Exploring the Edge:
Jordanian Experiments in Designing for the Built Environment



Support for the publication of Exploring the Edge has been provided by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Chicago.


When experiencing the built environment, we search for appropriate scale, contrasts between light and shade, expressive colors and textures, high levels of craftsmanship, and sensitivity to local climate and natural landscape. However, we often are presented with poor-quality buildings that are out of scale, sidewalks we cannot use, streets that are too dangerous to cross, and gardens that consume too much water or are left to dry out and decay.

Still, Jordan has craftsmen, architects, landscape designers, and urbanists committed to exploring new design ideas, materials, and construction techniques, and to creating better buildings, spaces, and cities. Exploring the Edge is a new feature of the CSBE web site that aims at bringing these pioneers and their work to light.

Exploring the Edge presents examples of contemporary design projects relating to the built environment in Jordan that are both innovative and committed to design excellence. Such projects can be architectural or urban, small or large, private or public, built or unbuilt. One project will be featured on the CSBE web site every year, and will be provided with documentary information and an analytical framework relating to it. Exploring the Edge aims at bringing attention to innovative, high-quality built work being designed in Jordan, and at contributing to the development of a critical discourse on the built environment in the country.


Exploring the Edge #1:
"Ugly Concrete Boxes are Almost Alright" - Work and Consultation Space for a Psychologist by Architect Sahel Hiyari - Amman, Jordan

Exploring the Edge #2: 
"Variations on a Theme" - Two Houses by Hani Imam Hussaini of Almarsam Architects and Engineers: The Mushahwar and Abdulwahab Houses

Selection committee: Mohammad al-Asad, Sahel Hiyari, Diala Khasawneh, and Yasir Sakr.

Exploring the Edge #3:
"Grafting the Ammani Landscape" - The Abu Samra House by Khalid Nahhas of Symbiosis Designs

Selection committee: Mohammad al-Asad, Sahel Hiyari, Hani Imam Hussaini, and Yasir Sakr.