I went with my friend Erica to the design museum to see the Beazley’s design of the year. They do it every year where they collect the best design pieces from the entire year and present it according to categories, technology, fashion, graphic design, interior design, architecture and some other one I think.
It’s been a while since I’ve been to an exhibition that I really like and had in depth conversations about it. this is why I always like to go with a friend. One of the first pieces that I had a long talk with Erica was the piece with the name “A modular House for an Ancient City”. People’s Architecture Office in Beijing have an ongoing project “Plug in Houses”, they renovate old houses that are in certain areas in the city. They improve what they call a crises for those houses with cost effective and energy efficient technologies. This is a way to improve people’s way of living without spending a lot of money to buy a new house which tends to be extremely expensive.
A modular house for an ancient city:
I thought it was a good idea to help those people save some money, but also, live in a better condition. However, after talking about it with my friend, to her, it ruins the aesthetic of the area, because those kind of areas are known for old buildings and furniture, and is becoming a trend for business to rent a house their and turn it into a cozy café or pub.
So I thought about how I would if they have decided to renovate building in the Down Town of my City Amman in Jordan. It will lose its essence and I will no longer have the same feeling when going there because it would don’t be as real.
I understand that People’s Architecture Office are doing a generous thing for the society and they are turning old houses into a new polished version which needs a lot of research and a lot of time in the making, however, in a couple of years’ time, countries wont have this part of it that is still authentic, and is still originated from it’s roots. We are surrounded by so much technology and since at the moment that is changing everything around us, changing our lifestyles, the way we see things, hence changing us as humans.
I also learnt from Erica that area in the country are not nessirarily for people who are in need. They are just people who happen to stay in probably the first house they have lived in, and because it is very old, it has no enough access for electricity to have an air-condition for instance. So what this company is offering is still very considerate, smart and really beautiful.
Another one that I think we spend a good 5 or 10 minutes talking about it was the High Performance Hijab done by Nike. Erica Started asking me questions about the culture since I come from an Arabic country were the majority is Muslims, so I understand. I told her that this might be very controversial because some people would think that is great and it is a way of not discriminating against religion. Also, it is a way of showing that a Muslim women can be whatever she wants to be and it encourages them so much. However, there is the other part of the society that are closed minded and would think that this campaign is being respectable towards their norms and values.
I still think it is great what they did and very considerate and thoughtful. It is also good for people coming from different cultures to experience this issue from a different point of view and understand it more.
There were a lot of projects regarding feminism and women’s rights. Such as the google emojis, the one about the workplace inequality, in Egypt, and Nike gym gear for Muslim women. It brings me joy to see all of this work and see that people are putting so much effort into raising the bar for women. Women deserve everything and should be treaded the exact way as men and art and design should be a form of way to bring that forward and communicate it to the world.
Overall, I think it was amazing and inspiring. After spending 2 hours probably, I left feeling inspired and blessed to be part of the design world. It was also a motivating for me that I can do a lot of things in design for my future.