alejandro Aravena’s approach in exhibiting scrap metal in the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale.
The following installation is the perfect example of how ADW platform played an important role in cross-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary conversation that will allow the field of digital and interactive design to grow to the next level, allowing designers the freedom to experiment and create more functional products or start implementing these designs on larger-scale projects.
A Path of Synergy by Rawan Kakish and Hamad Sultan
The delicate geometric installation is made of a steel body forming a pathway through the composition with motorized butterfly-like winged components. Those “butterflies” react to passers-by by fluttering and showing different light patterns while showing a preprogrammed light pattern when in idle mode.
The designers researched butterfly movement patterns, analyzing the movement of their wings and their flying behaviors and sequences. The piece is composed of two main parts: the body and the wings. The Body houses the electronic parts, including sensors, servo-motors, Arduino micro-controller and LED light. The wings are connected to the body and are activated by the servomotors through the collected data of distances from the sensors. The activation takes the form of changing and controlling the intensity of both the LED light and the rotation of the wings, which are both performed simultaneously. This component is aggregated on a hyperbolic paraboloid structure and distributed in a distinctive pattern.
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