Arch + Eng, Art, Design, Social Impact

Meeting Points with Abeer Sheikaly

Recently, we had the pleasure of talking to Abeer Sheikaly, a Jordanian woman working across sectors of architecture, design, fine art, and cultural production. She has designed and developed a unique tent, created with high performing structural fabric systems, exploring the social implications of creating homes for displaced communities. The development of her tent, Weaving a Home has been an ongoing process. Through a series of projects which explored performative structural fabrics and sheltering solutions, she has seen first-hand the potential of utilizing local resources and engaging the local community. While she continued building prototypes, she started researching and engaging in the processing of animal fibers (goat hair, sheep wool, and camel hair) as well as gaining a deeper insight into women-led Bedouin tent-making processes, mapping resources, and skills across seven governorates throughout Jordan (from north to south).

The outcome of this research is expressed through her latest project, Meeting Points, which she launched last October at Amman Design Week 2019. The project touches upon contemporary shifts towards collaborative creation by exploring the social design processes of traditional Bedouin tent-making craftsmanship. As a communally-driven project, I believe it has the potential to offer new insights and perspectives within architecture and design, and the social impact they can have at the community level. I have attached in this Matters of Time, is a video piece Abeer created as an outcome of her research launched last April 2019 at an exhibition about Climate Change and the Patriarchy in London. The piece explores the role of the matriarch in the shadow of patriarchal modernization in the Jordanian Badia.

  • Here is a recent editorial that elaborates on my ideas related to shelter, community, and technology and the importance of utilizing local resources.
  • In this editorial, the Normandy Chair for Peace has recognized the work as being aligned with 7 SDG’s.