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Tradition meets avant-garde at ADW’s Kabariti Village

By Maram Kayed - Oct 10,2019 - Last updated at Oct 10,2019

Coin-like installations by Hussein Alazaat on display during Amman Design Week (Photo courtesy of ADW)

AMMAN — Tucked away in a hidden corner of Jabal Amman, the Amman Design Week’s Crafts District offered its visitors design installations, exhibitions, shops, and a cultural programme in the Kabariti Village.

The district, which is considered the “most popular exhibition” at Amman Design Week, is “a celebration of the act of making, both traditional and contemporary”, according to the week’s organisers.

This year’s pop-up experience “offers craftspeople and makers from across the country a chance to share their ideas and stories through a journey of discovery of crafts and materials of the Levant”, according to the district’s curators.

The Kabariti Village, a private property owned by the Kabariti Family, is a compound of old residential buildings, heritage homes, and gardens built in the 1930s and renovated in 2011.

“The village is the perfect way to mix the old and the new, which is the exact point behind the district,” the curators added.

Combining maps and storytelling with walking and performance, the district features innovative designs, including one by Yazeed Balqar, which is built without concrete or any other traditional building materials.

“Other than the fact that building materials harm the environment, they are not flexible, meaning we cannot simply reuse them. This technique of using certain rules of physics to keep structures held together with minimal raw-material support can come in very helpful in times of war to host refugees, something we currently need,” Balqar told The Jordan Times.

Hussein Alazaat, one of the designers of the Jordan Script Routes, explained how his coin-like installations show the history of Jordan in relation to its neighbours, presented through various writing systems and alphabets that have passed through or were invented in the Kingdom. 

“It celebrates thousands of years of written and material culture and poetically links ancient artifacts to contemporary design,” he added.

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