“Design weeks” have come to North American and European cities large and small, from Detroit to Mexico City and London. The Middle East is getting in the game, too. Dubai Design Week launched last year, and Amman Design Week in Jordan debuted this fall.
The latter is the brainchild of young architects Rana Beiruti and Abeer Seikaly. They pulled together the citywide event in 18 months with the help of two other architects, Sahel Al Hiyari, curator of the large installations inside a 1930’s hangar building, and Dina Haddadin, who chose the craft works displayed at a defunct bus terminal. While the theme was local and regional talent, not all exhibitors were Jordanian, yet all did have some tie to the Middle East. NADAAA’s Nader Tehrani, for example, who’s of Iranian descent but based in the U.S., teamed up with local artist Raya Kassisieh on a dramatic 770-pound knitted installation, while designer Anne Holtrop, who has a studio in Bahrain, contributed a model of a house inspired by the Barbar Temple.