Curated by Rana Beiruti, curator and co-founder of Amman’s Design Week, Adorno’s Departures collection brings together standout pieces from Jordanian design heavy-hitters. Understanding the sensibility of Jordanian designers to be influenced by the country’s natural landscape, of which the Wadi Rum desert is a defining feature. This shared bold and earthy backdrop and the recent focus on vernacular craft techniques to design sustainably in Jordanian design create cohesiveness through the collection.
Beiruti explains that “the strength of design in Jordan is how designers are able to innovate with locally available materials to make stone look light and textile look sturdy.” Throughout all the pieces in the Departures collection, a playfulness with materiality and form is apparent, which at times is used to pay homage to the natural serenity of the desert landscape and at other times to its otherworldliness.
The full range of the Wadi Rum landscape is represented in the collection: its organicism is apparent in in doi’s Turret candle holder, its geometry is reflected in SNC’s Hammer & Chisel cake stand, its softness is exemplified in Opus Design Collective’s Gem coffee table, and its dreaminess is mirrored in Ahmad Jarrar’s Money Balloon.
Pulling pieces from the practices of established and emerging designers alike, the collection represents a true intersection of the contemporary Jordanian design scene. The Departures collection is diverse and full of contrasts yet balanced and cohesive thanks to works by Ahmad Jarrar, Andre Mcheileh, Far Flung, in doi, Ishraq Zraikat, kutleh, Opus Design Collective, SNC design studio, suli, subsidiary of MORPH X DESIGN STUDIO and Twelve Degrees.
More than taking the natural landscape as an aesthetic thread through the collection, Beiruti also curated pieces that are made in a way that aims to minimize their environmental impact. This is characteristic of contemporary Jordanian design, with makers beginning to reconnect with the lost art of working with local materials in their practices. Counter to works that prioritize the use of imported raw materials, the pieces in the Departures collection all make use of materials that have long been available in the country’s landscape.
While many of the pieces in the collection use traditional materials, new life is breathed into them with the use of innovative fabrication techniques. Taking inspiration from vernacular methods, the practices use new tools and technologies and pair organic materials with synthetic ones to create works with a distinctly modern Jordanian sensibility.
The collection presents Jordanian design as simultaneously close to nature and innovative. By taking the Wadi Rum desert as the thematic thread for the Departures collection for Adorno, curator Rana Beiruti creates a space for a dialogue about sustainability in design that is embodied in form and content.
The pieces in the Departures Collection references the haunting beauty and otherworldliness of Jordan’s Wadi Rum desert.