September 27th, 2005
September 26th, 2005
The experience of organizing an event in “Al Thakafeh” street has highlighted some major issues in my mind regarding the use of the space. When I was studying architecture I’ve learned that people can use the space in a different manner than the designer aimed for. For example people may use the stairs to sit and gather while leaving spaces designated to sit in. In that case the stairs may provide a space for more people to sit or a better view… or maybe there is no place to sit so they transformed the stairs into an auditorium, so that they can watch other people walking and talking.
Anyway, I discovered that lots of people do not know about the street, not even why it is called “Al Thakafeh st.” And lots of them do not know about the gallery. So organizing one or two events in the street is not the only perfect way to get them to know it.
Another thing that I saw gave me one end of the solution’s thread. When I was working in the gallery I saw some kids playing football next to the gallery. Then the gallery keeper went crazy and shouted to the kids not play near the glass… at that moment I thought if there is a sign that tells people not to play football, I guess it would be a nicer way to tell the kids not to play, and maybe the keeper will just need to point to the sign for the kids without saying any word.
It seems that a well designed signage system is needed in the street to serve the following objectives
1- Teach people how to use the space, and give them more information about the use of the space.
2- Give people more information about the street, the spaces and what else they can do.
3- To inform people on how they can participate in some cultural event and encourage them to do so.
4- To have a nicer way to tell people what to do and not to do rather than screaming and shouting.
A signage system could serve more than that, but the important thing is to close the information gap between people and the street, which I saw clearly in the few days I spent there.
This is another dream which I would like to do for this street. I am ready to do it for no-money, because it is going to be a great learning experience for me and the outcome will serve a greater cause.
Some may say that people here do not respect signs. My answer is summed in this point. Respecting signs depends on the kind of activity and space we are working in. It also depends on the design of signs; if the signs are not well designed, it will not force respect. A good design system includes a detailed study of how people can react and behave in such a space, and what they need to learn and know about it.
One last note, I just noticed that even the trash cans in the street do not have signs!!
I really would love to work on a project like this.
September 25th, 2005
September 25th, 2005
September 21st, 2005
September 21st, 2005
September 17th, 2005
I live next to al Thaqafa street in Shmeisani. Everyday I pass through this street, I just have one image stuck in my mind.. Art, music and cultural festival. People paint, play music and perform a sketch scene. But in real, the street is only a place for some people to set or walk.
So I’ve decided not to criticize this situation unless I do something about it. Then a chance came through the Jubilee School Alumni Club, and as a board member I worked with some of my colleague and started to organize a cultural event in the street.
I was so surprised of how much the municipality supported and encouraged us. They gave us reservation, even if it was in short notice, supports in printing the invitations and posters, media coverage and everything we need to make this event a success. Also I was surprised of how much students and graduates interacted with this idea and motivated. From all backgrounds they felt they need to show there other sensitive side of art and culture.
And here you go, with less than 10 days we are about to do something in this street. I hope it will succeed. And I hope this experience will encourage others to do so. Then we will have a street full of events all days of the year. This is what am looking forward to see. This is what am going to work for.
I would like to thank president of the club Mrs. Dima Jweehan for taking this dream a step forward. Mr. Nabeel Abu Atta for his efforts of building a bridge between our club and the municipality. Mr. Ali Al Dabbas for his active movements and support. The rest of the board members, and all people who is participating in this event.
September 13th, 2005
Last night I went to exhibition by architect Sahel Hiyari at Darat al Funun. It was just a long time since I?ve been in touch with the architectural society. I was quite impressed with the daring ideas and design experience in his work..
I also met old friends of mine and some of my tutors at university. This visit was not only inlighting, but also brought back lots of memories..
September 13th, 2005
Rest assured I will not be talking here about your pathetic lives and how to make it better. I only want to talk about the minute you have something to do you in your head, and the minute you want to produce it to the world.
I am not going to criticize anything about this subject, but I’ll try to redirect the argument on how we can become original and professional as individuals, and how to excel in our work.
Knowing the problem is part of solving it…well, we know the problem. We talked and talked about the lack of originality and craftsmanship in our Arab societies. Part of the problem is connected directly to the overall lifestyle and education system. The other part which is much important in my opinion is the personal side. Each individual can excel no matter what he went through or lived by… But again… How??
First close your eyes, imagine your work is being done, look at it and see it as perfect as possible … definitely better than what you were able to do before. It’s so perfect that everyone would admire this work.
Open your eyes and keep this image.
I’ll try to make it as simple as possible, taking in consideration my career background and experience. It may not directly apply to your work … but I hope the ideas do.
- Love: you Must like what you Do. If not, try to find love inside what you do.. I am not talking about what you do for living only; I mean everything you do.. If you don’t like what you do, you’d be better off not doing it.
- Think: always think, make your mind busy with thinking. And when you think, disconnect your self from the outside, focus.. Try to make your body think with you, use your hands to sketch.
- Look different: Do not take things as they are by default; Question everything people made around you. Always ask why and how.. Everything should work and serve a purpose.. If not, ask why? Look for problems to solve, for needs to serve and for aims to reach. Look for reason. See case studies and examples, learn while you work.
- Target: set your target. Everything you do should serve a purpose. And if you want to excel more, make sure your purpose serves the good of the others rather than your personal interest. This will make others care about your work and support you. If you don’t know what you are working for, simply don’t work. If your target is money and only money, then I don’t think you will care if you excel or not as long as you earn your money.. so my advice is: don’t waste your time reading this.
- Believe: always believe that you can do it. If someone was able to do it then you can do it.
- Plan: Don’t plan in details, just divide your work into stages, and when you reach each stage, subdivide it and so on.. When estimating time, make sure you can do it by that time. To know how to estimate the task time, just imagine yourself doing the work, and you will sense the time you need for the job.
- Do it right: Each step of your work should be well done. Don’t go to next step unless you make sure that the previous one is perfect.. AND DO NOT COMPROMISE OR ACCEPT LESS THAN PERFECT.
- Problems: If you find it hard to do the perfect job you’ve imagined then make sure that the following are the reasons behind it:
- Not enough skills: then learn more, practice more and don’t give up because there is still a chance.
- I don’t like what I am doing; I don’t believe that I can do it: then stop working - you are wasting your time.
- I don’t have time: then your time estimation and plan are not working. Try to find plan B. Estimate your time again. This time your estimation will be much realistic than before because you already got involved in the work and your sense of time is much higher.
Finishing the work: Reaching 70% of what you have imagined at the first place is more than great, but always give your work the possibility for more development. Test your work. Try to look for weaknesses and “defects” in your work.. learn from them and try not to do them again in your next job. And make sure each time you work, the better and better you become. This will only be possible if you consider everything you do as a learning process.
This process does not mean that you should be harsh on yourself. It’s an attempt to make you think more seriously about what you’re doing and showing you the importance of each act you do.
- Do not accept everything as given, and do not over-criticize. Try to find better solutions and alternatives.
- Do not compromise your work, and when you do something try to do it right.
- Make sure that your work is functioning and serving the purpose you aimed for.
- Consider what you do as a part of an ongoing learning experience, and each time you do something, try do it better than the previous time.
- If your base is well done, then your work is well don. Don’t build your work on a weak base. Each step should be well done.
What we really lack is original ideas and craftsmanship.. Original ideas come from looking at the needs around us, serving them better and trying to influence other experiences. Craftsmanship needs learning, trying and experimenting, in addition to caring about details.