“I have a vision of communities empowered to cultivate their own wellbeing and dignity; inspiring practical living spaces in symbiosis with nature.”

Abeer Seikaly is a Jordanian Palestinian interdisciplinary creative thinker and maker working across architecture, design, fine art, and cultural production. 

Her practice is deeply rooted in the processes of memory and cultural empowerment, expressing architecture as a social technology that has the power to redefine how we engage with- and within- space. Challenging traditional notions of belonging and identity, her work strives to be in constant dialogue with perceptions and contemporary understandings of time, materiality, and the role that women play in the shadow of a patriarchal structure. 

After receiving her BArch and BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2002, and pursuing her architecture career in luxury retail design and mixed-use developments, her work increasingly began to reflect a tactile sensitivity to the consciousness within the objects and spaces she crafts. In 2012, Abeer won The Rug Company’s Middle East Wallhanging Design Competition for exploring the duality between nostalgia and the labor of new craft- and in the following year was awarded the international Lexus Design Award, for a performative structural system which explored the social implications of creating homes for displaced communities. In 2015, she co-founded and co-directed Amman Design Week, a participatory learning initiative that seeks to promote and foster a culture of design and collaboration in Jordan, and in 2018 established ālmamar, a cultural experience and residency program based in Amman.

A lifelong diarist, Abeer continues to ‘read backwards while writing forwards’ in order to surface and interrogate themes and narratives that echo her work and life. 

In addition to numerous features, her works have been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, the Museum of Applied Arts (MAK) in Vienna, and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Her latest exhibitions include: Radical Curiosity. In the Orbit of Buckminster Fuller (2020) at Espacio Fundación Telefónica in Madrid, Spain (curated by Rosa Pera & Jose Luis de Vicente); and La Manufacture: A Labour of Love (2020) at Gare Saint Sauveur Cultural Institute in Lilles, France (curated by Li Edelkoort).

Abeer has been appointed as the Fall 2021 Louis I. Kahn Visiting Assistant Professor at the Yale School of Architecture, an endowed professorship where she is teaching an Advanced Graduate Architectural Design Studio called Conscious Skins.

Watch her TEDxKlagenfurt talk here.

Photography: © Chantale Eglin 2019