Can empathy create new material constructions?

Object. Light. Consciousness, 2014

A handcrafted chandelier and a meditative exploration of the consciousness within the objects we craft

The industrialization of design and the design process has left our contemporary objects devoid of life, and detached from human experience. The death of these objects makes me question whether integrating traditional craft techniques within contemporary technological practices could resuscitate them back into being. It inspired me to imagine what new sensorial craftsmanship would be required in order to resolve the equilibrium of any possible new material hybrid. In sensually applying forces of tension and compression, the individual elements can be woven harmonically to produce previously unanticipated meanings.

Constellations was photographed at Mamdouh Bisharat’s historical Um Al Kundum house in Amman. Photography: © Sami Haven 2015

How does the intuitive hand move to form a foundation of aesthetics?

When entities are aligned in specific patterns to form constellations they engage in a dialogue of potential and nuanced meaning. Latent within this constellation of mirrored pieces, each mechanically hand linked to another within a meditative system of contraction and expansion, is an evolving paradigm of form. With each passing moment, I found a strength that was only made possible by each individual connection- and the feeling that generated it; a product formed purely of handmade process. The systematic act of joining these pieces evolved into more than just a process of deliberate action, but as a question in itself- a question which projects beyond materiality into that of material construction; a question about craftsmanship and of using the most ancient of all our tools- the human hand.

The flexible structural mesh is formed by joining 4986 custom reflective plexiglas pieces with binding post screws. The slow, repetitive, meditative and painstaking process of hand-linking the pieces is inspired by traditional craftsmanship, taking one back to rudimentary forms and basics of design using the human hand, the most ancient of all tools, as a means of creation.

“Constellations”, an exhibition as part of Amman Design Week 2016 by Mamdouh Bisharat, Sami Haven and Abeer Seikaly curated and designed by Sahel Al Hiyari.