Rana Beiruti

Amman Design Week 2016Huna Al Tasmeem (This is Design)

The first edition of Amman Design Week kicked off under the theme 'Huna Al Tasmeem' (This is Design), with a series of large scale exhibitions, talks and workshops, cultural programs, and support programs for local designers. Envisioned as a platform for learning, the nine-day event was the launch of Amman Design Week as a brand and a platform for designers in Jordan and the region.


The theme for the inaugural Amman Design Week, which translates to "This is design" is a play on the famous radio broadcasts that announce communication from various Arab cities.

The theme not only introduces design to the city, but also introduces Amman to the world, paving the way for it to become a regional design center.

Amman Design Week was thus conceived as a connecting point, bringing the regional conversation to Amman, and enlivening the city with programs and performative interventions that highlight the role of design in bettering our future and well-being.

Amman is a city that lies at the crossroads of civilizations, and has been a sought-after point of convergence for people from all walks of life. Embedded in its landscape is a diversity of people and ideas that have allowed it to flourish into a dynamic center for hospitality. It is amid the uniqueness of this opportunity and the centrality of this place that Amman Design Week came to be; a pioneering platform that can harness creativity, revive the conversation about design, and instill a spirit of collaboration and exchange.


The Amman Design Week visual identity was designed by eyen, a local graphic design studio in Amman. Based on abstracted shapes and a democratized calligraphy, several iterations of the logo were made in collaboration with five graphic designers.

The Amman Design Week logo begins with one’s earliest interactions with design; the modular. The team began by dissecting the Arabic word for ‘Amman’, and created the basis of the logo by abstracting the letter-forms that make up the word. The resulting four blocks represent each of the respective letters and make up the core shapes that act as a canvas for imagination and as grounds for self-expression.

Given only 48 hours, graphic designers and design students around the city were invited to include their different scripts of ‘Amman’ in the logo, each using the style they felt best represented the city and Amman Design Week. Rich bodies of work had been produced, from which four final variations have been selected.

Calligraphy by: Diala Hamdallah

Hussein Alazaat

Lutfi Zayed

Dina Fawakhiri


For our inaugural year, we wove together a program designed for the ambitious dreamers, avid learners, and proactive makers in Jordan. Our program gets its breadth from a global community of designers who have come together to participate in a multidisciplinary exchange of ideas, and gets its depth from a tightly-knit engagement in research and learning. In everything we do, we are passionate about conscious design; working with communities to create meaningful experiences.

The Hangar Exhibition

The 2016 edition of Amman Design Week kicked off with its headline exhibition, the Hangar Exhibition, curated by Sahel Al Hiyari, presenting selected works by a new generation of experimental local and regional designers.

The inaugural Hangar Exhibition, curated by Sahel Alhiyari.

The Crafts District

Envisioned as a pop-up district that engages in the city, bringing back to life the essence of crafts in urban space, the Crafts District is both an exhibition and a social space for learning.

From weaving and embroidery to ceramics and pottery, craftspeople have kept their methods, traditions and aesthetic values alive, offering us a strong link to our national and cultural heritage. As the pioneers of design and making, craftspeople have informed the vernacular of design in Jordan, and continue to inform and inspire contemporary design practices today.

In downtown Amman, a few minutes’ walk east of the Roman Theatre, the Raghadan Tourist Terminal was envisioned to become a tourist transportation hub connecting locals and visitors to surrounding suburbs and other destinations in the country. The Greater Amman Municipality plans to introduce tourist restaurants and a visitor center run by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, in addition to 105 shops.

The Raghadan Tourist Terminal was revitalized to host the Crafts District Exhibition at Amman Design Week 2016.

The Makerspace at the Jordan Museum. Amman Design Week 2016.

The Makerspace

Situated at the Jordan Museum, the makerspace showcases makers who are exploring new forms and new technologies in different sectors – renewable energy, healthcare, architecture, engineering, crafts and the products and services sector, to name a few.

Talks and Workshops

Paul Hughes –– Circle of Innovation

He calls this unique form of storytelling Ten Meters of Thinking.

Talks and workshops at the Jordan Museum.

Culture and Food

Woven throughout the events of Amman Design Week is a carefully curated cultural program and culinary experience. The MADAFA pavilions, developed by Arini, provide a gathering space for an immersive experience in urban cuisine, hospitality, and culture.

A series of pop-up food venues curated by Namliyeh highlight the bond between food and design. With great passion for ecology, design and hand crafting, they experiment with ingredients found in the wild along hiking trails and around the city. Using wild herbs, flowers, and fruits, they produce a range of ethical products inspired by the landscape.

MADAFA designed by Arini and Rasem Kamal. Photograph by Hussam Da'na.

Amman Design Week 2016 networking event.

Amman Eats food program curated by Namliyeh.

Urban Interventions

The Ras El Ain / downtown area was once dubbed the "cultural corridor" of Amman, stretching from the old Electricity Hangar, through the traditional downtown markets, the Jordan Museum, and to the Roman Nymphaeum, Amphitheatre, and adjacent Raghadan Tourist Terminal.

Amman Design Week put the name of the cultural corridor to the test, tying the various urban spaces in program and with design interventions. The local makouk (shuttle bus) was activated to encourage visitors to use public transport in the congested downtown area.

Map of Amman Design Week 2016's activations along the cultural corridor.

Street crossing painted for Amman Design Week 2016 following traditional patterns found on bedouin rugs.

The local makouk (shuttle bus) transformed to take Amman Design Week visitors from one venue to the next.