“Architecture is too important to be left only to architects”.
Giancarlo de Carlo
“Kawamen al Madina” is the first of a series of urban conversations facilitated by architect Rand El Haj Hasan, with the artists of Amman and for Amman. “Kawamen” comes from the word “kamen”, meaning that which is innate; a potential that can make a big difference once revealed in dialogue and through new methodologies.
The static is measureable and quantifiable. Statistics can be collected and used in planning ahead. In a city, so much more than numbers play at what really makes a city, its particular energy, its face and heart. A city is constantly and organically generated by its inhabitants and their routines beyond any designed plan. The dynamic elements of a city do not have typical measuring instruments or units. Artists may be able to collect such findings and maybe decipher them and/or build upon them. One day, artists may become part of the city planning process, and their methodologies may help planners in approaching areas beyond their reach.
Participants are given a case study site in downtown Amman: the central municipal library and its neighborhood. The first week includes seminars about reference works and methodologies, site visits and round table exchanges. Given site findings and personal visions, each participant shall choose their most convenient artistic form to contribute to the city. Each artist can choose to be the observer artist, the initiator artist, or the voice artist. The second week will be dedicated to finding the best means in representing each individual project and producing material to be exhibited in the near future.
Rand El Haj Hasan is an architect constantly questioning the role of the architect today. Rand has received her title as an architect from the ENSAPLV of France. Throughout her BA and masters, she was especially interested in vernacular architecture and its development into contemporary use. Besides working on her architectural practice, Rand maintains a daily and intimate relationship with drawing and her work has been exhibited in L’Agora in Tunisia.