Lessons of a City

From February 24th to May 31st, Planar Gallery hosts the exhibition Lessons of a City curated by Jawad Dukhgan and Antonio Ottomanelli; through a collection of evidences, photos and video documentation narrating the city of Amman and its master plans; the vision of the city and its relation with the geopolitical history of the Arab countries.

The exhibition is promoted by the Columbia University GSAPP’s Studio-X Amman  – Columbia Global Centers | Amman, in collaboration with Planar and Politecnic of Bari DICAR.

Lessons of a City is a research initiative mapping stopped construction sites and failed real estate speculation in Amman, in relation to the various master plans drawn for the city, its recent history and the geopolitics of the Mashriq.

The materials and documents on show were developed through a series of workshops directed by Jawad Dukhgan and Antonio Ottomanelli at Studio X Amman titled Frozen Imaginaries.

Participants have researched various typologies of housing in Amman, particularly looking at speculative projects that fell short of realizing their intended result. The project both documents and analyzes frozen construction sites or suspended and abandoned residential buildings and real estate development projects. Through a series of collaborations, workshops and design charrettes, architects, students and other participants joined the project’s mapping work, documentation, presentations and informal discussions with invited critics and guest speakers.  The work produced through photography, mappings, design workshops and materials collected will culminate in an exhibition for the first time at Planar Gallery in Bari.

In December 2016 a workshop was held in Amman where accepted participants worked with Jawad Dukhgan and Antonio Ottomanelli, as well as invited guests on further developing maps and drawings of abandonment patterns in the city. This landscape of abandoned structures was also studied in relation to past visions for the city found in master plans for Amman since the 1950s, and in relation to a proposed timeline of events of war and migration in the region, and their effects on the economic development and growth of the city.