I just came back from a lively architectural evening. Dr. Mohamad Al Asad managed to bring together an excellent Diwan Al Mimar session, marked by thought provoking presentations and a lively discussion.
What added to the atmosphere was the setting of tonight’s meeting. The venue was the Salon of Mr. Mamduh Bisharat in downtown Amman (aka the Duke’s Diwan).� It is located in the heart of Amman, along King Faysal Street, next to the Arab Bank building, on top of the Habiba Sweets shop (that’s a very Ammani way to give an address!!).�The salon is located in�one of the older surviving structures of modern Amman.
The presentation of Dutch architect Tom Postma�on�his Cultural Avenue project�in Amman was delayed as he was stuck on one of Jordan’s borders! So the evening kicked off with Ali Maher of the Royal Film Comission and his many anecdotes, followed by a presentation by Ole Bouman, the editor of the Dutch architectural Magazine Archis who co-organized the meeting as part of their RSVP events.� These include a series of architectural events that so far have taken place in Berlin, Brussels, New York, Athens, and Istanbul.
Ole’s presentation focused on his magazine’s position vis a vis architecture: asking ‘Why’ architecture happens, as opposed to the usual What (is happening), How (technically) or Who (is doing what).
Tom eventually arrived and gave a quick presentation on his work on Shmeisani’s cultural avenue, which included some really cool photography of the project, during and after construction.
The event also drew a number of students/graduates from Beirut’s AUB, who presented two ‘interventions’, representing the notions of paranoia and surveillance, using photographic and textual materials related to Lebanon’s civil war.
Then everyone had some sweet Kenafa (from Habiba downstairs obviously) and cucumbers (no kidding).