From weaving and embroidery to ceramics and pottery, craftspeople have kept their methods, traditions and aesthetic values alive, offering us a strong link to our national and cultural heritage. As the pioneers of design and making, craftspeople have informed the vernacular of design in Jordan, and continue to inform and inspire contemporary design practices today.
Amman Design Week aims to revive the Raghadan Tourist Terminal as a social space for craft. Through a series of pop-up shops, demonstration booths, design installations and a traditional food component, visitors can experience a holistic view of the link between cultural heritage and design. The exhibition will feature craftspeople from across the country, as well as the collaborations of disciplined designers and craftspeople, where an exchange of knowledge, technique, materials and skills is encouraged and nurtured.
Craft, which traditionally has been associated with community, both in its creation and its distribution, is now situated within a capitalist system where mass production has become a commodity. While the craftsperson develops specific skills and rituals, engaging in the process of making is more importantly a form of self-expression.
Amman Design Week’s Crafts District is dedicated to celebrating the social, performative and critical discourse of crafts. This holistic celebration explores the whole process of making through the empowerment of community, expression and creation, resulting in an immersive and sensory experience. “Craftivism” is an international movement that integrates crafts within a more complex process of empowerment and self expression through creativity. It is at once social, performative and expressive, and has become intertwined with different values like locality and sustainability. This exhibition extends beyond the object itself to celebrate the process and story behind the object. After all, to know how and where an object came into being makes us more invested in it.
The Crafts District brings together an actively selected and diverse group of initiatives, institutions, individual makers, and designers who highlight current global and local needs, skills, and traditions. Each maker chosen presents a distinctive selection of products, coupled with their own unique stories. Within the temporary showroom space of Raghadan Bus Terminal, we present varied exhibitions. Some showcase conceptual pieces and installations about local craft and design that reflect on our shared histories, while others represent the outcome of conversations between selected designers and local artisans that were challenged to re-examine traditional notions of material and technique.
- Dina Haddadin
Dina Haddadin is a multidisciplinary architect and a growing self-taught visual artist, living and working in Jordan. Dina's artistic practice is deeply influenced by her architectural work and her examination of cities and places. Haddadin received her B.A. in architecture in 2006 and is practicing at Symbiosis Designs Ltd. In 2008, she attended courses at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and participated in a number of local and international exhibitions, Biennales and residencies since.
In downtown Amman, a few minutes’ walk east of the Roman Theatre, the Raghadan Tourist Terminal was envisioned to become a tourist transportation hub connecting locals and visitors to surrounding suburbs and other destinations in the country. The Greater Amman Municipality plans to introduce tourist restaurants and a visitor center run by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, in addition to 105 shops.
This stop at Amman Design Week defines the eastern tip of the cultural strip, and is a gateway to the event with sufficient parking spaces for visitors. Visitors are encouraged to take the bus (Makouk) to navigate the “Cultural Corridor” and visit the various activated nodes, which also include the Jordan Museum and the Hangar.