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Amman week gives young designers exposure, chance to network

ADW officially opens, continues through September 9

By Suzanna Goussous - Sep 01,2016 - Last updated at Sep 01,2016

Designs on display at Gallery Ras Al Ain's Hangar as part of the Amman Design Week (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)

AMMAN — Young Jordanian designers see Amman Design Week (ADW), which officially opened on Thursday, as an opportunity to show their talents, promote the field and encourage more young people to major in design at university.

Abeer Seikaly, co-director of ADW, said the main objective of the event is to promote the design sector in Jordan and to create opportunities for designers to collaborate and for the community to see local talents. 

“We [aim to] create learning opportunities for designers and the general public… and have people interact with the urban environment,” she told The Jordan Times.

During the opening ceremony of the ADW, designer Tania Haddad said the exhibitions expose the hidden talents of youths.

“It’s very impressive to see this happen in Amman, because I think all of us as artists are very impressed with the people around us, checking out their talents and work,” she told The Jordan Times.

“It’s a good step forward, a new chapter for artists,” the 27-year-old added.

After completing her education in Switzerland and Italy, Haddad came to Jordan and saw the beauty of the country.

“When I came back, I started to discover Jordan as a whole… It inspired me and once you’re inspired from something you have to use it in a good way.”

Architect Yasmine Hammoudeh, who is a fresh graduate from the American University of Sharjah, voiced hope that her participation in the design week would be a first step into a full-fledged career in design.

“I believe that architecture is not only about [constructing] buildings, it’s about creating,” she told The Jordan Times, adding that she used natural and organic material in her designs.

Hammoudeh said her work combines architecture, nature, and technology.

Designer Yasir Omari, who is a participant at the ADW’s MakerSpace, said such events engage artists with the public and connects people from different backgrounds.

“Participating in this exhibition allows us to share our crafts with people and other artists, which is beneficial to both sides,” the 25-year-old told The Jordan Times.

Located in the Jordan Museum, the MakerSpace “is a community environment where people can gather to build and make, sharing knowledge, techniques, resources and skills”, according to the ADW’s website. 

Fadi Zumot, a design student taking part in the nine-day event, presented an interactive piece that allows the viewer to “experience an audible heart transplant out of their bodies”.

He said the artwork either soothes the viewer, or disturbs them for “externalising their privacy”. 

“I was inspired by streets of Amman, how we walk down the street without realising the way external factors affect us,” the aspiring artist told The Jordan Times.

“It’s vital to organise events that promote design, introduce people to the talents and designers to each other.” 

The piece was made of around 14,000 wool stitches over a period of 45 days, the designer added.

ADW is currently running different activities at Gallery Ras Al Ain’s Hangar, the Jordan Museum, and the Raghadan Tourist Terminal. 

 

Work by more than 60 designers will be showcased throughout the week, with some artists from the region and others from US and Norway.

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