ACT Professor Azra Akšamija’s “Design for a Nomadic World” at Amman Design Week

The Lightweaver Project, MIT-Future Heritage Lab, 2017.
ACT at MIT

Presented as part of the Amman Design Week, running from October 6 – 14, 2017, “Design for a Nomadic World” explores how art, architecture, and design can address the emotional, cultural, and aesthetic needs of refugees, while fostering a better cross-cultural understanding and a social cohesion between migrant and host communities.

The exhibition features the collaborative research and creative work produced by the Future Heritage Lab – MIT Department of Architecture and German-Jordanian University’s Department of Architecture with CARE Jordan and Al Azraq camp residents. It showcases studies of everyday-life problems and inventions of the Al Azraq refugee camp.

Integral to this exhibition is the interactive “Code of Ethics – Cultural Interventions in the Refugee Context,” and the Lightweaver workshop, which presents the creative process across borders. This will involve the co-creation of the Lightweaver prototypes, playful kinetic lighting machines and educational devices developed in collaboration with the artists, engineers, and inventors from the Al Azraq refugee camp. The Lightweaver translates stories from textiles into a sensory play of light, aiming to preserve cultural memory and inspire hope.

During 2016-2017, the MIT Future Heritage Lab, led by Dr. Azra Akšamija, in collaboration with Dr. Mohammad Yaghan and the German-Jordanian University Department of Architecture, and with the residents of the Al Azraq camp, discussed camps as civic spaces where crucial social healing, innovation, creativity, and cross-cultural interactions take place and investigated the role of art and design in addressing the “real needs”  of refugees. The exhibition aims to broaden the dialogue around the role of design in conditions of conflict and crisis within a global perspective.

MIT Future Heritage Lab, The Lightweaver, 2017 Video

Review in The Jordan Times