‘ENTRELAC’ RECYCLED INTO BLANKETS FOR SYRIAN REFUGEES

Posted on January 31st, 2017 by Katie Faulkner

Posted under: Installations, Things We Like

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With support from NADAAA, Raya Kassisieh and the Amman Design Week team took the initiative to recycle “Entrelac”, cutting and stitching it into blankets that were later distributed to Syrian refugees and Jordanian families.  The original installation, included in the week-long event during September 2016,  consisted of 300 kg of un-dyed wool, hand knit and hung from the roof structure of Amman’s Electric Hangar. The design team utilized computational modeling to determine an approximation of the knit fabric ‘structure,’ which was then hand-knit by a team of twenty Jordanian women. Grounded less in precise digital production than in hand-craft and garment-making, Entrelac was simply “scaled up” to dress its venue, slung from the the standing roof trusses, and draped gracefully onto the floor.

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Twenty-eight large knit strands were produced, which were hung from the existing structure and again woven in a traditional Palestinian single X, at a larger scale, to form an enclosure. 
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The craftswomen skillfully and carefully knit each strand of the exhibit in their homes and small workshops. This network of domestically scaled production allowed for Entrelac’s rapid installation within the Electric Hangar exhibition hall. 
 

The notion of the re-purposing the installation is at once humbling and inspiring –  humbling because most of us do so little in the face of this tragedy that we are able to proceed unaffected during the quotidian replay of our lives. Yet this small act reminds us that humanity exists as a chain of relationships; someone had an idea, called some friends, momentum was built, and Amman Design Week was launched.  Someone else had an idea to weave the yarn of Entrelac into a global story that ended in a gesture of humanitarian assistance.  No more difficult than most tasks architects balance on a regular basis.

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Thank you to Raya, Rana, Abeer, Sahel, and all of the others at Amman Design Week who remind us what it means to be both a designer and a human being.

More photos HERE.

©2016 Amman Design Week. Photo: Hareth Tabbalat

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