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enhancing the creative industry

// in this issue flying in style exclusive /18 redefining luxury motors W motors from Dubai /50


A quarterly publication that spreads awareness on creatives works found on our online platform, while providing them with enhanced marketing opportunities throughout the region. The publication also showcases the latest products in the region from light fixtures to furniture.

Our second division is yourProfession which aids creative professionals in enhancing their creative output by providing them with workshops, forums, competitions, and seminars.

@yourAOK

@yourAOKnetwork

www.youraok.net

Mubarak AlKabeer Street Dirwaza 51 Tower, Kuwait T. (965) 22913.AOK info@youraok.net www.youraok.net

An Online networking platform customised in connecting talents, firms, and product suppliers in MENA while giving them the tools to market and improve upon their digital portfolios, sell their design products online, and find new job opportunities.


fall/2014 yourAOK team

managing director communications director information director financial director editor- in-chief pages talents curator pages 04 graphic designer benchmark coordinator benchmark graphic designer workshops curator sales representative

contributing correspondents

contributing firms

AOK W.L.L Publishing House info@youraok.net A Customized Design by yourAOK Published in Kuwait, Four Films Printing Press

ruba alsaleh alia alazzeh abdulaziz alkandari mohammed alroumi soha alsaleh rawan kakish thunayan al thunayan shaikha alsahli dalia aly mai albusairi igor zelcific

abdullah al zabin giovanni meschini anthony jannarelly ashish benerjee manal alduwayan thuraya albaqsami yousef tuqan

kayan office lumbah poltrona frau paradigm dh ps lab w motors yazgan design architecture khammash architects crossway foundation

front cover page courtesy of kayan office back cover page artist portrait: farah behbehani


contents/ fall 2014 10

12 18 26 34 40 44 50 58 60 66 76 84 90 94 96 100 102 talents your profession web design sustainability exhibition real estate landscape product design urbanism interior design research architecture

106 112 116 122 130 136 142 146 152

editorial

editor-in-chief / experience is the key

design

a desert escape / asuaj farm kayan office exclusive interview / etihad cabin designs an entrepreneur’s journey / abdullah al zabin paradigm dh / a design house the jane restaurant / pslab yazgan design architecture / turkey redefining luxury motors / w motors 5 technologies / creative impact kayan office / a design build interview khammash architects / sustainability la biennale de venezia / fundamentals global snapshots / taiwan struggle to success / yazan hajazin leaders / the creative industry calligraphiti / abdulrahman alnughaimshi innovative design / moath aloufi create & inspire / crossway foundation

talents

back cover / farah behbehani inspiring photography / yazan kahlili a visual response / tammam azzam disappearance / manal alduwayan suspended certainties / dina haddadin a.k.a sardine / mike dardarian documenting / huda beydoun shaped by surroundings / mohammed abbas behind the lens / rasha yousef


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EDITORIAL

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SOHA ALSALEH

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experience is the key editorial

In the last quarter of 2013, there were 51 million iPhones sold, compared to 47.8 million in the last quarter of 2012 (latest Apple results). California’s Disneyland has annual visitors reaching almost 16 million. Toyota reached its 3 million mark in Prius sales as of June, 2013. What do all the above products have in common? They revolutionized their respective industries, led by creatives who pushed the boundaries of the status quo, giving us products and experiences, which we did not realize we needed. When Apple introduced its first iPhone it was nothing like the traditional mobile phone we were all familiar with, but years later we cannot imagine ourselves using anything else. The iPad changed our perspective of mobile computing and the iPod opened a window to music for the entire world. Then, Apple changed things around again and launched its iOS7 with the “Flat Design”. Suddenly, focus was shifted from design of icons and interface to animation and motion, making us more appreciative of the importance of simplicity, again changing our perspective of the familiar and traditional. “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.” ~ Steve Jobs Walt Disney changed the motion picture industry with his imagination, just as Steve Jobs changed the technology field. Disney gave us a whole new world of animation, color – bringing our childhood stories to life and opening our imagination to possibility. His theme parks attract both children and adults alike, providing them with a place to escape and dream, a place where dreams become reality. “What I see way off is too nebulous to describe. But it looks big and glittering. That’s what I like about this business, the certainty that there is always something bigger and more exciting just around the bend; and the uncertainty of everything else.” ~ Walt Disney No matter the industry, creatives provide the user with the best experience, thus creating sustainability for their product. Leading designers and creatives are at the core of their business, predicting the users’ needs, tracking their feelings and reactions to the product, following up, and constantly updating – putting the user’s experience at the heart of the process. text soha alsaleh artwork dina haddadin

“There are 360 degrees, so why stick to one?” ~ Zaha Hadid Years from now, our experiences will be what we remember. Leading creatives are always aware of this pivotal point and, thus, create their designs accordingly. We dedicate this issue to those creatives, without whom, our experiences would not be remembered. /


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a desert escape and hideaway ausaj farm by kayan office

text & diagrams kayan Plot: 50,000 sqm Location: AlSulaibiya Status: Under Construction Date: 2014 Ausaj Farm is a design-build project currently under construction in Al Sulaibiya, in the northern desert of Kuwait. The farm is 50,000 sq.m and holds a total of 15 buildings varying from private dwelling units, to a diwaniya, and service buildings. The concept was derived from a study of planes and masses placed within the plot to contain different natural desert instances. Slits and small square openings in the planes create vistas into the surrounding context. The hierarchy in the various program is emphasized in the play of heights in the buildings’ masses. Given Kuwait’s harsh desert landscape and climate, screens were installed on the east and west elevations to reduce heat gain and direct sunlight. In addition to the farm’s landscaping, canopies were used to cast shade and create an intricate play of light and shadow on the pedestrian pathways connecting the main areas of the project together.

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The farm is divided into three main zones: eastern, central, and western. The eastern zone –being the closest to the entrance- serves as both the guests and services area. As the guests enter the main gate of the farm, they approach a single-story building with two diwaniyas (men’s gathering halls) joint with a central lobby that is glazed on two ends creating a clear view towards the length of the farm. The main barn, two large storage buildings, and the staff quarters are placed by the main gate for maintenance and privacy. The central zone is the main farming space of the land, providing a green transition space between both eastern and western zones of the farm. Limiting the guests and circulation to only the eastern zone provides the family in the western zone with the privacy and calm they seek in a weekend get-a-way. The family area is a relatively denser space, accommodating a main 2-storey farmhouse and six closely placed villas for a village-like community. This allows for an intimate layout that connects the various areas with a central outdoor playground area creating a comfortable feel. The main villa, houses a large, double height living area overlooking both the farm area and the small villas, anchoring the site and acting as the main focal point of the project. An indoor swimming pool with a fiberglass roof and an adjacent outdoor deck links the main farmhouse to the smaller villas. A combination of free standing walls and steel partitions are used extensively around the small villas to control the views, provide privacy, and enhance the architectural language. Five of the small villas are identical with a living space, two en-suite bedrooms, and a private outdoor courtyard. The sixth villa is the only villa with a private swimming pool. Densely packed vegetation is placed behind the small villas to block the prevailing north-westerly winds to reduce the amount of dust and cool the winds flowing in. Ausaj Farm’s orientation, and the client’s specifications were the main guides to consider in the farm’s planning. Efficient space planning, clear zoning and the strategic use of walls, screens, and play of heights allowed for the creation of a comfortable indoor and outdoor environment , within the harsh desertscape of Kuwait. /

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1. Entrance 2. Main Hall 3. Reception Hall 4. Living Area 5. Gym Room 6. Swimming Pool 7. Dining Area 8. Terrace 9. Pantry 10.Wash Room 11. Staff Quarters 12. Parking Area

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FLYING IN STYLE

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flying in style exclusive interview with poltrona frau’s giovanni meschini TELL us a little bit about the design team behind the cabin designs so many enjoy during their flights? As with any great project, the design team is a collaboration between many parties. Etihad created a design consortium, called EDC (Etihad Design Consortium), and, which included Acumen for the overall seating program, FactoryDesign for the VIP Lounge and other areas and Honour Branding to define the over-all design strategy, and co-ordinate and manage the interface with the EDC and the airline.We worked closely with EDC, lending our expertise in fine leather upholstery and finding the right solutions to make the design become a real product. We have provided inspiration from our furniture collections to create an interior space in the air that was as good as, if not better, than anything on the ground. What is the typical design process from concept to execution that the design team goes through for the cabin designs? It usually all starts with a client who has a vision, and a very clear idea of what they want to create: In this case, it was Etihad’s vision to be the best airline in the world – and to create the best airplane seats in the world. Once this vision was created, then the right team was assembled to translate this vision into the various components that make it happen. In this project, we worked with the team to help create an overall “ambience” and feel, which was enhanced by the luxurious quality of the materials used and the elegant choice of colours to create a colour pallet that was beautiful, warm, and comforting. The concept was developed by EDC then came the detailed work of developing with the vendors and the designers the individual components to be both ergonomically comfortable, functional to both operate and maintain, and of course, that would fit into the cabin interior space we had to operate within. There are also the requisite safety considerations, and ensuring the seats and all the materials involved in making them pass the most stringent safety requirements. Finally, we would go into

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production, and various manufacturers would produce the components, which would then be assembled by the final aircraft delivery team. Branding plays a very big role in designing the cabins - how do you go about designing the brand? In the case of Etihad, it was very important to them that there was great story to tell about their aircraft interiors. In this case, the fact that Etihad went to the world’s premium furniture designer and manufacture, spoke volumes. Poltrona Frau seats can be found in some of the most luxurious and exciting interiors in motion – including Ferrari cars. As such, while the Etihad brand has become one of the most recognised and respected brands in commercial aviation, it was important for their brand, and for their customers, to understand that the seats were upholstered by Poltrona Frau, and thus, we are immensely proud that that our logo adorns the first and Business class seats on Etihad airways. A clear re-affirmation of Etihad’s commitment to partner with the best in class, and our commitment to ensure the seats are true representations of the 100 year legacy and name of Poltrona Frau. For this purpose Poltrona Frau put a dedicated team, PFEmirates, to support the project in all it’s various parts. It means being available 24 hours 7 days per week. How does the design team work in such a way where they create a sustaining formula between ergonomics, a beautiful design, while being contained in such a limited space? This was the greatest challenge in working in airplane interiors, and it proved to be a real test of our skill and craftsmanship. Again, this becomes a vital collaboration process with all other suppliers and designers. Any space taken by one element, means less space for another – so it is a fine balance, which can only be achieved by the strong leadership of Etihad’s technical and design teams, to ensure that every interior element is given enough space, and not one centimetre more.

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How do you choose the materials placed in the cabins? First, we go for comfort, durability and colour - the key design elements in any interior. The key hurdle to pass then becomes ensuring that the materials all pass the extremely stringent safety standards of the aviation industry. While there are many suppliers of fine leather, very few are able to maintain the quality, comfort, colour and feel of the material, and still be fully compliant with the safety standards. Designing a cabin is primarily about designing the experience. How does the design team envision the experience while designing? Again, the overall brief was provided by Etihad and was then developed by EDC. They know what they want their guests to experience, and they know that to be the best in the world, you have to offer something beyond what is already out there, and you have to push the limits, and redefine what comfort in the air means. Once that vision is communicated, we go to work on creating what EDC has designed, translating a design concept into a a product that fits into that vision, and compliments it, aesthetically, functionally and technically. This for a production company is the most rewarding satisfaction. What models and mock-ups are built when designing the cabins? The entire cabin is mocked up, and we work with the cabin interior manufacture and EDC to create a fully functioning seat mock-up, which is then tested extensively, mostly by Etihads various teams, including their cabin experience teams, and their technical and engineering teams. Various modifications are then made, most often technical and dimensional modifications. What challenges does the design team go through and how are they tackled? (If you may kindly provide as example)


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The greatest challenge of course relates to the limitations of the interior space, and working within this limited space. Aircraft design is such a unique topic that is, unfortunately, barely spoken about in the Middle East. What can the design team tell us in terms of cabin designs that the general public is not aware of? Great interior design is always about working within a space to make the most of it, whether it is a 5 star hotel, a massive mansion, or a flying palace. Creativity is also the most important ingredient, and knowing how to apply the skills at your disposal in a directed and focused way. I would also say that on such a project, we are working as part of a global team – across many contents and various time zones. Working efficiently and maintaining strong lines of communication becomes a major challenge, and again the leadership of the client becomes crucial, ensuring that the team continues to work as one, and that sacrifices in terms of timings of meetings are made by all participants equally, and in this case, we had in Etihad and their team a client that led by example, and was always willing to make any sacrifices necessary to ensure successful delivery. We would appreciate Anything else you can add in terms of information we are not aware of. The most exciting thing about working with such a visionary and progressive airline as Etihad, is that as soon as we have created what the industry considers the most outstanding seat in its class, we are already moving and developing new leathers and thinking ahead towards creating tomorrow’s leading seat, and continually refining and redefining what it it means to be aboard the best airline in the world, and to experience the best seat in the air. /

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an entrepreneur’s journey

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ABDULLAH ALZABIN

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me setup the company and get it off the ground, and he is now an active board member and advisor to Lumba. Our great team is distributed around the world. The product and art team is in San Francisco, led by myself and our art director - Doug Crawford - who has extensive experience creating art for desktop and mobile games. The engineering and testing team is in Vietnam, led by a great engineer - Hyung Choi - who previously worked at several gaming companies in Silicon Valley. The marketing and community management team is based in Saudi Arabia, led by a talented gaming evangelist Abdullah Hamed - who is the driving force behind the indie gaming community in the Middle East.

interview with lumba’s abdullah alzabin

We are lucky to be supported by a diverse and talented advisory board that is comprised of a Google software engineer, the co-founder of mobile gaming company TinyCo, a former designer at Mailchimp, an Arab American hip hop artist, a LA-based music producer and composer, and a London-based serial gaming entrepreneur.

founder & CEO of Lumba, inc. photo credits: James Allworth

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What was the journey like in starting your business in San Francisco?

Why did you specifically choose to dive into the gaming industry as a start?

Exhilarating is perhaps the best way to describe it.

Great question. You’re also correct in assuming that we are building Lumba to be something beyond games.

I moved to San Francisco in 2010, around the time when consumer technology was making a comeback. Silicon Valley’s software engineering talent was migrating north to San Francisco, and the city’s art and design talent was finding its way into the tech startup scene. The unity of the two created the movement that is powering the tech Renaissance that we are witnessing today, and the San Francisco Bay Area is at the heart of it, just as Florence was in the 14th century. The Bay Area is all about optimism and opportunity. This mantra is quite infectious and got to me pretty quickly. I didn’t want to look back years from now and regret not being part of these exciting times. I met my business partner, Ali Diab, when I first moved here. We kept discussing the idea behind Lumba for over a year, and it marinated fully in January 2012. I felt that it was the right time for me to take the plunge, so I quit my job and started Lumba. Tell us a little about your team. I started Lumba with the help of my friend and business partner, Ali Diab. Ali has a solid track record in Silicon Valley as a product builder and angel investor, having been the first investor (and head of product) at AdMob before it was acquired by Google in 2010. He helped

Not to sound cliche, but gaming is the elegant product of art and science. The art is in building the experience, the science is in refining it and extracting insights from it. I have always been fascinated by the art behind a great ‘experience’. Be it having a delicious meal, unboxing a new gadget, or speaking with a helpful customer service agent, I often find myself deconstructing the anatomy of an experience to understand it better. I have been equally interested in the cognitive and behavioral science behind creating a great experience. Gaming is one of a few mediums in entertainment which relies on the science of behavioral and cognitive theory in its product development process. When applied properly, these theories help produce a captive experience which delivers a great deal of joy and satisfaction to players. Games are also very instrumentable. We are able to extract a tremendous amount of data about user behavior and preferences from our games. The insights from this data help us understand a great deal about different audience demographics, and aid us in better tuning our games to please them as well as defining our roadmap.


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You can imagine how being in gaming is helping us develop a unique thesis on the next generation of entertainment and media. To say that we are excited about our plans beyond gaming is an understatement! What is the competitive landscape like with your business in San Francisco in comparison to that in MENA? We are physically based in San Francisco, but our audience is in the Middle East and North African markets. Therefore, technically, we are competing in MENA, but are learning from the innovation that is taking place in San Francisco within our industry. Back to your question though, the competitive landscape is more evolved in San Francisco. The local industry witnessed a full cycle of boom, bust, and regrowth over the last 36 months. The gaming industry in MENA, on the other hand, is still nascent and less competitive...for now. Branding & logo designs are highly important in any company - why did you choose “Lumba” and how did you go about designing the logo? At its core, Lumba is an Arabic mobile entertainment company. When I was brainstorming the brand name, I was thinking along three dimensions: figurative, phonetic, and aesthetic. From a figurative point of view, I wanted a word that captures the essence of our mission of re-inventing Arabic entertainment and enlightening the Arab youth. Phonetically, I wanted a word that is two syllables, easy to pronounce in any language, and sounds polished and clean. Aesthetically, I wanted a word that is at most five letters and can have a website domain without a “.com” (our domain is www.lum.ba). As for logo design, we sought a simple design that incorporated a graphic representation of our brand - a light bulb. We worked with a talented logo designer in Mexico who crafted for us a new font which is Disneyesque in form and Arabic in spirit. About App Development & Design What is UX/UI design and how important is it in app development? I am by no means a UI/UX designer nor claim to be an expert in the field. It is a discipline that takes years of practice to perfect. That said, the importance of good UI/UX design is paramount to any consumer product. A well designed

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app should be able to guide you through the product without you ever wondering what to do next. It should be so intuitive that you hardly notice it. In gaming, the game itself is the UI/UX. There are, of course, tables and submenus the player uses to navigate the game, but the game mechanics should be intuitive enough for the player to understand the objective of the game very quickly. If it is complicated, then you’ve lost your player for good. How attuned do you believe the audience in the Middle East are to mobile game applications and design? Extremely attuned. Arab gamers are fluent with the best games out there. They are some of the most active cohorts in major online and mobile games as demonstrated by their presence at the top of leaderboards. In short, Arab gamers can and will discriminate between a well designed game and one that is not. This is why we believe that we cannot deliver games to our audience that are not (at least) at par with the best out there. We are competing against global behemoths for our audience’s attention. What is the regular process at Lumba when branding your published titles? Stories are the foundation of our games, and they naturally they drive the branding process of our published titles. From early on, we understood that to set ourselves apart in this industry we had to have a strong regional angle. We underwent an anthropological review of the Arab culture to understand what about it can be the foundation of our games. Obvious in hindsight, but we concluded that one of the core tenants of our culture is its reverence for storytelling. No one can contend that Arabs have a deep and rich tradition in storytelling, which is unfortunately dying as of late. We want to revive that tradition, but in the new and exciting medium of games. How do you go about designing the characters and storyline of a game? Character and storyline development is an intense process that’s akin to additive and subtractive sculpting. You spend time in the beginning creating the material, but then spend a lot more time refining it. Naturally, developing the game’s storyline and script is the first - and most important - part of the game development process. We start by asking: what is the

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story we are looking to tell? The answer to this question drives us to think about the theme and game genre. In coming up with a theme, we look back at the region’s history to find an interesting historical event that our audience is familiar with for us to build a fictional narrative around. We come up with a few themes and plots and present them to the team to discuss, dissect, and criticize. We then ask “How will this play if it was a movie? An animated series? A comic book?”. By forcing ourselves to think about the theme and plot from the perspective of different mediums, we are able to create something that is unique and lasting. After the theme and plot are set, we engage a screenwriter and go through the the same process until we settle on a script we are happy with. With the script in hand, we have a blueprint to this ‘world’ we are creating. This world will be experienced on a screen size that is between 3.5 and 10 inches, so we have to make sure that the characters match the medium. This is why the visual language of our characters blends authenticity with playful caricaturing as opposed to a serious tone. The character development process is very iterative. It can take up to 6 months of for us to create the first character. But once we find the right look, there’s unanimous agreement within the team that it is the one. What are the driving factors behind publishing new titles and story lines at Lumba? We develop stories that we would like to tell. You’ll notice that, for the most part, our games are set in a particular period in history. This is primarily driven by our mission at Lumba to make our culture more relevant to the Arab youth. We certainly do not aim to educate our audience about history; that’s a serious undertaking that is better served by teachers and scholars. We strive to make history fun and interesting enough for the youth to be curious and go learn about it on their own. Next Step - Lumba’s Future What is next for Lumba?

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We just released a new mobile game titled ‫( ةعزف‬Tribal Rivals in English). It is a combat strategy game that is set in the Arabian Peninsula in the early 20th century when the Ottoman Empire was collapsing, imperial influence was on the rise, and Arab tribes were at war with each other. We felt it was a thewme that lent itself very well to this game genre and appeals to the male demographic that we are targeting. We are now working on a fun project with a very popular YouTube show in the region. It will be ready sometime later this summer. Stay tuned! How challenging would it be if you decide to move Lumba to operate in MENA? There are challenges wherever you are, not only in MENA. Yes, we may face some challenges in MENA, but the serious obstacles that have historically made the region difficult to operate in are no longer an issue. In this new digital and mobile paradigm, the playing field is more equal than ever before. This is why I am very bullish about what lies ahead for the MENA region. We plan to relocate soon, and we’ll most likely be in Dubai. I am optimistic about the opportunity and confident of our ability to assemble a fantastic team of talented artists and software engineers. I spend a lot of time in the region and have met a lot of bright, sharp, young minds that are eager to take on a challenge. I cannot wait to channel that talent to Lumba. Shamelessly, I would like to put a plug for Lumba. If you are interested in joining, please email us at jobs@ lum.ba! What is one piece of advice you would give? Build something you are passionate about and put it out there for others to use. Some will love it, others will hate it. But in the process, you will learn a lot about yourself and others. That, in my opinion, is the most humbling lesson you can ever have. /


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paradigm DH /paradigm DH team

a design house

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Paradigm Design House is a collaboration of talented architects and designers whose main aim is to transform creative potentials brought by design opportunities into reality.

Brick House

We work with our clients through an integrated approach where design, research, and professional skills come together in order to deliver a unique and personal product.

The idea was to morph the building with the natural flow of the topography by placing the body of the house within the different levels of the mountain, orienting it towards the views. Therefore the house was divided into three levels; Access is through the uppermost entry level, the main house functions in the middle, and the indoor wet area at the lowest recreational level. Adjacent to stairs connecting the two lowest levels, a naturally-planted berm penetrates the building.

At paradigm design house we are fully aware that everything we do has expansive implications and consequences, well beyond architecture, affecting our environment, local economies, and our own community.

An idea of redefining a perforated skin using local familiar material and techniques was required; Autoclaved aerated concrete bricks (AAC) were arranged with varying slots to allow in different amounts of light, depending on the relation between the scenery and the spatial function. This arrangement transforms the house from a rigid piece of architecture into a glowing lantern that spreads out different light patterns and silhouettes of different opacities, making it stand out as a unique feature in the landscape. At times, this outer skin disintegrates opening up completely to the views.

Project Location : Jerash-Jordan Date of completion : March 2016 Project Built-up Area : 815 sqm Nestled in one of Jerash’s isolated mountains, this holiday home was built to be a place of retreat for the client, away from the bustle of the city.

In an attempt to stay connected to the views, yet at the same time offer privacy and climate control, a double skin treatment with a climatic buffer was used for the main facade.

The AAC used was custom-made locally to minimize the weight of each block, and to obtain the specific color required to match the context. After construction, materials will be left in their natural form with minimal finishing, reducing the required manpower. Nature will also remain in its original form, with cuts showing the layering of the rock formations to replace bulky retaining walls.


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Place Lalla Yeddouna - a neighborhood in the medina of fez, morocco Project location : fez - morocco commissioner’s name : agency of partnership for progress date of completion : september 2010 budget : 679,000,000 USD name of collaborators : arch. leen fakhoury-conservation architect,arch. valentina tribastone. project area : 7,400 sqm The Agency of Partnership for Progress (APP), with its implementing partner, the Agency for the Development and Rehabilitation of the city of Fez (ADER-Fès), issued this competition for the design of a site in the Medina of Fez, Morocco, known as Place Lalla Yeddouna. The aim of the project is to revitalize Place Lalla Yeddouna, a public square and surrounding buildings at the central crossroads in the Medina of Fez, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981. The redevelopment of Place Lalla Yeddouna is inspired by the unique character of the city,its network of narrow streets and squares. From bustling Souks, stunning Medersa and inner tranquility of the Riads and Dars, the medina provides real variety and tantalizes the senses. The new master plan responds specifically to the river, improving its relationship to existing and new buildings and the square through improved accessibility, active frontages and promoting pedestrian movement. The design proposal had to include renovation, reuse and the demolition of buildings in bad conditions and the addition of new masses. As well as tackling the issue of the abandone driver. the new spaces should cater to the residents, workers and visitors of the area. the idea of the new madina included removing the brass craftsmanship outside the center of the city. To us this meant removing the heart of the city. as a start we did an assessment of the buildings in order to decide on main zoning issues. our additional layer is of brass made by locals, including the cladding of the new buildings and any additional information layer. The Hotel - our new building- is to light the city as one of its old lanterns made by skilled craftsmen. The idea of the presence of the absent was the motive behind the design. those craftsmen are to contribute in carving their everlasting piece before leaving. /


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the jane restaurant lighting design by .pslab

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.PSLAB is a context-specific design and manufactory company that is invested in the production of sensory experiences. We are mostly known for our design and build lighting service – our international projects include custom-made technical and sculptural lighting objects in collaboration with renowned architects and designers. For each project, we make specific objects for specific contexts. Founded in 2004 and headquartered in Beirut with offices in Stuttgart, Helsinki, Bologna and Singapore, .PSLAB has developed considerable expertise in its localized design and production facilities in Lebanon and its service operations overseas. Currently, its 100+ workforce composed of creative, production and management professionals create the backbone of its service-savvy setup. text & diagrams .pslab


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Housed in a red brick structure that used to be a chapel for a military hospital in the Groen Kwartier in Antwerp, ‘The Jane’ is the brainchild of Michelin Star Chef Sergio Herman and Nick Bril conceived with the collaboration of Piet Boon architects. With Piet Boon’s intent on investing in the artisanal feel of the existing historic chapel, propelling it forward with a contemporary underground atmosphere, .PSLAB was a natural choice as a collaborator. Headquartered in Beirut with ateliers in Stuttgart, Bologna, Helsinki and Singapore, .PSLAB is a site-specific design house and manufactory that is invested in the production of sensory experiences. The process and outcome of ‘The Jane’ project is a testimony to its approach to design as a full-rounded service. .PSLAB worked closely with Piet Boon, Sergio Herman and Nick Bril, in every step of the design, conceptually and technically, producing life-sized prototypes to sculpt bespoke lighting that compliments the existing space and devises the desired setting precisely. The renovation of the chapel was not charged with the idea of a makeover, but was focused on bringing out the existing qualities and materials of the space. For the interior, the designers selected rich high quality materials such as natural stone, leather and oak, prompting a specific palette for the lighting objects. Upon entering the heavy chapel doors, guests are greeted with a series of white corrugated cylindrical lighting objects. The lit brass interior of these cylinders gives each a rich deep yellow glow that contrasts the white, stone and black interior. Moving inward to the center of the ground floor dining area, the use of brass continues in a set of table lamps that rise above the level of the seating, adding definition to the spatial layout. At this point, the focal point of the space also starts to appear: a massive 12x9m radius chandelier suspended over the dining area that contributes to the ambient divinity of the chapel interior. Weighing 800 kilograms and suspended from one point in the ceiling, the chandelier dips to 2.75m above the ground, communicating a very human scale, and then disperses back up to fill the vaulted space above the dining area with tubular tentacles each ending with a glass bulb. The chandelier fills the space with more than 150 glass bulbs visible from the ground and the upper bar level. Over the bar on the upper level, a set of projector lights are mounted on steel beams installed across the width of the chapel. The sharp, black finish of this setup adds a layer contrasting with the rough material of the chapel interior without conflicting visually with the focal chandelier. Similarly, not all the lighting installations were made to pop out. On the contrary, projectors laid out to accentuate specific instances in the original form of the chapel interior and its newly acquired function are designed to hide next to its massive columns. These projectors, painted in white to blend with their white background, provide the technical supplement to the sculptural interventions. The result is a scenic experience seamlessly combining artistry and engineering expertise. /

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yazgan design architects

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yazgan design architecture ankara, turkey

text & diagrams yazgan design architects

YAZGAN Design Architecture Co. Ltd. is an Ankara based architectural design and construction firm founded by Kerem Yazgan and Begüm Yazgan, both PhD. architects, in 2003. Since the time of its foundation, the company has designed and developed many architectural, interior design, and landscape projects totaling more than 5.000.000 square meters. Project locations include many different cities in Turkey along with a diversity of other countries. Yazgan Design works on projects of varying programs and scales covering concept, design development and construction phases. The company portfolio includes: mixed-use buildings, retail, hotel, residential, office, educational buildings, hospitals, cultural centers, airports, sport complexes, along with landscape design, interior design and graphic design projects. Yazgan Design is a member of the Chamber of Architects and Chamber of Trading and Commerce of Ankara.

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Begüm YAZGAN She was born in Ankara in 1974. She graduated from Istanbul Technical University Department of Architecture in 1995, where she received a B. Arch degree. She worked on national and international projects of shopping centers, residence, bank, hotel and university buildings in private architectural offices from 1995 to 1998. She received her M. Arch degree from Middle East Technical University Department of Architecture in 1998. She worked as a research assistant in METU Department of Architecture from 1998 to 2003. She attended the Landscape Design Studio and worked in the Revolving Fund Office of the Department. She attended Tokyo Institute of Technology as a doctoral researcher supported by a fellowship in 2001. She gave lectures and attended various courses in the university. She obtained her PhD. Arch degree from METU Department of Architecture in 2006. Her doctoral dissertation entitled “Post-War Systems Ecology and EnvironmetallyAppropriate Approaches in Architecture since 1960s” won the “Best Thesis of the Year” award in Middle East Technical University in 2007. It is about the ways in which systems approach, which found a place in the science of ecology after the 1960s, has a profound effect in contemporary discourse in sustainable architecture and the current green architectural practices. Currently, she practices at “Yazgan Design Architecture”, which she founded with her husband Kerem Yazgan, PhD. Architect, in 2003. She considers her theoretical background and past academic career in her professional practices.

Kerem YAZGAN He was born in Ankara in 1969. He obtained his B. Arch degree from Middle East Technical University Department of Architecture in 1993. He worked in diverse architectural offices and attended various architectural design competitions until 1996. He opened his first architectural office in 1996, after he was awarded with the first prize in a national architectural design competition. He received his M. Arch degree from METU Department of Architecture in 1997. His master dissertation received “Parlar Foundation Academic Award” of METU in 1998. He received awards in various architectural design competitions. His projects were exhibited in several cities and published in journals. He attended Fourth Year Architectural Design Studio as a parttime instructor in METU Department of Architecture from 1997 to 2007. He opened his second architectural office with his wife Begüm Yazgan, PhD. Architect, in 2003, the same year in which he received a PhD degree from METU Department of Architecture. His doctoral dissertation entitled “Designography in Architecture” is about his researches on the systems and acts in the architectural design. His design approach is based on the association of theory and practice and systematization of design process. He realized diverse architectural projects with the idea that he defines as “the design of the design act”, which is based on writing the program of architectural design. He continues his practices and researches on developing a flexible, free, lucid and systematic phases of architectural projects in which the relations between all design, production and construction processes are identified in a clear way.


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Tema Istanbul showroom is a 1.500 sqm. building located in HalkalĹ, Istanbul, Turkey. The building functions mainly as a showroom space for Tema Istanbul, a multi-purpose project containing 4000 residential units, a luxury hotel, a family entertainment complex and a shopping center. The showroom contains mock-up apartment flats of the Tema Istanbul Residential Complex, a central gallery displaying the model of the 4000 residential units along with visual panels of the overall project, and administrative and sales offices. Facing the Istanbul TEM (Trans European Motorway) where thousands of vehicles pass throughout the day, the building sits on a sloped green landscape while stretching towards the highway. The functional portion of the building is covered with a reflective glass curtain wall. The structure sits on a black pool that reflects the under portion of the building, creating an elevated effect. The white elliptical steel ribs surround the building; unify the building as a whole. Based on the time of day, this envelope generates different visual interactions in relation with its context, thus drawing attention to itself. During the day, the functional portion of the building seems almost invisible due to the mirrored façade reflecting the surroundings, leaving the white ribs to appear as if they were floating in space. While at night, when the steel ribs are lit with LEDs, the building transforms into sculpture of light; an autonomous shining object in the dark, slowly changing in color. The program of the building is divided amongst three floors. The entrance level housing the main sales offices, bank offices, the model showcase and graphic panels is accessed through a wood covered bridge that pierces through the first elliptical rib. The first floor containing the model apartment flats is accessed through a gallery space overlooking the model of the residential complex. The basement level contains staff rooms and support spaces. /


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INNOVATIVE DESIGN

redefining luxury

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W motors redefining luxury motors exclusive interview from Dubai

text & diagrams anthony jannarelly design director w motors s.a.l Established in Lebanon since 2012, W Motors is the first Arabian manufacturer of Hypercars. Headquartered in Dubai UAE since early 2013, the Company launched its first prototype model. “The Lykan HyperSport” last January at the International Qatar Motor Show, gathering international recognition and global exposure, and has made its World Debut for its first Pre Production Car in Dubai, the “Lykan HyperSport 2014”, during the Dubai International Motor Show, on the 5th of November 2013. Lykan Hypersport’s design and all other models were developed and execute under the supervision of style director Anthony Jannarelly. Operating in several facilities in Europe and collaborating with International partners and suppliers in the Automotive industry to launch its first Hypercar in the market (Magna Steyr, StudioTorino, Ruf Automobile, ID4Motion etc....), W Motors plans to relocate its factories and manufacturing facilities to the UAE in the coming year. If you’d kindly give me a brief about yourself as design director at W Motors For the past 2 years I have been operating as Design Director for W Motors, designing the exterior and interior of the Lykan Hypersport. My goal at W Motors is to establish the brand as the only company in the world to combine extreme innovative styling with exclusivity on road legal cars. My background is in Jewelry design and I also studied Mechanical engineering before car design. I think these previous experiences help to follow very closely the development of the Lykan and to give my input at every stage of the process, so that I can make sure the styling remains extremely close to the original concept. This is a priority at W Motors, to be able to follow the car from the initial concept up to every details in the manufacturing and finishing of the car. This process ensures quality and time reduction. It is very challenging but also very motivating as you feel deeply involved. What are some of the challenges of being the only luxury car designed in MENA? The main challenge is the lack of automotive suppliers. It is impossible to manufacture every part of a car under one roof. You need many different expertise coming from a large range of companies. You can find such environment in Italy around Torino for instance, where the first Lykans are being built.  So we have to work remotely, which is not really the best conditions. That is why a big input of W Motors in the region is to sparkle the settling of Automotive suppliers, by creating the first factory we create demands and existing suppliers, in Europe for instance, are starting to think to implement division in Dubai. Like this they can also reach more easily the Asian market. What do you most pride yourself with, with the designs at W Motors?  Extreme styling on road legal cars. Many design details of the Lykan (like the roof lines combined with the windscreen and the A-pillars) are only possible to do in very limited production run, as all the work has to be done by hand. You are not able bring this styling features if you want to produce the car in bigger quantity. Is there any direction in terms of electric car designs? We are looking at hybrid technology. We want to stay aware of upcoming technologies so we assess them constantly, unfortunately I cannot tell you more.


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The Lykan The design of the lykan can be described with 2 contrasting words: aggressivity and refinement. The design process is particular to W Motors in the sense that I wanted to go back to the spirit of the 60’s - 70’s era when designers worked spontaneously and fast, without too many iterations before the final design. The best examples are the Ferrari Daytona or the Lamborghini Countach. Then the result remains fresh and expressive, as close as possible to the sketches. This is where the agressivity comes from in the design of the Lykan. On the other hand, the Lykan is a very rare and expensive object, therefore comes the refinement. After a short period of clear creativity followed about 2 years of careful studies of the design to maintain the extreme styling while answering all the aerodynamic, engineering and homologation requests. Every detail of the car has been engineered with the best material available in terms of technology (carbon fiber, rapid prototyping of complex parts) or luxury (finest leather, milled aluminum from a single bloc, gold and precious stones to replace chromed plastic element). At the end, technology was here to help to combine the best of both world: extreme and emotional design with safety and performance expected in such an exclusive car. /


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Product design

5 TECHNOLOGIES

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text ruba alsaleh

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Modern technology has its way of making an impact on every aspect of our lives, including a substantial impact on the creative industry. From mobile applications to innovative hardware products being rolled out, creative reaches & possibilities are endless. yourAOK Design Team has compiled a list of the latest, most innovative products and mobile applications to aid designers, artists, cinematographers, and creatives in general in improving on their creative output.

photo credits / http///lixpen.com

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Dubbed “the smallest 3D printing pen in the world”, LIX has changed every aspect of 3D printing technology. LIX is exactly what it sounds like, it is a 3D printing pen that allows you to create any 3D formation you wish by simply drawing in midair. With it’s easy-to-use colored plastic, LUIX can easily form freestanding structures. Great for: Showing clients design structures. photo credits / http-///www.engadget.com

2. Adobe Ink & Slide

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3. Fifty-Three’s Pencil A wooden stylus made for Apple’s ipad application named Paper, for sketching, will allow for varying widths when sketching on the ipad as though you are using a regular pencil on paper, since now Apple’s touchscreen can recognize when objects are being drawn in it vary in thickness. Great for: Advanced sketching techniques.

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4. POCKETSCAN

We love Kickstarter (kickstarter.com)! The reason is it introduces us to magnificent, innovative product designs such as PocketScan - the world’s smallest wireless scanner; being compact and light, PocketScan allows for you to scan anything and turn it into editable content. Anything you scan is instantly transmitted wirelessly and displayed on your screen.

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Great for: Quick design data collection.

photo credits / http-///sktchapp.com

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1. LIX: 3D Printing Pen

Great for: Designing on the go.

Product design

photo credits / http-///kickstarter.com

with creative impact

Adobe launched the latest in design essentials with their Ink & Slide. At first glance it may seem like another tablet and stylus; however, there is much more to it than that. Adobe Ink is a cloud pen and Slide is a digital ruler for the ipad that can be used with complimentary app’s also rolled out by Adobe: Adobe Line and Adobe Sketch.

RUBA ALSALEH

photo credits / https///www.fiftythree.com/pencil

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5. Mobile APP: SKTCH SKTCH changed the notion that sketching has to be brush-based. Allowing you to choose from t heir endless compositions and presets, SKTCH then provides you with the capability to combine your sketch with images on your camera to have a new final formation to your initial sketch. Great for: Some good, creative fun!


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Architecture

Kayan Design + Build

kayan office all about design build

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KAYAN is a design and construction company in Kuwait that has a diverse portfolio ranging from architecture to interior design to master planning. Currently pioneers in the field of residential design + build projects, we speak with the team involved in a design build project and each members unique perspective on what a design build project entails, the restrictions they face and the benefits the clients gain. Team Members: 1. Principal Architect: Bashar Al Salem (BA) 2. Head of Construction: Osama Al Sabah (OS) 3. Project Manager: Abdulaziz Al Rayes (AR) 4. Project Architect: Rayah Al Sabah (RS)

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achieve the result. The risk is high and the DB will bear the loss in case it offsets its target if a contingency in time and financial resources have not been calculated

OS: Being both the designer and the main contractor means taking on most of the legal responsibility. We become fully responsible for managing and coordinating both design and construction. Including the responsibility for the construction means, methods, techniques and procedures, as well as for on-site safety.

OS: The only way to guarantee the budget and the time frame of a project is when decisions are set in the beginning of a project and handed over to the construction team to handle without any interruption by any entity.

RS: As a designer, the main risk is going over budget with material choices and design complexity. Therefore it is essential that extensive site, concept, and design development analysis is conducted and scheduled in the early design stages to avoid any additional budget implications. How can an architect guarantee the construction price or completion date? BA: I don’t think there can be guarantees on time or prices on a process that takes months if not years in some cases. The factors that are related are complex and very dynamic starting with material costs to labor availability. The architect or the DB entity would minimize those variables as much as possible to

BA: A client knowing exactly their needs would probably be better off dealing with one entity and minimizing duplicate work, unknown variables and financial risks of over spending . The client will also benefit a quality controlled design where the architect would implement the vision intended on the construction within the scope and budget without compromising the aesthetics of design . The construction team will also be able to achieve the end product faster as they will overlap many of the needed works to complete the project on time . OS: Within a Design Build team we have a common goal to arrive at a successful project that meets or exceeds the client’s expectations for their project. As a team we are all accountable for everything including how the end result looks, how much it costs and the timeline of completion. The cost of everything is taken into account early on in the process; all fees, construction costs, utilities, landscaping allowances everything.

AR: Time and convenience; Depending on coordination and management, the Design-Build package allows the client to reduce both the project execution period and the concerned parties to address and consult. Think of it as the same difference between buying a meal’s ingredients, tools, and having the cooking skills against the convenience of going to a restaurant and being served that meal. RS: Everyone is on the same team. The client would be dealing with only one entity that has the same goal- to arrive at a successful project that meets the clients requirements, the designers vision, and the contractors time and money. What risks does an architect or the engineer have when practicing designer-led design-build? BA: The risk for architects is that sometimes the budget may be restraining on the design and any visions that needed to be modified on site or during design process might cause the DB entity some financial implications. The main issue regarding DB with architects is when DB becomes a contractor lead process rather than design lead. This is

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where creativity can be restricted with budget resources and time available. If not properly controlled by architects the end product might be very bland and not to the result envisioned.

AR: Financial loss would be the greatest. Unless the architect is able to form a very clear vision of the project end-result and be content with it while maintaining the client’s trust, the project can be lead into delays and budget peaks.

Why should the client pick the Design + Build option rather than the Design option?

Architecture

AR: To the client, simply with a contract that clearly states the criteria, scope of responsibilities, and time schedule along with the client’s financial commitment. It’s only a matter of the architect’s research and proper survey along with practical experience and the ability to anticipate possible complications and plan their solutions ahead. RS: I don’t think there can be a guarantee on prices or the completion date, however the firm would be liable for everything if any delay or increase in price were to occur. A lot of research and studies are done in the early concept stage of the project that involve both the design team and the construction team to make sure that the price proposed to the client is met and constructed within the time frame agreed upon. What takes precedent when faced with a challenging decision the design or the build? (which do you sacrifice the design or the construction?) BA: As an architect I would always defend my view against the demands by the construction team regarding budget and


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labor ability. It helps a lot to have an internal fight over things which we really have often and it’s really fun to see the team challenging each other to achieve the same result and that is project completion and client satisfaction. I would be a bit stubborn sometimes but it always pays off at the end . OS: When the same group that designs the project also builds the project, there tends to be less challenging decisions because everything is worked out in the early stages. However, when such occurrences happen, it usually costs less to change the design. AR: Design is the more adaptive of the two so it’s the more common one to change, especially with all the simulation software available within everyone’s reach nowadays. RS: Usually the design is sacrificed over the construction. However at times when the projects design concept is altered drastically due to financial reasons or labor craftsmanship skills- I would welcome the challenge to find alternative design solutions rather than sacrifice one or the other. What would be a major drawback for a Design Build company in Kuwait? What issues do you regularly face? BA: DB concept is not new in Kuwait it’s been implemented in most of the small interior commercial projects and some large scale projects due it’s focus on client needs and budget. But to have DB for residential projects is a challenge as the local idea of that collaboration is almost seen as a conflict of interest where the client would feel cornered by one entity when it was common to have two entity’s fighting against each other to achieve the result but with sacrificing cost and time and design quality. The DB process involves a lot of trust between the client and the team. A lot of the times where conflict occurs in DB contracts is when the client request changes or introduce third parties to get involved during the process. This sometimes creates such delay and financial loss that the client and even the DB entity that the whole process does not work . AR: It has yet to gain the market’s trust. The norm (as with most markets in Kuwait) has always been reference through word of mouth, and since the Design-Build service is new here it’s naturally challenging to compete in a reputation-based field. That’s why we were thrilled to have already witnessed both returning customers and new clients that were referred to us from satisfied ones. RS: I believe gaining the clients trust is key when establishing a Design Build company. Instead of dealing with multiple entities to build like most people are used to, they would only be dealing with one- which is a new concept for single family owners. Reassuring them that we have both the expertise and their best interest in the design and the construction phase is something we phase regularly when dealing with new clients. /

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khammash architects

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khammash architects sustainability from jordan text & diagrams khammash architects

Khammash Architects started as a very small practice in the late 1980’s. Early projects focused on restoration and renovation of historic sites as well as interventions within cultural and natural heritage sites. Our office later expanded and became involved in numerous projects in Jordan, Oman, Palestine, Egypt, Syria and the UAE, ranging from master planning and urban design to sustainable tourism and destination design. Projects include hotels and lodges, restaurants, museums and interpretation centers, institutional and educational buildings, residential projects and interior design. Our values can be identified in relation to our understanding of the eco-system and the toll the human intervention takes on nature or its immediate context, and we constantly attempt to maneuver our way according to what the site hints, aiming at maintaining and extending the subtle balance and coherence between the man-made and the natural environment.

The Wild, Jordan Nature Center Type: Institutional - Cultural Area: 1550 sq.m. Location: Othman bin Affan Street, Amman, Jordan (31.951027, 35.93081) Date: 2001-2003 Client: The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) Program: Studios for researchers, Training Rooms, RSCN Offices, Conference/Exhibition rooms, CafĂŠ, Library, Nature Shop, Internet Bridge, Scenic Terraces.


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khammash architects

This project all the way from choosing the site, dealing with the slope, massing of the building, interior design to interpretative display and finishes wills to enrich activity and not architecture. The monument here is the subtle experience of people & not the architecture & its details. Unlike the usual practice in which buildings appear to push their mass out of the surface of the site, this building was designed to hover above the ground, it avoids the egoistic attempt at outsmarting the existing tissue, to the contrary it presents a scheme of articulation inspired by the architecture of the urban poor, and shows how inexpensive materials can be very avant grade and intellectually relevant, and how, in the most unassuming practical architectural fabric, there is always a set of original aesthetics superior to the contrived ones of the self-aware designer. The building portrays architecture without “style” but with methodology, without static image but with an agenda, and without snobbery to the context but with meaningful challenging respect. This communal void has special qualities defined by its accumulative architectural fabric, sound, flora cover, movement of people in allies & staircases; it is intentionally designed to let all qualities of the space enter in a fashion that allows for the interlocking of interior spaces with the larger downtown spaces. The project treats the site as a building by itself, a building owning a frontal façade with which to face the downtown below and a mass rather than an empty plot. Void is treated as another indoor space of a larger space, and the place for this building in its context is analogous to that of a wall to a gallery. Principal Materials Inexpensive materials were employed to demonstrate how design can achieve maximum added value, for example inexpensive common concrete tiles used in Ammani sidewalks(3$/m) were utilized to direct a casual street like setting rather than that of a restricted indoor. Recycling has been incorporated within insertions into the building; extensive recycling of soft drink cans was adopted; aluminum cans were smelted to produce inserts that will be polished in time by people walking on them, it was also used as a basic material for shading, for door veneers and as a final finish to the reception desk. Detail was given particular attention through many custom made items supplied by the designer such as bathroom borders made from recycled aluminum, staircase rails, café tables with multi-colored tile tops and handmade straw chairs. An unusual detail is a glazed opening within the concrete slab exposing the often hidden intestines of the building -under floor heating and other electromechanical systems. Structural System A minimal, raised & permanent concrete skeleton base that touches the site restrictively at certain meeting points similar to the manner by which a chair would sit on a carpet; thus ensuring preservation of the indigenous groundcover while allowing for future expansion downwards without sabotaging the streetscape. Sustainable Features The building utilizes a grey water system for irrigation, a solid waste management system regulates throughout the building as well, at each of the public washing basins is installed a water meter to remind visitors of their water consumption, a special filter has also been designed for the chimney, it functions to infiltrate smoke by slowing it down then cooling it through a mattress of shrubs that are washed by the rain, the residual solid particles are then flushed to the sewage drain. Existing vegetation was studied prior to design and many existing plants were preserved throughout the building.

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Eco-Tourism and Rangers Academy Type: Institutional - Cultural Area: 3500 sq.m. Location: Jabal Ajloun, Jordan (32.377307, 35.764456) Date: 2011-2013 3Client: The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) Program: Training Rooms, Offices, Conference Hall, Nature Shop, Restaurant, Dining Terraces.


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In the late 1980s-1990s, the Jordanian Government decided to stop many functioning quarries for a variety of environmental reasons. The abandoned quarries remained as untreated wounds and abandoned cuts in the landscape, with no serious land reclamation efforts. The proposed site of the new the Rangers Academy Building held the shadows of a once was a functioning quarry. In this project, our office decided to celebrate the quarry instead of erasing it, by using this man-made artificial exposed cliff to the advantage of the project. This deformed cut turned into the real thrilling challenge of the site. The building design was based on the quarry cliff cut-line that a bulldozer driver once drew in the land some twenty years ago, never knowing that this line will be the base of a building elevation. The building follows the quarry line very accurately creating a linear addition of constructed stone to the bedrock. The total fill elevation adds up from the ratio of one third added layer of construction on top to two thirds bedrock. The massive southern elevation, which is the most dramatic of all, consists of very small windows with giant vertical blade-like stone cracks shearing into zero width. Those cracks bring light into the vertical circulation areas and the hidden bathroom gardens. The shearing cement in the walls thins down to zero in width, causing the knife edges to crack and act upon their material character. The Academy Building has a two-fold functionality: from one side it is an environmental academy that presents nature-oriented educational programs, on the other, it is a high-end restaurant and a craft shop that finance the academic program of the project. Arriving to the building after crossing the entrance bridge spanning over the quarry gap, the building welcomes you at the exact middle contact point between the restaurant’s dining room to your right, and the academy to your left. The corridors are defined by a crack in the ceiling that lets natural sunlight in and guides the visitor to the rest of the academy. On the opposite side of the building facing the forest which was not affected by quarrying activities, the academy touches the forest with a beautiful handshake. The building hovers over the forest and barely touches it, and cantilevered terraces with blade-like edges floats, almost like paper, above trees canopies. Principal Materials The building has a very basic treatment of materials. It is made from Ajlouni lime stone from the site’s quarry and other quarries that share the same strudel of rock. In the lecture hall, plain concrete block is used for acoustic buffering and insulation in addition to straw in the wall sections. Cuts in the walls were kept exposed without plastering maintaining a simple and crude character. Structural System The quarry rock acts as the main foundation for the building as well as the bridge which defines the building’s main entrance and spans 30 meters over the quarry gap; it is the longest masonry arch in Jordan and probably the region and is equivalent in diameter to Hagia Sophia’s dome. The structure of the building at the forest side has a minimal footprint as the foundation columns cantilever tilts at 45 degrees above the forest floor allowing the terraces to hover above the trees. Sustainable Features The building depends on renewable energy resources including solar and geothermal technologies for cooling and heating. It also consciously reduces the energy consumption of the building through employing natural lighting and natural ventilation –by proper orientation and use of internal courtyards. Materials are mostly locally sourced, and involvement of local community was/is encouraged through providing employment opportunities during construction and operation. /

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turn your passion into

profession

January 2015

benchmark aims to inspire, motivate and support creative designers and innovative minds to translate their ideas into viable products in a marketplace.


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fundamentals

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fundamentals la biennale de venezia Jun. 7th - Nov. 23rd 2014

text press release labiennale.org photos abdulaziz alkandari

“ I wanted my biennale to disconnect from contemporary

Venice is known for hosting the International art and architecture biennale under la Biennale di Venezia institute. Every two years a curator will be selected to curate the exhibition by assigning a topic. Rem Koolhaas is the curator for the exhibition who entitled this year’s exhibition “Fundamentals”.

/The Maison Dom-ino

architecture “ Rem Koolhaas,

Architecture la Biennale 2014 curator

“With Rem Koolhaas we have created an exceptional, research-centered Architecture Biennale. Rem has planned an event that involves all of Biennale’s sectors, along with a bevy of researchers.” said Paolo Baratta, the chair of la Biennale “Absorbing Modernity 1914–2014 has been proposed for the contribution of all the pavilions, and they too are involved in a substantial part of the overall research project, whose title is Fundamentals. The Maison Dom-ino by architect le corbusier, 1914. Reconstruction by the AA School of Architecture, 2014.


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fundamentals

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Elements of Architecture / Central Pavilion

This exhibition is the result of a two-year research studio with the Harvard Graduate School of Design and collaborations with a host of experts from industry and academia… Elements of Architecture looks under a microscope at the fundamentals of our buildings, used by any architect, anywhere, anytime: the floor, the wall, the ceiling, the roof, the door, the window, the façade, the balcony, the corridor,

Monditalia / Arsenale For the first time this year, Venice’s other biennales and festivals – Dance, Music, Theatre, Film – collaborate with architectur

In a moment of crucial political change, we decided to look at Italy as a “fundamental” country, completely unique but also emblematic of a global situation where many countries are balancing between chaos and a realization of their full potential. The Arsenale presents a scan of Italy, established by 82 films, 41 architectural projects, and a merger of architecture with la biennale’s dance, music, theatre, and film sections. Each project in Monditalia concerns unique and specific conditions but together form a comprehensive portrait of the host country

Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014 / National Pavilions

For the first time, the national pavilions are invited to respond to a single theme. 65 countries – in the Giardini, at the Arsenale and elsewhere in the city – examine key moments from a century of modernization. Together, the presentations start to reveal how diverse material cultures and political environments transformed a generic modernity into a specific one. Participating countries show, each in their own way, a radical splintering of modernities in a century where the homogenizing process of globalization appeared to be the master narrative.

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pavilion of kuwait

At the 14th International Architecture Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia The NCCAL Announces Acquiring Modernity: The Kuwait Pavilion at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia Kuwait City—May 1, 2014. Commissioned by the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters, Kuwait’s pavilion at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia will take place from June 7, 2014 until November 23, 2014. Housed in the Arsenale, Acquiring Modernity is Kuwait’s second participation after Kethra, which debuted at the 13th International Architecture Exhibition in 2012. Under the supervision of Deputy-Commissioner Zahra Ali Baba and the creative direction of artist-curator Alia Farid, Acquiring Modernity will address the exhibition’s overarching theme of 100 years of modernity from 1914 to 2014. Commissioned in parallel with Kuwait’s first modern monument proposal to UNESCO, the pavilion will explore symbols of modernity in Kuwait’s architecture, with a special focus on Michel Ecochard’s Kuwait National Museum, designed in 1960 and completed in 1983.

At the inauguration of Acquiring Modernity, participants will restage the celebratory opening of the Kuwait National Museum in 1983. During the rest of the six-month exhibition, they will continue developing their investigations regarding the role of the museum and the rehabilitation of its programs. Kuwait’s participation in Venice is only one moment of visibility from a larger project that aims to restore rigorous cultural involvement in the country. Representing Kuwait at the Biennale Architettura 2014 is a team of 21 individuals engaged in diverse areas of research, fabrication, and image-making: Aisha Alsager, Dana Aljouder, Sara Saragoça Soares, Hassan Hayat, Nesef Al Nesef, Noora Al Musallam, Amara Abdal Figueroa, Gráinne Hebeler, Abdullah AlHarmi, Samer Mohammed, Nima Algooneh, Liane Al-Ghusain, Adel AlQattan, Wafa’a Al-Fraheen, Dalal Al-Sane, Noura Alsager, Maysaa Almumin, Cherihan Nasr, Fatema Alqabandi, Alaa Alawadhi, and Ghazi Al-Mulaifi. The pavilion will also feature collaborations with filmmakers Shakir Abal and Oscar Boyson, graphic design duo Dexter Sinister, and artist Abdullah Al-Awadhi. Accompanying the pavilion is a research publication available in English and Arabic, a film set for release in November 2014, and a joint installation with the Nordic Pavilion.

/kuwait water tower; a joint installation with the Nordic Pavilion

“The pavilion will investigate the arrival of modernity in Kuwait through a number of buildings and projects commissioned by the state as ‘modern status symbols,’ particularly the Kuwait National Museum,” said Farid. “The investigation will also analyze the current conditions of these buildings towards understanding the impact of modernity on local culture—whether modernist ideals were assimilated, altered, neglected, rejected—and what those reactions convey about contemporary society in Kuwait.”

Above: Kuwait Pavilion, Arsenale 2014, la Biennale di Venezia. Left: Kuwait Water Tower; a joint installation with the Nordic Pavilion. Gardini 2014, la Biennale di Venezia.

For more detailed information about the curator, participants, or the pavilion, please visit our website: www.acquiringmodernity.com. Acquiring Modernity is proudly supported by the Ministry of State for Youth Affairs, and real estate partner, United Real Estate Company.

info@acquiringmodernity.com Facebook: /AcquiringModernity Instagram: @kuwaitpavilion


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pavilion of the kingdom of bahrain at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition- la Biennale di Venezia

At a moment when the Arab world is in turmoil, it seems relevant, from Bahrain to assess what remains of the pan-Arab project; a transnational political and cultural project, born in the early 20th century, coinciding with the birth of modernism in the region. Under the Ottoman rule, European colonial forces inscribed the beginning of a modernist project, first through an infrastructure of rail lines and then with more pronounced colonial ambitions that were translated through a territorial project of modernization at both the urban and architectural scale. As the political situation continued to evolve, the colonial map was slowly replaced by the real estate developer’s model as neo-liberal ideals were loosely adopted and generally accepted as the new modus operandi. The exhibition is conceived as a subjective, non-exhaustive and sometimes fictional reading of the architectural legacy of the last 100 years across the Arab World, initiated as a first attempt to safeguard the archival architectural heritage of this region. It includes a selection of a hundred buildings, laid out flat without any pretention of qualitative architectural judgment that will join the archives of the Arab Center for Architecture. Commissioner: Ministry of Culture Curatored by Bernard Khoury and George Arbid, Arab Center for Architecture Exhibition Design: Bernard Khoury/ DW5

pavilion of the united arab emirates at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition- la Biennale di Venezia

‘Lest We Forget: Structures of Memory in the United Arab Emirates’ Responding to the theme ‘Absorbing Modernity: 1914-2014’ set by the curator of the 14th International Architecture Exhibition, Rem Koolhaas, ‘Lest We Forget: Structures of Memory in the United Arab Emirates,’ presents the seminal findings of a larger initiative to archive the history of architectural and urban development in the UAE over the past century. With a concentrated emphasis on the 1970s-1980s, the exhibition examines how public and residential architecture, built within a rapidly expanding urban context, shaped the newly established federation and prepared the foundation for its emergence on a global stage. The exhibition is based on the concept of an open archive, providing the viewer a platform to engage with primary material that illuminates the historic development of cities in the UAE and collective memory. Set within a century-long chronology, structured into four distinct historical phases, the exhibition explores the transmission of architectural traditions from indigenous through modern to contemporary architecture. press@nationalpavilionuae.org Twitter: @pavilionuae Facebook: /nationalpavilionuae Instagram: @nationalpavilionuae


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xrange taipei, taiwan text & diagrams xrange

Founded in 2003 by architect Grace Cheung and industrial designer / entrepreneur Royce YC Hong, Taipei-based XRANGE is a multidisciplinary office that operates between the largest (+) and the smallest (-) of project scales, with works encompassing urban planning, architecture, landscape, environments, products and concepts. The partners’ diverse international roots and broad design spectrum transform project constraints into unique design solutions for each distinct site and client. Our problem-solving, concept driven approach is highly practical yet absolutely inspired. The award winning work of XRANGE have been featured in numerous blogs and international media including the New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Monocle, Frame, Surface, I.D. Magazine, Icon, Arbitare and Dwell. XRANGE was named by Wallpaper as one of “101 of the World’s Most Exciting New Architects” in 2007. XRANGE’s first building, the Ant Farm House, was included in “The Phaidon’s Atlas of 21st Century World Architecture” in 2008. ROYCE YC HONG managing principal Born in the USA and raised in Taiwan. Graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with a Bachelor of Industrial Design, and Art Center College of Design with a Bachelor in Graphic Design. Previously worked as the Creative Director for PC home Online in Taipei, and as an Industrial Designer at Matsushita Electric in Japan. He co-founded Agenda Corporation, an international web marketing consultancy later acquired by the WPP Group in 2008. Royce is the co-founder, design chief and CEO of IPEVO, maker of designs for learning currently used in 35% of all K-12 American schools. Author of the book “Driven by Design: thinking across boundaries as a designer CEO” out in 2012. GRACE CHEUNG AIA principal architect Born and raised in Malaysia and Canada. Graduated Master of Architecture from Columbia University, New York and a licensed architect in the USA. Previously worked at Patkaus Architects of Vancouver, Bernard Tschumi Architects in New York, and OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture) Asia in Hong Kong and Rotterdam, with extensive international project experience. She is a frequent lecturer, teacher and visiting critic at various universities in Taiwan. She is also the creative consultant for MEME, a non-profit platform founded by the Hong’s Foundation for Education and Culture in Taipei.


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amba Hotel - An Urban Escape Designed for international urban travelers, amba Hotel is a 200 room boutique hotel with the 24hr book store Eslite and Muji on its lower floors. The projects takes inspiration from its exciting site- Shimenting, a place of vibrant youth energy, dizzying neon, dense signages, and high traffic- to define the hotel as a distinctive landmark focus amidst this swirling urban melting pot. The design concept interprets the seething chaos of the dynamic site into a 10-story urban effect of flow patterns that is visible from blocks away. Scripting is used to derive the flow pattern on the 30 year old building quickly and “naturally” by enabling a flexible and fluid work methodology. A highly effective means to systematize and rationalize the existing ad hoc openings and vents, scripting absorbs facade irregularities as movement criteria and maps them into quantitative parameters for shifting triangular forms. The resultant flow patterns are then directly transcribed into construction drawings for the facade. The urban flow concept is carried through to the Street Salon, a 30mx8m, 12m high outdoor lobby and bar entrance sandwiched between tall buildings. A grand cathedral like urban space wrapped by custom PET fringes that flow and sway to the wind, Street Salon defines a sense of welcoming calm in the frantic hustle and bustle of the dense urban concrete jungle of Shimenting. In the day time, this fringed skin is a solar shading design that allows full cross ventilation. After dark, it transforms into a diaphanous haze lit by webs of fiber optics to illuminate the urban bar below. Street Salon is made from recycled materials that are also fully recyclable in the future. The fringes are made from woven PET yarns that can resist the damning effects of the environment, and is fire resistant. The floor material and custom furniture are made from plastic wood composite material that is fabricated from 100% recycled materials and can be fully recycled. “Wood look” benches are made from recycled concrete granules.

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CC Hong Memorial Hall The project is a memorial to Mr. CC Hong, founder of National/ Panasonic Taiwan), one of Asia’s most renown home electronics brands. The memorial hall is the penthouse centerpiece to the National Taiwan University College of Management, with a 200-seat conference facility, faculty lounge and offices. Launched in tandem with a lecture program, CC Hong Memorial Hall is conceived as a dynamic learning space rather than a static monument, to be used daily by students and faculty. Inspired by radio waves (Mr. CC Hong started out as a radio repairman), XRANGE creates a space crafted entirely from solid oak columns, with a mural “story” told by variegated striations of light and shadow. Mr. Hong’s portrait and 2 street scape images that captured his legacy- the 45 year old CCHong Foundation of Arts and Education and the enormous “National” neon billboard that once dominated the heart of old Taipei for a decade- were melded into the space as a subtle yet distinct presence. The murals were made as a three dimensional spatial imprint, as negative cut-outs from 300 pieces of densely placed 4X15x240cm solid oak columns. A total of 600 oak columns were used in the entire space.

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struggle to success /yazan hajazin

yazan hajazin

text & diagrams yazan hajazin Only through struggle and setbacks do we find ourselves and discover our true passion. This is the reality for many creators and creatives. It is also the story of an investment banker transformed into a furniture designer; the story of Ankownymous. After serving in the banking sector for ten years as the head of asset management, I found myself unjustifiably jobless. I was left hopeless and in a sudden income-less status. Between trying to take in this new reality and the little inner voice that told me “everything happens for a reason�, it took me a series of unfortunate events and disappointments to get back on my feet and gradually find out more about myself and what I truly want. To experience the value of inexperience was fascinating to me and so was learning about how a large part of innovation, is actually beginner’s luck. What had prevented me to believe in myself at the beginning essentially became an asset of mine along the way! At the end of the day, each one of us sololy responsible for designing his own life, I strongly believe.

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yazan hajazin

Choosing to pursue my love for design after so many years of business-oriented thinking gave birth to a weird yet fruitful mix between the rigidness of investment banking and the craziness and playfulness of design. I found that there is room to create a symbiosis of multifunctionality, value and flexibility. The asset manager in me always kept looking for value while my conceptual thoughts were formed with regards to any potential design request. The outcome has been bespoke design concepts and pieces.

Opposite page: OYO Coffee Table Set Old Yugoslavian Oak wooden top got the “Anknownymous way” treatment and was transformed into a coffee table set. The set was crafted in a way that utilizes space to gracefully accommodate one multifunctional piece. For a personalized touch, the table’s legs can be made out of steel or wood.

By 2010, I started collaborating with 3D artists to transform my sketches, ideas, and notes into a proper 3D bespoke collection. I borrowed money to pay for a 3d proof of my creativity, but it wasn’t enough. I cashed-in my investment scheme in its 3rd year and took what was available to pay for trips to Milan Design Week and Index Exhibition in Dubai to gather feedback. I needed proper feedback -not compliments- from experts in the industry (designers, architects, and manufacturers). I yearned to hear strangers’ opinions about my 3d pieces. Feedback exceeded my expectations and I was overwhelmed. Since that moment, I never stopped sketching and detailing furniture, interior accessories, and lighting concepts. It all started with my first and only Benchark, which was my first commission as a furniture designer by Orient Gallery. It was Benchark that marked a new chapter in my life, a chapter bursting with creations followed by numerous praises, surprises and unexplored horizons.

Above: Scaffold28 is a multi-purpose and multi-functional hand-made piece. It is mainly composed of 28 pieces of steel sections representing various parts of one whole. The inspiration for this piece came about as a result of Anknownymous’ fascination with temporarily built structures that are made to facilitate serving a whole different entity. Anknownymous chose a one-purpose and temporarily built common structure -Scaffoldingand turned it into a multi-purpose, multi functional piece. Scaffold 28 can serve as an exclusive bench seating or as a modern T.V. unit as it offers extra shelving storage options for your CDs, favorite books, or special wine collection. It is also equipped with an indirect light in order to add another dimension to your interiors. This piece is designed especially for Art Week Amman and is 300x60 cm.

In March 2011, and after working hard for over one year to create the “right” trademark that is able to capture the true essence of what I am intending to do, one which tells my story, I am now the owner and lead designer at Ankownymous, where I always try to sculpt elegant, simply sophisticated and provocative furniture and fixtures and vigilantly take on interior design and lighting projects that capture my wild imagination and unruly attention especially in my favorite industry of all; F&B. Anknownymous today is a Jordanian spatial design studio, created with passion and raw talent and focused on bespoke furniture, interior accessories, and lighting design. The design studio’s exclusive interior concept operates with a carefully selected number of commercial outlets.

Previous Page: Benchark’s design concept stems from a blend of two contradicting characteristics: motion and stillness. On the one hand, the design abstractly impersonates an organic tree’s log that was extracted from nature. On the other, it resembles the structural remains of an ancient wooden ark. The identical twin legs branch out organically carrying a straight wooden line with an authentic bronze and copper finish. Benchark is a 3.5m long bench designed by Anknownymous for Orient Gallery in Amman. Benchark is a Golden A’ Design Award winner for Furniture, Decorative Items, and Home ware for 2011-2012.

On the right: From a formal living set in a Jerusalem-based private residence, Noura was completely refurbished and renovated by Anknownymous. It’s a one of a kind set- a collector’s item- made from Italian copper colored leather and dark navy blue velvet. This 9-piece set took 4 months of work due to the use of handmade stitches to wed the leather with the velvet. Two pieces of the original set were presented as a 1948 twin blend of turquoise and dark camel velvet and highly exquisite details. The remaining seven pieces were combined in another set of a three-seater sofa and 4 singles where each 2 are identical. This was the first vintage experience by Anknownymous and was funded by my close friend Noura, hence the name.

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text soha alsaleh

The creative industry includes advertising, architecture, art, design, fashion, film, gaming, music, theatre, publishing, and television. Participants in this industry generate ideas and have unique skills, thus contributing to culture, research and development. Creatives are unique in their skills - they are risk takers and multi disciplined, as well as being motivated and original.

/ashish banerjee

Today, our region has the honor of having some of the most creative people in the industry. Ranging from advertising to art, Pages is pleased to feature some of the major players in the industry today.

INNOVATIVE DESIGN

Thuraya AlBaqsami was in Kuwait in 1952, becoming a female artist early on and receiving several awards including a bronze medal in 1971 by the Kuwaiti Society of Formative Artists. Thuraya studied at the College of Fine Arts in Egypt and earned her masters degree at in Russia. She received the Golden Palm Leaf award from the GCC Biennale 1989 and was awarded First Prize of the Kuwait National Museum-Exhibition in 1987 and 1992. Thuraya’s work can be found in public and private collections throughout Europe, the Middle East and the United States. Thuraya has also received awards in literature for her collection of short stories Cellar Candles in 1993 and the State Award for Children Literature in 1997 for The Recollection of small Kuwaiti Fatuma. Thuraya has also been the winnder of the Arab Women’s Award in 2014 for the Arts category. Manal AlDowayan is a conceptual artist, who was born and raised in Saudi Arabia. Before making the career change to becoming a full time artist, Manal worked as the Creative Director of the Saudi Arabian Oil Company. Manal has participated in the Delfina Foundation - London, The Town House Gallery - Cairo, Cuadro Gallery – Dubai (where she is presently being represented), and Mathaf Project Space – Doha and has also been inducted into the Clore Leadership program and the British Council International Cultural Leaders program. Manal has participated in various exhibitions including the collateral exhibitions in the  Venice Biennial in 2011 and 2009, the Berlin Biennial in 2010, and in Contemporary Istanbul in 2010. Her works are part of the permanent collections of the British Museum, LA County Museum, Mathaf Museum of Modern Arab Art, the Jordan National Museum of Fine Art, the Abdul Latif Jamil Foundation, the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH), the Nadour Foundation, and the Barjeel Foundation.

Today, the creative industry is becoming increasingly important to economies – some even describing it as part of the “new economy”. At the heart of this economy lies the intersection of art, business, culture and technology. The United Kingdom has defined the creative industry as being “based on individual creativity, skill, and talent”. Defenders of the industry argue that human creativity is an essential resource to be leveraged for future innovation, and that therefore, the industry has huge potential to create jobs and wealth.

Ash started with JWT-Bombay in 1986, then worked with McCann Erickson in New York, Bucharest, London, Milan and Dubai, before moving to Lippincott (a leading global brand consultancy), working on brand strategy engagements for several telcos in the MENA region, then on to du in 1998. During his tenure at du, the brand’s composite brand health index and its financial value have tripled, resulting in du winning Gold for Best Brand Evolution and the Grand Prix at the recent Transform Awards MENA 2014. His career includes establishing and leading McCann’s global Telecommunications Practice Area, leading work on major global and regional brands, serving in strategy and regional management roles across Central & Eastern Europe, and creating several new frameworks for communications strategy planning and brand development. His work has won several major creative and effectiveness awards, been published in leading journals and books, and some of it lives on as case studies at Harvard and LBS. He’s also known to be an engaging and inspiring speaker and will serve on the jury of the MENA Effies later this year.

SOHA ALSALEH

/manal aldowayan

THE CREATIVE INDUSTRY

/thuraya albaqsami

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Yousef Tuqan Tuqan is one of the MENA region’s most experienced and respected digital marketing experts, with a diverse agency career in the UAE that spans over 18 years. Throughout this time Yousef has led the digital strategy and delivery of some of the Middle East’s most iconic brands. As the Chief Innovation Officer of Leo Burnett Group Of Companies MENA & Publicis Middle East, Yousef is working to create an environment of experimentation within the Group, encouraging its creative teams to combine the Leo Burnett HumanKind philosophy with innovations and breakthrough technologies. Yousef joined Leo Burnett in 2014 following an 8 year tenure at Flip Media – the region’s largest digital agency - where he had served as CEO since 2007 and worked with Leo Burnett across the Group’s network since Flip Media’s acquisition by Leo Burnett in 2012. /yousef tuqan

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Yousef is a regular university lecturer & keynote speaker, and is a frequent contributor to regional and international publications and events. He is also a Board Member of the International Advertising Association’s UAE Chapter and a member of the international branding think-thank, Medinge

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calligraphiti abdulrahman alnughaimshi i will not talk about art because I did not study it academically, but rather was interested in it as a hobby, rather I will talk about my work and how I started. Twelve years ago, I used to buy spray cans for 5 Saudi Riyals to make stencils. I was a fan of Lincoln Park at that time and I used to make stencils of their tags for Mike and their DJ Joe Hahn. After graduating from high school, I could not attend university, as my grades were low, so I spent most of my time drawing. I was interested in drawing Manga and Japanese anime, so much so, that I spend my whole allowance on art supplies sometimes. It was this experimentation with different arts and crafts that helped me hone my skills. This could be considered my entry into the art scene, but I was still a beginner at the time and was still rather amateur. My passion for calligraphy started to develop when I was about 10 years old. One of my main inspirations was my fine arts teacher at school, Nasser al Harbi, who also happened to be a calligrapher. He used to draw beautiful pieces of art with chalk on the blackboard in class, and I would say that his work is comparable to that of the best calligraphers in the world but I may have a slight bias because he was my teacher. I still remember how, although my handwriting at the time wasn’t that good, Mr. Nasser would show it to the other teachers with pride. He was my main motivation at the time and always gave me his full support and even awarded me some certificates and added my name to the “ideal student board” a couple of times. I used to admire him and his positive attitude as well as high quality work, which had a huge effect on me. Even though I ignored all the rules that I was supposed to follow and rebelled against his style, I will never forget that he is the main reason behind my love of this field. After primary school, I developed new interests and started getting my inspiration from new places. I

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became interested in Japanese Anime and Manga Art, which ended up becoming a big influence on my work. This was also the time at which I started developing an interest for digital art. Our computer teacher in high school was interested in graphics and had Photoshop 3 installed on his computer so I started learning from him. I was eager to learn and asked many questions and he was always generous enough to teach me. After learning, I started developing artwork for online forums and electronic signatures for my friends. After high school I eventually got employed in the field, making graphics and specializing in logos and type design. My interest in branding, logos and trademarks grew and I wanted to master them through experience. I ended up making around 60 official logos for established companies. For 12 years, I worked with everything from small design shops to recognized companies. My last full-time job was at Al-Bilad Bank, a well-known Bank in Saudi Arabia. I worked as brand manager and used to take care of color finishing, following up with the printing press and managing their corporate identity. That bank was actually the reason that my current art practice developed and became what it is today. I had a lot of free time at that job and used to research and read about popular artists such as Munir Al Sha’rani and Hassan Masood. At that time, I was also moved by street art and wanted to search for a way to combine it with calligraphy. I bought some spray cans and started to practice, but wasn’t comfortable with the way it was turning out until I discovered sprays with a flat brush effect. I did some research to try and find what other tools I could use. I found the widest possible brush (8 inches wide) and started trying to get the effect I wanted that way. During my research, I came across Shoe Meulman, the artist who is credited with inventing the category of Calligraffiti Art. Calligraffti can be described as the combination of Calligraphy and Graffiti. Artists use the same type of flat brushes used in calligraphy but create strokes on large areas just like graffiti. I started to use “M-cans” and found that it was easy to use for drawing on floors but more difficult when being used on walls. Even though it was difficult, I kept practicing and trying new techniques. I used to look for calligraphy tools everywhere and pay lots of money to get them shipped from places like Iran and China. Sometimes I would find interesting tools with


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online traders on websites like eBay and Amazon but they were expensive and their shipping costs were high as well. I was limited while working on regular paper and wanted to have the freedom to expand my pieces to a larger scale. The largest papers I could find were 100cm x 70cm but I still felt that this limited me. I then tried using large rice paper that had to be imported from China and Japan but the paper was expensive and very light. From a young age, I had the habit of putting too much pressure on my pen and the paper simply couldn’t withstand the heavy strokes from the brushes I used since it is normally used with ultra-soft brushes made of animal or human hair. For seven years, I tried to get the effect I wanted unsuccessfully until one day I met an artist who gave me a valuable piece of advice: “True artists are the ones who make their tools by themselves.” I wanted to try using tools that are not commonly used in art. I stated getting pieces of wood and wrapping them in various fabrics that I would then soak in ink. The result was immediate: I was getting perfect strokes with a beautiful gradient, exactly what I had been trying to achieve. The discovery felt like winning a lottery and I immediately called my wife Wafaa and told her to celebrate. I realized that it was not necessary to use the same type of paint used by famous artists or the same brush type. The quality and type of tools an artist uses does not matter as long as it gives them the effect they want. It was only when I started looking into the idea of customizing my own tools that my artistic career really took off. For all this time I hadn’t been able to express the ideas I had. The boundaries of the rules and tools of traditional calligraphy had held me back and it wasn’t until I rebelled against them that I found my current style. It was only after being able to express my artistic ideas that I got discovered as an artist and quickly became more well-known within the art community.

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I never really cared about being famous in the public scene. I care more about being known and respected in the art scene. On many occasions I’ve been asked to draw something at public festivals or other events. They would ask me to draw something for a wall or floor, but I always refuse. I don’t want my work to become a mass consumer product. My objective is to have my artwork appreciated, and most of the public audience wouldn’t understand it and therefore couldn’t appreciate it. I don’t mean to sound arrogant, but art has different levels. If the audience understands the art then the artist can come close to the public and interact with them, such as with Graffiti art. People are now familiar with graffiti art so it is considered acceptable to have live graffiti shows at festivals. My work on the other hand is still being criticized, mainly because people are not familiar with the tools I use. I was even called by the police once for painting over an abandoned building. My advice for all beginner artists is to work and practice, not to worry about fame. I believe if you focus only on making the art itself, you will become a successful artist. If you focus on fame, you might become a celebrity for a short period of time but one day everyone will see through the fame and the lack of quality artwork. A real artist focuses on developing art and becoming more professional. Innovating tools and working the artwork will not come fast. Every artist seeks appreciation, but one has to work and to achieve it. /


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moath aloufi

moath aloufi

my name is Muath AlOufi, born in the Madinah Elmonawara – place of prophet Mohammed (peace and Allah’s prayers and blessings be upon him). I grew up living at various locations in the Madinah and spent my childhood learning about it, hence I would remember simple scenes of the latest expansion works at the Prophet’s Mosque during the era of King Fahed Bin Abdulaziz, as well as the emergence of the cement forest surrounding the Prophet’s Mosque, which began wearing away our old residential quarters and ancient history representing in water wells and gracious places of the prophet. Several years have elapsed and the Madinah’s profile has changed into an unsteady layout, to the point that we have started feeling like strangers in the “ New Madinah “, and at present our only memories are the pictures we have of our city. My father owns a collection of these pictures in his office, and he would talk about them to anyone visiting us, saying: “Look this is the Anbariyah quarter and its old gate, Alghamamah mosque, Housh Alra’e, and this is Almanakhah“. My father would also reminisce about the life of the people in Madinah, as well as their customs and traditions. I left the Madinah for nearly ten years, and when I returned I could not find it, therefore, I decided to begin my journey to search for it. The new expansion works are approaching and whatever left from the Madinah and its ruins are at risk, and hopefully the pictures will be the only evidence for the next generations to identify the Madinah Elmonawara. Facts: Expansion works of the Prophet’s Mosque shall cover the following residential quarters: Alanabes, Alsuqia, Almeghaislah, Bani Abdul Ashhal, Alduiamah, Alseeh, Alfath, Bani Thafar, Qurban, Aljumah, Almasaneh, Bani Muawiya, Abraya. These quarters contain 135 schools to be removed. The removal works, which involve 4000 workers, will then be replaced by more than 25 hotels at the central zone. According to sources, the properties to be removed from the Eastern and Western districts amount to 100 properties, while the total compensation amounts to 25 Billion Riyals. The people of Madinah, will be the ones most affected by these expansion works, which seems to them to be an act of replacement of their old city and its history. /

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crossway foundation

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111 /hamida al-kawarir 2011 winner

create and inspire 2014

INSPIRING the next generation of young creatives. The Crossway Foundation is a UK-based charitable foundation delivering arts and education initiatives for young people in the Middle East and the UK. The Foundation focuses on delivering international creative journeys for young people, as well as running a public programme that is free and open to all.

Nasser, on the other hand, is a calligrapher who lives and works in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Nasser won the 2012 competition and in 2013 was announced as one of the shortlisted candidates for the Jameel Prize 3, in partnership with the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

One of the Foundation’s main initiatives is Create & Inspire, an art competition that identifies talented young artists in the Middle East and in the UK. Winners of the competition are invited to go on a creative journey, with the aim of inspiring these young artists to explore cultures and cross borders in a creative and positive way.

For the 2014 competition, we asked Anggi Makki, another of our past winners (and responsible for the hugely popular YouTube mini-series Takki), to create a special trailer for us. Anggi’s poetic video perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the competition, ending with the following call to action: “Art encourages change within societies and most importantly, it changes the way we see the world. Make your own art. Because it matters.”

“We strongly believe in the power of first hand experiences to change people’s lives and perspectives, and that those people can then go on to have a real impact in their own societies,” says Crossway Foundation Founder, Stephen Stapleton. As a result of this initiative, we have discovered an exciting network of talented young creatives of whom we are immensely proud. Since being part of our programme, they have all gone on to do impressive and important things in their communities. Two such creatives are Hamida Al-Kawari and Nasser Al-Salem. Hamida is a Qatari filmmaker who, since winning in 2011, has become the first Qatari woman to have set foot on Antartica, which she visited for a film she is creating about environmental issues.

For the 2014 iteration, The Crossway Foundation team, along with a panel of experts, has selected twelve competition winners aged 16-25. These winners will be travelling with us to Brazil in September 2014 to experience one of the most colourful cultures in the world on the creative adventure of a lifetime. This edition of the Create & Inspire initiative is made possible in partnership with Art Jameel, Qatar Museums, Qatar Brazil 2014 Year of Culture, Etihad Airways, and British Council. /

Follow their journey at www.crossway-foundation.org

/nasser al-salem 2012 winner

text & diagrams crossway foundation


talents farah behbahani // back cover yazan khalili tammam azam manal aldowayan dina haddadin mike v. derderian huda beydoun mohammed abbas rasha youssef


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farah behbehani

Artist Farah Behbehani at CAP Gallery, The Art Room. Artwork Title: Faa’ Letter

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The ‘Tree of Life II ’ A visual interpretation of a verse by the Sufi writer and mystic Mansur al-Hallaj that states: ‘The dot is the beginning of all Arabic letterforms, the point from which Allah created the letters of the alphabet’,

The installation is composed of all the letters of the Arabic alphabet in different variations of the Sumbuli script. The letters are created from lazer-cut sheets of wood that are lacquered in varying shades, representing the tree’s foliage. A selection of letters taken from a verse by Rumi are created in metal, giving visual distinction and engaging the viewer: ‘Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.’

The bark is made of embroidered braided fabric, which is suspended at the bottom of the letters. The installation re-introduces everyday materials in a new form, combining the sacred and the mundane, the spiritual and earthly. Lighting will also play an important role in creating shadows and ambience.

Lacquered wood, metal and embroidered fabric Size: 250 x 350 H cm Winner of the Distinction Award, April 2012 Sharjah Biennial of Calligraphy, Sharjah Calligraphy Museum


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Fann: Art in Geometric Patterns Fann: Art in Geometric Patterns is a multifaceted design that playfully incorporates the letters (fa’) and (nun), Arabic for ‘art’ (fann), into traditional geometric patterns. Modular by nature, simply overlap the edges of the polygons to attain the desired dimensions. Create a frame for a mirror, painting or picture and apply to your a surface of choice. The package includes four corners and eight side extensions that can be used to adjust the size of the frame. In addition, it contains an Arabesque head that can be placed onto the top of the frame, inspiring an Eastern motif. Package dimensions: 180 x 160 cm Farah Behbehani - Project Mulsaq Khatt Design Collection: Vinyl Wall Stickers by Mosaiques

Ruuh: Life with Letters Life with Letters is an open-ended calligraphic play of the Sumbuli script. Bringing the art of Arabic calligraphy to the use of the public, this design allows users to create beautiful calligraphic compositions in their homes and offices. The dynamic letterforms may be used to create an endless number of designs, giving the freedom to play with the letters on different surfaces and spaces. The package includes the alphabet in classic Sumbuli calligraphy in large and small, as well as a fluid Sumbuli script, provided in different colours. Package dimensions: 180 x 160 cm Farah Behbehani - Project Mulsaq Khatt Design Collection: Vinyl Wall Stickers by Mosaiques

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inspiring photography

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inspiring photography /yazan khalili

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Yazan Khalili was born in 1981. He currently lives and works in and out of Palestine.

 Khalili received a degree in architecture from Birzeit University in 2003 and in 2010 graduated with a Masters degree from the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmith’s College, University of London. Currently he is doing MFA degree at Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam. He was one of the founding members of Zan Design Studio (2005), and Beit Aneeseh Bar (2010), he was a finalist in the A. M. Qattan Foundation’s Young Artists Award (2006), as well as an artist-in-residence at the The Delfina Foundation in London (2008) and The Danish Film School (2006). He was the production Coordinator for Sharjah Biennials 9 & 10. He taught Politics of Production course at the International Art Academy - Palestine, and co-curated along with Reem Shilleh the Young Artist of the Year Award (YAYA 2012). He also curated The City | The Image symposium with Goethe Institute, Ramallah 2012. In 2013, he Curated The Long Journey exhibition, working with the UNRWA Audio-Visual archive for Palestine refugees. 
Khalili’s photography is detailed, reflective and full of intent. Using photography and the written word, Khalili unpacks historically constructed landscapes. Borrowing from cinematic language, images become frames where the spectator embodies the progression of time and narratives. He has woven together parallel stories over the years, forming both questions and paradoxes concerning scenery and the act of gazing, all of which are refracted through the prism of intimate politics and alienating poetics. In particular, he focuses on the effect of geographical distance on our rendering of territory, and its ability to heighten or arrest our political and sentimental attachments. /

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violence, a visual response

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tammam azzam violence, a visual response

Following the outbreak of violence in Syria, Azzam has used his artistic practice to reflect on the worsening situation. The artist has been working increasingly with digital media and has often referenced street art, recognising both of these mediums as powerful and direct tools for protest, which are also difficult to suppress. In early 2013, Azzam made headlines world wide when his work Freedom Graffiti went viral on social media. He enlisted one of the most iconic kisses in art – Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss - to protest his country’s suffering, superimposing this image of love over the walls of a war-torn building in Damascus. The work was one of a series, Syrian Museum, in which he placed imagery taken from masterpieces of Western art history into photographs of scenes of devastation across Syria, to both highlight the destruction of Syria’s cultural heritage and to juxtapose some of the greatest achievements of humanity with the pain it is also capable of inflicting. The canvases of Syrian artist Tammam Azzam are experiments in the application of various media. Unusual components such a rope, clothes pins and other found objects are employed to create depth, texture and space, achieving a striking balance between the ordinary objects the artist portrays and the grand terrain that he evokes. For Azzam, such a methodology facilitates the creation of an artwork as a “hybrid form,” one that is capable of borrowing and multiplying as it evolves. Born in Damascus in 1980, Tammam Azzam lives and works in Dubai. Selected solo and group exhibitions include Ayyam Gallery London (2013); the 30th Biennal of Graphic Arts, Slovenia (2013); Ayyam Gallery Al Quoz, Dubai (2012, 2009); Ayyam Gallery DIFC, Dubai (2011); Ayyam Gallery Beirut (2010); Ayyam Gallery Damascus (2010)


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the state of disappearance

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manal alduwayan

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bio Manal AlDowayan is a conceptual artist. She was born and raised in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia and carries a Masters degree in Systems Analysis and Design. She worked as the Creative Director of the Saudi Arabian oil company for ten years before becoming a full-time artist. She has participated in several residencies including: Delfina Foundation in London, The Town House Gallery in Cairo, Cuadro Gallery in Dubai, and Mathaf Project Space in Doha. Manal has been inducted into various cultural leadership initiatives including the Clore Leadership program and the British Council International Cultural Leaders program. She has also been invited as the key note speaker in many international conferences and seminars; most recently at the Clinton Foundation in Little Rock, Arkansas as part of the Club de Madrid’s 2012 annual conference, entitled “Harnessing 21st Century Solutions: A Focus on Women” and at “Beyond Borders, The Platform for Small Nation Dialogue and Cultural Exchange” in Scotland 2012. Manal has been included in international exhibitions including the collateral exhibitions in the Venice Biennial in 2011 and 2009, the Berlin Biennial in 2010, and in Contemporary Istanbul in 2010. Her works are part of the permanent collections of the British Museum, LA County Museum, Mathaf Museum of Modern Arab Art, the Jordan National Museum of Fine Art, the Abdul Latif Jamil Foundation, the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH), the Nadour Foundation, and the Barjeel Foundation. Manal AlDowayan is represented by Cuadro Gallery in Dubai. She currently lives and works between her native Dhahran, Saudi Arabia and Dubai, UAE.


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the state of disappearance

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The State of Disappearance My constant questioning of the state of disappearance led me to its counterbalance - the necessary act of preservation. I began examining two subjects and setting them against each other: the Arabic language that acts as a gateway to understanding and the terminology/lexicon utilized often is integral to comprehending a subject matter. The beauty and complexity of the Arabic language, with its multitude of descriptions for any given word, has been repeatedly lauded. At the same time I explore the media portrayal of the Saudi woman. Specifically in daily newspapers where a filtered image is fed to the masses through repetition creating a gender stereotype that can dramatically alter how women and girls are viewed in society. By setting the language against the photograph I create a tension between the power of the written word and the visual image. I selected my words from the ancient book of Abu Mansour AlTha’alby AlNaysaboury “Jurisprudence of a Language: The Secrets of Arabic.” This book, written in the late 10th century during the Abassid era, stands unique over the centuries for containing a detailed categorization of thousands of Arabic words. Documentation through creating descriptive groupings and placing labels on a collective body is a delicate task. It can deepen understanding or become a negative grouping that encourages marginalization of the singular within the group. This book was written one thousand years ago and with the passing of time and the onset of modernity, what is not rendered useful is actively erased over time. “The Arabic language is a living being,” as described the scholar Jurji Zaidan in his book of the same title. Zaidan concluded that “once a word is neglected… it can disappear from the Arabic language.” I implement this idea of “repetition gives life to a word” onto the media image that is usually selected by a small group and distributed to the larger group and within this process creating a system for preserving a manipulated image that is far from reality. By scrutinizing adjectives from AlNaysaboury’s book, this series highlights the current dangers of the labels employed to describe diverse collectives. The creation of these groupings imply a sense of preservation and protection. However, in reality, these labels are grouped according to AlNaysaboury’s delineations and carry his biases and perspectives. Ironically, he thus actively pushes some characteristics into the realm of disappearance by attempting to preserve them. In my fervor to document my present, am I contributing to a failed formula? Who creates these groupings and whose selection determines the descriptions that fall under them? The act of labeling immediately places individuals – it is an act of erasure, rather than one of preservation. The somewhat contradictory act of documentation functions as a double-edged sword; we archive selected images and memories of individuals and of the collective, creating our version of history through a preservation which, far from being objective, is specific to our selection, thereby fuelling active forgetting. In my execution, I use typical media images that I have collected over the past two years and place descriptions that have always been linked to the persona of the woman. Love, courage, happiness, and intelligence. Creating a struggle between the word and the images they lay on. They are awkwardly linked to each other highlighting the negligence in how women are portrayed and the danger of continuously evoking this imagery. There is a danger of instigating what Nietzsche termed “active forgetting” by continuing to repeat an inclusive grouping at the cost of the unique individual.

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The State of Disappearance My constant questioning of the state of disappearance led me to its counterbalance - the necessary act of preservation. I began examining two subjects and setting them against each other: the Arabic language that acts as a gateway to understanding and the terminology/lexicon utilized often is integral to comprehending a subject matter. The beauty and complexity of the Arabic language, with its multitude of descriptions for any given word, has been repeatedly lauded. At the same time I explore the media portrayal of the Saudi woman. Specifically in daily newspapers where a filtered image is fed to the masses through repetition creating a gender stereotype that can dramatically alter how women and girls are viewed in society. By setting the language against the photograph I create a tension between the power of the written word and the visual image. I selected my words from the ancient book of Abu Mansour AlTha’alby AlNaysaboury “Jurisprudence of a Language: The Secrets of Arabic.” This book, written in the late 10th century during the Abassid era, stands unique over the centuries for containing a detailed categorization of thousands of Arabic words. Documentation through creating descriptive groupings and placing labels on a collective body is a delicate task. It can deepen understanding or become a negative grouping that encourages marginalization of the singular within the group. This book was written one thousand years ago and with the passing of time and the onset of modernity, what is not rendered useful is actively erased over time. “The Arabic language is a living being,” as described the scholar Jurji Zaidan in his book of the same title. Zaidan concluded that “once a word is neglected… it can disappear from the Arabic language.” I implement this idea of “repetition gives life to a word” onto the media image that is usually selected by a small group and distributed to the larger group and within this process creating a system for preserving a manipulated image that is far from reality.

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the state of disappearance

By scrutinizing adjectives from AlNaysaboury’s book, this series highlights the current dangers of the labels employed to describe diverse collectives. The creation of these groupings imply a sense of preservation and protection. However, in reality, these labels are grouped according to AlNaysaboury’s delineations and carry his biases and perspectives. Ironically, he thus actively pushes some characteristics into the realm of disappearance by attempting to preserve them. In my fervor to document my present, am I contributing to a failed formula? Who creates these groupings and whose selection determines the descriptions that fall under them? The act of labeling immediately places individuals – it is an act of erasure, rather than one of preservation. The somewhat contradictory act of documentation functions as a double-edged sword; we archive selected images and memories of individuals and of the collective, creating our version of history through a preservation which, far from being objective, is specific to our selection, thereby fuelling active forgetting. In my execution, I use typical media images that I have collected over the past two years and place descriptions that have always been linked to the persona of the woman. Love, courage, happiness, and intelligence. Creating a struggle between the word and the images they lay on. They are awkwardly linked to each other highlighting the negligence in how women are portrayed and the danger of continuously evoking this imagery. There is a danger of instigating what Nietzsche termed “active forgetting” by continuing to repeat an inclusive grouping at the cost of the unique individual.

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suspended certainties

suspended certainties dina haddadin

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Dina Haddadin is an architect and a growing self-taught visual artist, living and working in Jordan. Haddadin is a multidisciplinary artist working with various techniques from traditional to experimental, creating multi-layered works conversing the struggle over the right to the city and the right to be different in a landscape of transient urbanization, a study of places in transition and changing geographies and its imagined places. Questioning where do we fit? And how can one resist? When change leads to a perception of progress and defined only by new constructions. While in Budapest, I became intrigued by numerous abandoned edifices built during the Soviet occupation of Hungary. Consequently, (Suspended Certainties) builds on the concept of construction as a reflection of a society in which one strives to find his place. The work enliven the aura of those unremembered buildings/spaces which represent an era that has faded away along with its social (dis)order and a dream of the utopian society. /

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mike v. derderian

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a.k.a. sardine text & diagrams mike v. derderian


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mike v. derderian

He is a Homo sapien, a writer, a comic artist and a fierce windmill slayer trying to get a hold of a banana in a world governed by apes … After graduating from the University of Damascus in Syria with a degree in English Literature in 2003 Mike V. Derderian started working as a journalist and a movie columnist for The Star Weekly and as morning show disc jockey, presenter and newscaster at Radio Jordan’s 96.3 FM, a job that he still passionately holds to this day. Since then he worked as a voice over artist, a magazine writer, an editor-in-chief, a translator, a creative content producer and an illustrator.

He is the creator (writer and illustrator) of The Dark Side of the Spoon, a dark humored comic strip involving an amphibian shark and a psychotic one eyed cat that got published in U Men magazine for 20 issues. He is a t-shirt designer, an aspiring street artist and graffiti artist under the mentorship of Graffiti Artist and Friend Wesam Shadid, a.k.a, Wise One. He has participated in various collective exhibitions and events. He recently did a short comic for Risha Project http://rishaproject.org/pub22.html His first solo exhibition at Jacaranda Images was called Cirque du Habaleeno, and needless to say he managed to scare everyone with his monstrous clowns. A husband to a wonderful woman who bears his madness and a father of two lovely mice, Amie and Andre-V, Mike is at the moment focusing all his efforts into writing and illustration.

As a writer/journalist and movie columnist he wrote for magazines like Couples, Amman Capital, Go Magazine and On Campus. He produced video content for IKBIS. com; did voice over work as a professional voice over artist and narrator for cartoons, television series and radio commercials with Royal Jordanian, Volkswagen and IKEA. He also worked on the Bu Khashem’s animated show with Kharabeesh; helped establish WAW Al Balad for Al Balad Theatre, and worked as art director for Mlabbas.com./

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the undocumented

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the undocumented huda beydoun

Born 1988 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Huda Beydoun graduated with a degree in Special Education, majoring in Autism Spectrum Disorders. While painting is Beydoun’s first discipline, recent works involve digital art, mixed media, and photography which she further enhanced with studies in Graphic Design and Photography at Dar Al Hekma College, Jeddah. Through the recurring Mickey Mouse icon, she has created a signature that allows her audience to identify her pieces; becoming an element that stamps most of her artwork. Beydoun uses the Mickey Mouse figure as a tool to blur the lines in certain defining facets of her work. Beydoun has displayed her work in various international art exhibitions including Edge of Arabia in 2013, namely RHIZOMA (Generation in The Waiting) at the 2013 Venice Biennale and Edition #1 at the Edge of Arabia Battersea space in London. She also displayed her work in several local exhibitions including Ayyam and Athr Galleries, while her piece Tagged and Documented recently sold at the Young Collector’s Auction for well above the estimate price. Images Title: Tagged & Documented Size: 50 x 75 cm Medium:C-Print diasec mounting Series Description: The series ‘Documenting the Undocumented’ is an asymmetrical reflection of the interaction (or lack there of) between some undocumented immigrants and the artist. This series was challenging as many undocumented immigrants are being deported from the Kingdom, therefor Beydoun masks their faces and identities with docile Mickey Mouse silhouette. Beydoun chose the character Mickey Mouse for his global significance and innocent, joyous symbolism, as this paralleled the actual unsettling feelings experienced by these undocumented immigrants while being photographed. /

text & diagrams huda beydoun

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mohammed abbas

shaped by surroundings mohammed abbas

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we have to understand that us human beings are gifted with Gods most precious creations, the human brain. Using it wisely would open new doors to new worlds to keep us occupied in our life span. We can see this clearly throughout the human history, of what has been created in the past and what’s being created right now. We create for a reason, to live, entertain ourselves and survive on earth. Depending on where we were born, raised and live, our brain and characteristics are shaped by our surroundings. My name is Mohammad Abbas, born and raised in Kuwait. Earned my bachelor of architecture degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2006. Now pursuing my career as an Architect at Soor Engineering Bureau since then.

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I’m interested in music and fine arts. Also passionate and curios to learn and search for new things that relates to my interests and career. Art and Design in my life I have always been surrounded by art during my childhood, my dad being involved in landscape design and agriculture, and my uncle pursuing his art degree from the college of fine arts in Kuwait. Both has spent hours of designing and painting, where I was observing and learning from them. Upon my graduation from high school, I decided to leave and study abroad. During my study at the college of architecture, I have taken art more seriously, just to get away from the hectic world of architecture. I know that architecture is a part art, but it reliefs me and gives me more freedom to bring out the complex thoughts and ideas in my brain that I can’t even explain why they are there in the first place, out on a sheet of paper. To me art is medicine. I turn to my sketchbook or canvas whenever I am bored, under stress, overwhelmed with negative thoughts, meditate and to get away from our daily, busy, full of distractions life. My art took me a while to develop, to be distinctive and different, also to a have a reason with a clear message behind it. I know for sure that I have a long way in front of me to take it to another level and this is just the beginning of something yet to become and flourish. Being fascinated with architecture, different civilizations and cultures art. They have affected the way I think over the past years with their historical creation of complex geometry, close attention to details and perfection in their work. They did what they had to do back then to have a lasting effect over time. My message from my paintings: Hierarchy GOD RELIGION PEOPLE OREDER God and religion comes before anything else for us humans, we live for one reason, to pursue the heavens in the end threw religion. Mixing the two, art and religion is hard, to send my message out there which is, people should listen and observe before speaking out useless words in any situation. This is clear in some of my art, were I have the mouth being stitched with a metal rode and an earless head. Representing different spiritual beliefs by the different complex geometry that I have developed over the past few years. /


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rasha yousef

text & diagrams rasha youssef

I see myself as a visual storyteller and mediator between the subject and the viewer. My main interest is documentary, street and travel photography focusing on culture, architecture and traditional ways of living. I try to keep my photos alive through capturing moving objects or vibrant colors. I carefully choose my travel expeditions to document new cultural destinations through my lens. I produce multimedia stories, merging still photography with ambient sound and musical soundtracks. Though coming from a purely Finance background, colors and creativity are what keeps me going and everyday is a battle between the right and left side of my brain. /

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// in this issue farah behbehani featured / 96

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