Architectural Laboratory II is a three-unit design studio in which small groups of advanced architecture students and junior architects will investigate issues relating to architectural design under the supervision of a group of instructors consisting of accomplished, award-winning architects from inside and outside Jordan. The studio will emphasize a series of skills relating to the creation of architecture ranging from the conceptual to the technical.

The studio will consist of three separate units, the duration of which ranges from two to three weeks. The first unit will take place in the late summer of 2005; the second will take place in the winter of 2006; and the third will take place in the early summer of 2006. The units will be divided into one-week modules, each of which will be led by a different architect. Each module will be carried out in an atelier-like environment characterized by intense interaction between the participants and the instructor. A studio coordinator will take on the responsibility of maintaining continuity between the various modules.

At the end of the third unit of the studio, an exhibition featuring the work of the participants in the three units will be organized. The exhibition also will present a film documenting various stages of Architectural Laboratory II. In addition, samples of projects carried out by students in the studio will be documented on the CSBE web site.

Amman: Collisions in the Urban Fabric

The first season of the Architectural Laboratory, Architectural Laboratory I was held in the summer of 2003, and was entitled Façade Zero. The studio aimed at “excavating” the reality of the façade in its various manifestations, including the urban infill. Architectural Laboratory II will take on an urban theme and address the extensive transformations that are affecting Amman’s urban fabric.

Until the 1970s, Amman was a relatively small city. Over the past quarter of a century, however, it has grown into a metropolis of about 2 million inhabitants. In addition to undergoing a process of horizontal expansion that qualifies as a clear example of urban sprawl, a new layer of infrastructural systems and functions has been imposed on the existing city fabric. Examples include multi-level intersections that have been placed on pre-existing small-scale streets; large office structures that have been forced onto neighborhoods primarily consisting of single-family dwellings; and mega-malls that have been abruptly located within the midst of residential neighborhoods.

The result has been a series of urban collisions in which pre-existing relatively small-scale urban settings have been overwhelmed by diametrically opposed functions belonging to the metropolitan scale. Amman is still attempting to cope with these ongoing developments, and their conclusion remains far from clear.

Architectural Laboratory II will explore specific locations and instances in which such collisions have taken place, and will attempt to develop possible resolutions for them. In doing so, the course will avoid the polar positions of viewing the city within a nostalgic perspective that romanticizes a pre-existing, pre-modern or early-modern phase of its development, or of treating the city as a tabula rasa on which utopian, and often futuristic, urban conceptions would be developed. Instead, the emphasis will be on confronting existing realistic conditions with their imperfections and contradictions.

 Number of Participants:

A maximum of 18 participants will be admitted to each unit of the Architectural Laboratory in order to guarantee an optimal level of interaction between the participants and instructors.


The first unit of the studio will last for three weeks (five days a week, eight hours a day). It will begin on Sunday, August 21, 2005 and will end on Thursday, September 8, 2005 with an assessment meeting taking place on Saturday, September 10, 2005.

The second unit of the studio will last for two weeks (five days a week, eight hours a day). It will take place in the winter of 2006. A precise schedule for this unit will be set and announced ahead of time.

The third unit of the studio will last for two weeks (five days a week, eight hours a day). It will take place in the early summer of 2006. A precise schedule for this unit will be set and announced ahead of time.

For all units of the studio, instruction will take place from Sunday through Thursday of each week, with the weekend being on Friday and Saturday.


The Graphic Arts Studio of the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, Jabal al-Luweibdeh, Amman.


Participants will pay for each unit separately. Tuition for the first unit of the studio will be 200 JD (280 USD). Tuition for the second and third units will be determined in due time, and registrants for these units will be informed when the payment is due.

The actual costs of the studio are much higher, but the costs are subsidized through support from the participating organizations and individuals. Tuition does not cover presentation equipment and materials (paper, cardboard, pencils, pens, straight edges, computers, cameras, etc.). A very limited number of partial tuition scholarships may be made available to participating students. Those admitted to the studio may apply for these scholarships.


Admission is open to advanced students of architecture and to junior architects, and will be on a rolling admissions basis. If the number of those wishing to register for any of the three units proves to be unusually high, an admission process consisting of holding an interview and / or submitting samples of design work might be put in place.

Participants will have the option to register for one, two, or three of the studio's units.

Certificate of Attendance:

The participants in any of the studio's units will receive a certificate of attendance for the studio.

Architectural Laboratory II Team Members:

The Architectural Laboratory II team members include a group of highly accomplished architects and academicians from both inside and outside Jordan. They consist of the following:

Bilal Hammad (permanent jury member) is a Jordanian architect, and is the principal of Bilal Hammad Consultants ( He studied architecture at the University of Alexandria in Egypt, and has been practicing in Amman since 1977. In addition to architectural design, his work has covered the areas of urban design, landscape architecture, interior design, as well as graphic design, especially as it is integrated within architecture. He has lectured and served on architectural juries at universities in Jordan and Palestine, as well as the Southern California Institute of Architecture SCI-ARC in Vico Morcote- Switzerland. He is responsible for a number of important works of architecture in Jordan. These include designing the master plan and landscaping for the 14-hectare Greater Amman Municipality complex in the Ras al-‘Ayn area in the core of Amman, and the design of three of the complex’s major buildings (al-Hussein Cultural Center, Municipality Building, and al-Nurayn Mosque).


Sahel al-Hiyari (instructor) is a Jordanian architect and painter, and is the principal architect at Sahel al-Hiyari Architect. He holds bachelor's degrees in Architecture and Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design, and a master's of Architecture in Urban Design from Harvard University. His professional experience includes design work with Dar El Handasah: Shair and Partners in Cairo, Machado Silvetti Associates in Boston, and Jafar Tukan and Partners in Amman. His paintings have been exhibited in Jordan, Lebanon, and Italy. His architectural work has been featured in a number of architectural journals and web sites including Architectural Record, Architecture +,, and His work was the subject of the first issue of the CSBE web site feature, Exploring the Edge. In 2002, Hiyari was chosen as the first architect to receive the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, according to which he has been a protégé of the Pritzker Prize winner, architect Alvaro Siza of Portugal.


Ahmad Humeid (studio documentary filmmaker) is a Jordanian architect, designer and filmmaker, and is the co-founder, Chief Executive Officer, and Design Director of SYNTAX. He studied architecture at the University of Jordan. Before starting Syntax, he was the Creative Director of BYTE Middle East and Popular Science Middle East. He also is a founding member of Arabia On Line, a pioneering internet online service in the region. At Syntax, he has been advising companies, governmental, non-governmental, and international organizations on branding, communication, and technology. He is a regular contributing writer in the regional press on issues of design and technology, and his writings can be found at, where he maintains a blog and has recently started a podcast on media, technology, and culture in the Arab world. He also is a digital video and audio enthusiast and has produced a number of short commercial and non-commercial videos.


Hani Imam Hussaini (instructor) is a Jordanian architect, and is Partner and Head of Architecture at Omrania-Jordan. He received his architectural education form The University of Cambridge, where he obtained his Bachelor's and Master's degrees, as well as his Diploma in Architecture. He practiced architecture in the United Kingdom both independently and at the London practice of Panter Hudspith Architects, where he was involved in several highly acclaimed and award-winning projects. He moved to Jordan in 1996 to establish Almarsam Architects & Engineers. This has since amalgamated with the Jordan offices of Omrania & Associates to create Omrania-Jordan, a multi-disciplinary architectural and engineering firm. Apart from Jordan and the United Kingdom, he has been involved in projects in Spain, Portugal, Greece, Saudi Arabia, the West Bank, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar. His experience spans a wide variety of sectors that include offices, residential, commercial, retail, leisure, hospitality, and sports projects. His work was the subject of the second issue of the CSBE web site feature, Exploring the Edge . He is a member of the Jordan Engineers Association and the Royal Institute of British Architects, and is registered with the United Kingdom Architects Registration Council.


Kristopher Musumano (instructor) is an architect from the United States. He is a founder of the Miami-based architecture and urban design practice Albaisa Musumano Architects. He holds Bachelor's degrees in Architecture and Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design (1987), and a Master's of Architecture from Harvard University (1994). His work at Albaisa Musumano Architects has won several architecture and urban design competitions and has been published and exhibited nationally and internationally. His work also has received numerous awards including the Judith Arango Award for Modern Design in 2002, the Gold Medal for Unbuilt Work in the 2001 Miami + Beach Biennale, and a 2001 Design Award from the American Institute of Architects. He has taught at the University of Miami and at the Rhode Island School of Design.


Yasir Sakr (instructor and studio coordinator) is a Jordanian architect, and is an assistant professor at the Department of Architecture at the University of Jordan. He holds his bachelor’s degree from the University of Jordan, his master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. His Ph.D. thesis was entitled “The Subversive Utopia: Louis Khan and the National Jewish Memory of Jerusalem,” which he wrote under the supervision of Joseph Rykwert, Kenneth Frampton, and Paul Ricouer. Yasir Sakr held a research scholarship at the American Archaeological School in Jerusalem in 1994, and was a visiting scholar at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design in 2000. He is a co-founder of Mishkat Atelier, a cooperative institution of academic design practice, which already has won a number of architectural competitions, and a co-founder of the CSBE architectural forum, Diwan al-Mimar.


Jafar Tukan (instructor) is a Jordanian architect, and is a partner at the Consolidated Consultants for Engineering and the Environment. He was trained at the American University of Beirut, and practiced architecture in Beirut for about 15 years before moving to Amman in 1976. He is responsible for the design of a number of important structures in Jordan, and also in other countries including Lebanon, Palestine, and the United Arab Emirates. He has collaborated with internationally recognized architects and architectural offices such as Kenzo Tange, with whom he worked during the late 1970s and early 1980s on the design of the campus of the Jordan University for Science and Technology in Irbid. His designs have been widely recognized in Jordan and the Middle East, and he has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Architectural Engineer Award of the Arab Cities Organization for the years 1993 and 2002, and the Palestine Prize for Architecture. The latest recognition of his work has been the choice of his SOS Children's Village in Aqaba as one of the recipients of the 2001 Aga Khan Award for Architecture. His work has been featured in numerous architectural magazines, including Mimar and Architecture +, and is the subject of the monograph Jafar Tukan Architecture (Rome: Libria, 2001). In 2003, his office of over 25 years, Jafar Tukan and Partners, merged with the Consolidated Consultants for Engineering and the Environment.

In addition to his architectural accomplishments, Tukan has been active in public service. Among other activities, he has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Jordan, a member of the Greater Amman Municipal Council, and a member of the executive board of the National Gallery of Fine Arts.


Farouk Yaghmour (instructor) is a Jordanian architect and planner, and is the principal of Dr. Yaghmour Consulting Architects & Engineers (Amman, Bethlehem, Sharjah, and Dubai). He studied architecture at the Hoch Schule fur Architektur und Bauwesen in Weimar, and did his graduate work at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he holds a master’s degree in architecture and a Ph.D. in planning. He taught at the University of Jordan and the State University of New York, and was the founding chairman of the Department of Architecture and Interior Design at the Jordan University for Women (presently Petra University). He has practiced architecture in Jordan, Palestine, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States. He has been in charge of the urban and architectural development for a number of important historical sites including the Solomon Pools in Bethlehem, the Palestinian village of Beit Sahur, and the Baptism site along the Jordan River in Jordan. He also was involved in efforts aimed at preserving the historical Palestinian city of Hebron. Yaghmour is the author of several publications addressing the subjects of architecture and environmental and urban planning. He also has served on a number of public advisory committees in Jordan, including the Beautification of the City of Amman Committee, the National Committee for Building Codes, and the Historic City of Petra Committee.


Administrative and academic coordination for Architectural Laboratory II will be carried out by Mohammad al-Asad, who is an architect and architectural historian, and the founding director of the Center for the Study of the Built Environment (CSBE). He studied architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and history of architecture at Harvard University. He held post-doctoral research positions at Harvard University and the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. He also has taught at the University of Jordan, Princeton University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has published a number of books and articles in both Arabic and English on the architecture of the Islamic world, and also contributes a weekly column on architecture and urbanism to The Jordan Times, Jordan’s English daily newspaper. In addition, he has served as a reviewer for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture since 1989.