Amman Design Week – The Hangar Exhibition

It all started with a private screening and kick off reception of Amman Design Week on Tuesday the 30th of August! Walking and networking amidst rows and rows of watermelons while awaiting the arrival of Her Majesty Queen Rania, everyone was buzzing about two things other than the mesmerizing designs: the watermelons and the canapés.

The story behind the watermelons comes from the Karpouz Collective, which is created by Hashim Sarkis, Gabriel Kozlowski, John Ochsendorf, and Ali Irani, who are all working on an installation of a new form, using watermelons.

The idea is inspired by our daily life especially in the summer, where watermelons (in my case always accompanied with cheese) are enjoyed all summer long. So it seemed only fitting for us to be reminded of them yet again, but this time by focusing on their architectural use. The ability to stack them in a manner that withholds pressure is an art on its own, and for so long people have being doing the same structural solution display as a pyramid; and it seems to be working with no change over time. So; the proposed landscape, composed of seven rujm-like hills and 1500 watermelons, celebrates their nutritional, engineering, and aesthetic attributes by expanding the possible forms of stacking.

Karpouz Collaborative

Then comes the youthful waiters and waitresses passing along some of the most mouthwatering finger foods anyone could ever have. Created and designed by Omar Sartawi, he was asked to recreate traditional Arabic food in a modern way. The food included transparent Zaatar & EVOO Ravioli in edible wraps, Rubik cube Kubbeh topped with pomegranate molasses and fresh mint, Cheese Leaf paired with a basil leaf on top, Spinach Wontons, Sojok Baklava, and Jameed White Chocolate Truffles. Seeing as this was the opening reception for Amman Design Week, it was only fitting to have food presented as an area of exploration, both the design and taste elements of this culinary experience was very apt for the overall scene.

Then comes, the arrival of Her Majesty! You couldn’t help but get pulled away with her presence when she arrived. Gracious, down to earth, friendly, and amazingly sociable, her Majesty has made it across every inch of the Hangar, and has spoken to every single designer to listen to the story behind their designs. Following her footsteps, here are some of the designs to inspire you to go, the others must remain a mystery, because truly pictures do not do justice to the amount of talent, attention to detail, and work that has been to put it to one of the three main nodes of this event.


Geomatic Arabic Minimalist Alphabet by Tariq Yosef


‘Ahlan wa Sahlan’ table with mother of pearl inlay in concrete by Studio Nadia Debs

The Hangar used to house the generators of the electric company in the 1930’s, after becoming an abandoned space many decades later, it was rehabilitated by Turath to a cultural center that hosts exhibitions, fairs, lectures, and now the must-attend event of the year: AMMAN DESIGN WEEK. Make sure to pass by daily up to the 9th of Sep between 11 AM and 9 PM for more…

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