A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Month: March 2005 (Page 1 of 5)

Just Don’t…

Japanese ad for the Nintendo DS. Quite creative, don’t you think? When I was a kid I always felt like I was a puppet in someone’s dollhouse…


What would I do if I were me?

Stretch Daily is yet another “daily creative exercise”. Pretty cool stuff. Saying it the Arabic way, “My tummy is open”, or I want to do something like that too! I think I’m going to do one pertaining to pictures of interesting shoes I see during the day…

Don’t Let Creativity Lie Dormant!

Wow, I think I just found the perfect represntation of my art-slash-design philosophy:

Thwart Design is an honest effort to break the mediocrity of commercial art forms. With no limitations on the design process, one is able to make or say anything, creating a visual discourse. Promoting raw creativuty opposed to refined products. A large focus is based around questioning existing norms of society, to turn things upside down, and to make some noise; we don’t have the answers just an opinion. … Don’t let creativity lie dormant!”

How beautiful is that? I’ve been trying to make my architect professor understand the link between art and design for quite some time(to no avail), I’m going to give him this link now.

Thwart Design probably has the coolest website I’ve seen so far, although as they say, “the paint is still wet”, so a lot of features are yet to be added and a lot of glitches need to be fixed. I love how their main page basically consists of sketches, something that I really relate to. Designers, student designers included, spend an extensive amount of time sketching, so I find the idea of incorporating an important part of the design process into a design website’s main page really cool.

Their actual work, ranging from 2-D design to patterns, is impressively gorgeous. I especially love their apparel line which is very creative, and their 3-D line which has the coolest coasters I’ve ever seen(check out the Post-It coaster, 5th slide). As for their 2-D line, I find their “Urinal Sticker” (3rd slide) irresistible, as they it is an homage to one of my favorite artists, Marcel Du Champ, the father of the Dada movement.

Adding yet more creativity, Thwart have a section called “Design w/o Reach“, which is a DIY catalogue providing cheap alternative designs to owning overpriced modern pieces. My favorite piece is “Canned Light” which uses a Campell Soup can as the shade of an old lamp. I love it! It’s the ultimate Andy Warhol icon, and Warhol is definitely one of my very favorite artists.

Way to go Thwart, I’m totally in love.


When. I. Say. That. The. Left. Side. Of. My. Brain. Doesn’t. Work.


Art and Design Can Be Friends After All

Micah Bauer’s graphic journal is a personal project intended to hone Bauer’s design skills. He has pretty strict rules to abide by though- one composition a day, each day, for 365 days straight. His compositions must remind him of an experience of that day, each must contain typography or be derived from typographic elements, and more. Some of the compositions are really great, and this project is certainly worth looking over.

A similar project is Miskan, a photoblog from Kuwait, where a Lebanese designer called Mark takes a picture a day, everyday, for 1 year. Some of his pictures are really cool, and I love how some of them are depictions of life in the Gulf.

There is also Duane Kieser’s “A Painting a Day” project which I posted about a few months back.

I see a trend emerging. Although I’m the biggest believer that art should never be a routinely task,
I really like this trend and I can see myself trying to work on something similar.

Sweet Home Alab… Ramallah

These are pictures of Akram Baker’s performance tonight in Amman. A picture is worth a thousand words, but I’ll still say this, it was fantastic! The combination of amazing guitar playing and Akram’s Eddie-Vedder-style voice was the perfect way to get sucked in by the music. The show was so delightfully intense and the setting was so intimate that I left feeling rather high.
To make things even better, Akram is a charming man. I can’t wait to be able to hear him play again!

Falafel @ Jabal Il-Hussein

Don’t you just love how busy falafel places are? They’re always hustling and bustling with energy(click to enlarge).
This place actually has really delicious falafel…

It’s only words, and words are all I have…

Inspired by Subzero Blue:

  • Obsession: almost synonymous to “Roba”. It’s really my most significant habit; I get disgustingly obsessed with people, objects, activities, food, places, and ideas that I like.
  • Hyper: never give me chocolate… or let me listen to the Red Hot Chili Peppers… or have me watch “Grease”… or take me on a school-trip(ay yay baneeno)…
  • Lost: yes, I admit it, I’m very lost. Most of the time, I have no idea what’s happening around me. A lot of times though, its all pretending that I have no idea. It works great… people are never mad at me when I say what I’m feeling or when I don’t notice that they’re upset, simple because “Roba day3a”.
  • Creative: creativity is always saving my ass. My most memorable incident was in grade school, when I went to some test completely oblivious to the material, and I drew my answers instead. Hehe, believe it or not, I actually got an A! That’s when I decided to study visual arts, and creativity has become my lifeline.
  • Happy-go-lucky: I accept whatever happens and naively believe that everything happens for the best.
  • Spontaneous: I usually say whatever comes to mind, even when it’s completely irrelevant to the topic. I also love doing random activities.
  • Passionate: it comes with being obsessive really, I can’t help but get really passionate about the things I’m obsessed with, especially regarding art, design, people I love, etcetera.
    Like creativity, being passionate is always saving my ass. Applying to JU was one of the most spontaneous things I’ve ever done, it was very much a last minute decision. So that summer, completely unprepared to apply to art school, I naturally didn’t have any of my work with me. I went to the interview empty-handed except for some crap that I managed to whip up in a week.
    The dean looked at the stuff then said that she has refused people much better than me. Then she said that she will accept me simply because my eyes twinkle when I talked about art, because my face brightens at the thought of beauty, and because passion is all it takes.

  • TLC (tender loving care): actually, the proper word would be “motherly”, but I’m so not writing that. I can’t help but fuss over a person I care for, that’s just my way of showing love. I also have this terrible need to try to make people better, whether its in the form of correcting their spelling, offering random information, or making sure everyone knows that BLACK AND BROWN DON’T MATCH!
  • Cautious: it takes me ages to trust people and make friends. There’s also no way that I can delegate responsibility. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, but believe it or not, “happy-go-luck”, “lost”, and “cautious” produce a surprisingly effective outcome.
  • Picky: yes, I’m extremely picky, especially when it comes to the aesthetic side of things (Ahh, the misuse of Flash, smilies, and Comic Sans!).
  • Impatient: my attention span is tiny(my reading habits consist of skim and scan), my need for speed is crippling(I talk at 20 miles a minute), and my inability to handle not being in control is disgusting(main reason I hate Flash, hate TV, and hate science). I also get extremely restless when things are stable.

Interesting Designs

Designer: Pochly Claude Bardel @ This multi-functional vase/fruitbowl is unique, creative and functional.

Designer: Zac Ridgely @ It’s a metal grill cube filled with river stone and a light in the middle. Functional boxed nature, it’s both sculpture and night table.

Designer: Alistair Chang @ Acrylic seating that actually looks delicious! I also love their website, pretty cool idea.

Designers: John Brauer, Hans Falleboe @ and @ A paper bin made of hard plastic that looks like crumpled paper. Oxymoronic design?

Desinger: Michael Ruh @ Squid Lighting. Handblown glass, flourescent lit Squid Lighting, simple aesthetic complexity. Absolutely stunning. I really want to learn how to blow glass.

+MoCo Loco

Passion for Dance

The Battery Dance Company performed at Jordan University this morning as a part of a series of performances in Jordan this week. Of course, my friends and I had to attend, and what can I say, it was stunning!

The dancers performed solos in a project fittingly entitled “The Solo Project”, where each dancer uniquely expressed a specific emotional tone and culture. According to founder and choreographer Jonathan Hollander, the aim of the Middle East performances is to open a dialogue with students and audiences in which “cultural similarities can be discovered and differences respected.”

The dancers that performed were John Byrne, Solomon Matea, Stevan Novakovich, Jane Sato, Sean Scantlebury, and Lydia Tetzlaff. All of their performances were stunning, but I must say that my favorite performance was that of Stevan Novakovich(wearing purple in left picture) whose solo was a very interesting modern dance to music from his native Yugoslavia.

After the show, we had a little discussion with the choreographer and the dancer, and several issues were discussed, including the possibility of performing dances to Middle Eastern music and technique-related bits regarding theatre spaces and training.

Then finally, right before the company packed up to get ready to perform at the Arena Hall tonight, they tried to teach us Funun students(Fatuta pictured) a few dance steps.

Yeah, as you can see, there wasn’t much hope for him or anyone else for the matter. Fatuta, keep your day job my friend.

What really disappointed me though was that only a few dozen students showed up to a free show when the university has around 32000 registered students, and most of few dozen consisted of Funun. Such performances are surely unmissable, and I find the local lack of interest in the fine arts very disturbing. As Marx said, art evolves dialectically with society, and the fact that our society not only fails to produce art but also fails to appreciate it is really very sad. Cheers to Jordan University and Amman Municipality for trying to improve the public’s awareness.


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