Although many of the exhibitions from the 2016 Amman Design Week surely left quite an impression on visitors, there is one art installation in particular whose longevity will be tangible for years to come. ENTRELAC by fiber artist Rayah Kassisieh was initially a monumental installation made up of 350 kilograms of un-dyed, handknitted wool strands that gracefully hung from the ceiling. However, once the event came to a close, the Brooklyn-based artist set out to repurpose her artwork into blankets for Syrian refugees and Jordanian families.


Rayah Kassisieh, NADAAA, Amman Design Week, syrian refugees, clothes for refugees, humanitarian initiatives, refugee crisis, refugee shelters, refugee clothing, refugee blankets, repurposed art installations, ENTRELAC,Images courtesy of Hussam Da’na/Amman Design Week

The initial artwork consisted of enormous wool strands that represented the relationship between digital design and traditional craft. The artist used computational modeling to determine the intricate design of the strands, but the work was mainly the result of hand-crafted excellence by a team of talented seamstresses. The 28 large knit strands were cut and stitched by hand by twenty Jordanian women working from their homes or small workshops.

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Rayah Kassisieh, NADAAA, Amman Design Week, syrian refugees, clothes for refugees, humanitarian initiatives, refugee crisis, refugee shelters, refugee clothing, refugee blankets, repurposed art installations, ENTRELAC, Image courtesy of Amman Design Week

Once the event was coming to a close, the artist worked in collaboration with NADAAABoston-based architecture and urban design firm led by  designer Nader Tehrani, and the Amman Design Week team to repurpose her work into blankets. The same women who created the initial piece for the event then took on the responsibility to transform the material into 38 blankets for those in need.

+ Rayah Kassisieh 

+ NADAAA

Lead image via Roland Halbe. Additional photos courtesy of Hussam Da’na and Amman Design Week.