In a contemporary context, where design often vacillates between a nostalgic rereading of the past and a bullish and often utopian projection of the future, it seems timely to imagine a future that is grounded in the possibilities of our present; shifting our reading of the everyday, the vernacular, the abandoned, the problematic, the unused, and the unnecessary, from a performative and problem-based perspective to one that uses the existing as a toolbox for creation.
“Possibilities” encourages designers to broaden the reading of the field, opening up to perceptions formed by conceptual, speculative and experimental design. It offers a chance to talk about design as a tool for communicating and reflecting on the world, but also as a tool for creating novel worlds altogether.
We invite designers to investigate new possibilities for the act of making itself; the hand-made, the digitally-made, and the virtual. The opportunities lay as much in the imagining of new ways of making with existing materials, as with imagining the creation of new materials, and the making of new things.
It is as much about creation and authorship as it is about enabling connections that can act as the catalysts for the production of new ideas; repurposing existing craftsmanship to innovative ends, inventing different techniques to a millennial craft, applying existing craftsmanship to different scales, producing architecture from craft or crafts from common construction material.
By investigating new material and aesthetic possibilities, new fields of creation can emerge that can help imagine a different future, from the scale of the city to that of the object, enabling different ways of interacting and living. It is an invitation to reimagine the existent, from the clothes we wear to the everyday typographies that surround us and define much of our intuitive relation to our surroundings.
It may appear futile in the current context of our 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 the possibilities – or maybe it is specifically in these moments that it is the most relevant and necessary. Perhaps we need to set our canvas blank and rewrite a potential future, one rooted in the realities of our present but that opens up the perspective for big dreams.
The Hangar Exhibition
The Hangar exhibition of Amman Design Week 2019 will take place at the old electricity Hangar in Ras El Ain, and will be curated by Noura Al Sayeh-Holtrop. The exhibition showcases diverse work by local and regional designers from across disciplines; architecture, product, fashion, furniture, and graphic design.
The Hangar was constructed in the 1930s to house the electricity generators that powered Jordan’s burgeoning capital city. Situated in a valley that is surrounded by Amman’s iconic hills, the structure is emblematic of the city’s modernization and industrialization, so much so that it became a landmark in its own right.