The Untitled Swing Project
Curated by Arini for Abwab, Dubai Design Week 2015
Rand El Haj Hasan
© Lucio Bracamontes
©Dubai Design Week Design Abwab Jordan
A Dubai Design Week initiative, Abwab, meaning “doors” in Arabic, is a series of six architectural pavilions that showcase the work of the most exciting designers, studios and curators from six different countries in the Middle East and the near region. Inspired by the imagination that drives childhood play, the Jordan pavilion draws on the swing, or ‘murjeiha’ to evoke memories of its designers’ childhood. With the help of accelormeters and Arduinos, the team introduced interaction design that allows one to generate and activate the present surroundings while challenging gravity. The simple swinging motion converts into a visual and audible translation, the designers said in a release.
With play and imagination in mind, Jordan’s designers are drawing on the swing, or ‘murjeiha’, to represent their collective childhood. Paradoxes form the base their new design of the swing ‘murjeiha’: Imagination versus reality; cradle versus stand still; mental versus physical power; visibility versus invisibility; unfurling versus weaving; and finally, mindfulness versus mindlessness.
Prevalent in Jordan is the release into air, as playtime regularly involves kite-flying and swinging high. Whether the altitudes of Amman’s hilltops inspire the seeking of new heights, or that the country’s natural air being crisp and cool year round asks to be sliced– the untitled swing project summons flight through the memory of Jordanian pastime.
©Dubai Design Week Design
©Dubai Design Week Design
When it was playtime, the game that everybody knew how to play was our very own imagination. Imagination fueled us with the limitless abilities to create new worlds, change our environments and explore alternative realities.
The magnifying and augmentative powers that took simple or mundane things from around us to transform them into objects and situations far more than what they are, it was so easy for us to live alternative realities where we're gymnasts with a little stolen flour from home, enjoy a delicacy made completely out of mud or grabbing a mattress to become our speedy slide down the stairs.
Our brains got used to it, we mastered the art of imagination and it all almost became a constant process of weaving our imaginations however we wished to see further and beyond of what is it that lies in our tangible realities and right before our eyes.
It was bound to happen that for all of us to revert back and tread down our childhood memory lanes. But our questions soon rid themselves of nostalgia and yearning to try and understand what armed us with such power and liberty, whether from hiding and seeking to jumping, swinging and defying gravity? What is this ultimate liberation and also power we had that we wholeheartedly believe we do not own anymore? And the answers came as short bursts justifying that this is life, growth or rather being a grown up.
With this extreme shift that took place as we were growing up, we had to re-accustom ourselves to not be fascinated anymore and our readiness to play and be infatuated were re-adjusted to Þt fast-moving realities and the chase behind making ends meet, so what would jolt us back into the power, liberty and imagination we had before? Our answer started becoming clearer and clearer, and we aimed to try and bring in several experiences, weave them together for anyone experiencing it to enjoy a short, yet sweet, trip into the imaginations we all had as children.
As we set out to look for what is it that brings game & play all powered by imagination the ultimate power and liberty that comes with it, our discourse have, healthily, explored several routes.
The swings are now permanently exhibited at Dubai Design District
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