This is the disease..
Out-of-control, badly designed, tasteless retarded commercialism covering the facade of every commercial building in Amman.
But now, the disease is beginning to get ERADICATED.. Witness the cleaning up of Amman’s facades..
Cranes on the sixth circle removing the supersized rooftops.
Mecca street: stripping the rooftops down in preparation for removal.
Mecca street: yes, even large shop signs have to go..
Shmeisani: The last sign on this building is going down…
So.. It’s finally happening. Amman’s skylines and facades are beginning to get cleaned up. If you are used to seeing big ads when you stop at some of western Amman’s intersections, you’ll notice that your glance will now meet.. the sky!
I’ve seen the hilariously depressing reactions in some newspaper articles.. It is amazing how some writers (and regular people too) are defending Amman visual junk as part of “our beloved city’s character”. They are afraid that Amman will look “boring” and naked.
Well, why don’t those geniuses suggest more good public art or children murals in the city? Or are ads for soft drinks and cellphones the only visual culture those people understand?
The doctors even wanted to go on strike because the municipality wanted to remove their “newspapers” from the walls of Khalidi street. I heard that the municipality has given in to their demands to keep their chaotic signs. I hope this isn’t true.
What is wrong with those people? Do they think that people will not “find them” if their precious sign isn’t on the building.
The municipality is putting big numbers on every building. It is time we joined the civilized world and started giving addresses using street names and numbers.
As for the billboards, well, the municipality seems to be allowing new unipole billboards on some main street intersections and some empty walls on sides of hills and buildings. So don’t worry people, we will still have a vibrant outdoor ad industry.
Some people like to criticize these measures as “cosmetic”. But they forget that the municipality, for the first time, is working on a comprehensive plan and land use policy for Amman, and that it has introduced urban design measures that might have saved Amman from what seemed to be an uncontrollable attack of skyscrapers.
Wherever we look, we see Arab cities drowning in tastelessness, chaos and a layer of grime. What is resulting is NOT some charming bazaar image, but a bastard mix of commercialism and lack of good craftsmanship.
It’s good that Amman has found it in itself to resist this ugliness and imagine a more civilized future for itself.
Down with ugliness..
Read these related posts on 360east:
- Amman’s tin skyline
- Typography is architecture
- Grendizer creator Go Nagai coming to Amman!
- Amman drowns in billboard ugliness. But who cares..
- Sharon and My Mother-in-Law: Cultural marketing can look this good
Bookmark this post on your favorite bookmarking service