Abwab is an open door to the region’s top creative talent via 5 captivating pavilions.. This year, Dubai Design Week stages its fourth edition, designed by Architecture + Other Things. Composed of natural materials including fallen twigs and timber coated in recycled newspaper pulp, these materials will come to life under the theme ‘Between the Lines’, commissioned designers from five communities: Amman, Beirut, Dubai, Eastern Provinces of KSA, together with Pavilion Partner Ithra, and Kuwait City.
The Amman Pavilion
Amman (shown above) is synonymous with the ‘duwar’, roundabout in Arabic, eight of which function as urban landmarks. Aside from its role in urban settings, duwar is a representation of a continuous circular motion of successive events that are always alternating between chaos and order. Offering a glimpse into the multi-faceted city, the Amman Pavilion sources soundscapes from various streets in the city capturing the dynamic narratives of the city’s diverse residents to communicate nuances of the city’s urban fabric. Designed by Hashem Joucka & Basel Naouri.
Kuwait City Pavilion
Desert Cast is an exploration of locally available materials and fabrication methods, to reach a local ‘maker’ identity. Gypsum-moulding, for example, is a method used to easily reproduce classical Greco-Roman architectural motifs. Most of Kuwait’s decorated mansions and modest villas employ this affordable decorating technique. Although methodically simple, the end-results are formally elaborate and considered “Oriental”. Consequently, the city’s fabric has become filled with collaged iterations of classical architecture found in European cities.
Addressing a lack of local identity arising from a desire to recreate Classicism in Kuwait, different Kuwaiti production methods were explored and reconstituted, resulting in the marriage of gypsum-moulding and sand-casting with foam as a mediator. Extruded gypsum profiles were cut in foam by the foundry’s master craftsmen, and used to cast complete metal objects. The Kuwait Pavilion attempts to shed light on the accessibility to master fabricators’ craft by showcasing new forms of functional objects made through lost-foam casting. Designed by Jassim Al Nashmi, Kawther Al Saffar and Ricardas Blazukas.
The Eastern Provinces of the KSA
Their visionary pavilion features an immersive installation honoring the tradition of pearl diving, known to have contributed heavily to the economy of the Eastern Coast of the Arabian Peninsula. The project engages visitors through an experience of sound, time, and the jubilation of locating a pearl. Soundwaves are the essence, sourced from the song El Yamal, a song chanted to release energy to keep the divers motivated. The sea in the song is an analogy for the varied emotional states that the “بحار”* endures. The energy of the song echoes throughout the space causing the vessels to vibrate and bring life to a song now long gone, as though to bring past into present. The structural elements within the space are the direct representation of the audio waves of El Yamal, transforming the song into a solid state, to carry the song into the future. Designed by Lina Saleh, Ahaad Alamoudi & Sana Alabdulwahed.
*men of the sea
Divided by three pockets of time, Thulathi: Threefold is an expression of past, present and future brought together through investigations of sound, image, and video sourced from archival vaults and personal recordings. The space is defined by a protruding triangular ‘parasite’ to break the natural form of the pavilion. Each corner of the triangle opens slightly through apertures revealing theatres of video projections and silhouette cutouts. The theatres can only be viewed by standing on the outside the pavilion and peering through the apertures. Inside, visitors of the Dubai Pavilion are invited to experience the intersection of time through sound alone, as though standing within a version of the city itself. Designed by Saeed Al Madani and Hind Bind Demaithan.
Using language as material, the oral archive provides a fresh perspective on how the city can be experienced, perceived and engaged. Designed by Team: Tamara Barrage & David Habchy.
In linguistics, a filler is a sound or word spoken in a conversation by one participant to signal others a pause or a transition.
In the context of busy cosmopolitan lifestyles, Beirutis punctuate their conversations with fillers to look for a word while switching languages, sharpening a thought, or reacting to daily stimuli. As a socially accepted buffer time, fillers play the role of sonic and oral translations of thought to speech. They materialize impressions into sounds, rather than meanings.
Re-contextualizing cultural and idiosyncratic oral patterns, the project aims to amplify the presence of fillers for visitors to experience them instead through other senses. Carefully crafted sculptural objects are formed by recorded conversations, and textured by the frequency and volume of sounds. Using language as material, the oral archive of Beirut provides a fresh perspective on how the city can be experienced, perceived and engaged with.
The Beirut Pavilion invites the audience to explore these words in a constructed sensorial environment.