How does design influence our social responsibilities?

Amman Design Week, Hangar Exhibition 2016. Curated and designed by Sahel Al Hiyari with the participation of 50 designers. Photography: ©Roland Halbe 2016

Amman Design Week, 2016- ongoing

A participatory learning initiative that seeks to promote design through a program of exhibitions, talks, workshops and various other activities, aiming to foster a culture of design and collaboration in Jordan

I have always had limitless faith in collaboration and in cultural production, both as conscious endeavors to explore the contexts that govern contemporary society and because of the role they both play in the advancement of ideas. They become tools with which to challenge traditional notions of belonging by channeling them within a wider platform of engagement, both at the individual and collective level. Amman Design Week became a personal lens through which to view how our community functions and interacts. It has the potential to create new experiences, memories and impressions within Amman and its built environment.

A majestic light sculpture by Adel Abidin hung over proceedings at the back of the Hangar Exhibition. Called Al-Warqaa, the multimedia installation was inspired by ‘Ode to a Human Soul’, a poem by Avicenna. Photography: ©Roland Halbe 2016
Using threads collected from waste plastic bags, a community of women in the Jerash refugee camp crocheted 1,600 triangles to create ten colourful canopies that covered the Amman Design Week 2016 Craft District at the Raghadan Bus Terminal, as designed by Dina Haddadin. Photography: ©Roland Halbe 2016

Design is the cornerstone of any contemporary country’s innovative capacity and economic prosperity. In developing a holistic program that tackled local and global issues, Amman Design Week established a sustainable Jordanian design network and new platform for innovation and learning that will catalyse transformation for years to come. The role I played within its inception, and the impact I see it having for my city gives me hope for the future of Jordan, my beautiful home.