Mabar Educational Plan
Project Description

Mabar | Passage ( Heritage workshop for local children )

Full Education plan PDF


Mábar is a temporary educational installation dedicated as research space made for and by students. With two windows representing the duality of (existent-vision) (reality-imaginary) (dream- decision), Mábar questions the urban and architectural heritage starting from the city, districts, roads, until the surrounding urban and social details of Damascus.


Mábar (passage) concept relies on three axial approaches

Duality: Building heritage narrative forms as enjoyable and imaginative stories that generates games and encourages decision making.

Space: Replacing the regular classroom space with an interactive space that, being part of the game, would function as tables, chairs, and boards for the classroom.

Production: Working on ideas rather than products, the production methods in the workshop is about what to dream and what to decide, it is not about how excellent their drawings are.

Mábar emphasize that education is not only about telling stories or giving information. Therefore, it was suggested that the workshop will not consider heritage as a dry inaccessible material as usually presented in Syrian schools. Instead, it will let all children to access this material, to manipulate, change and even possess it. They will be able to suggest different scenarios than the real one. For example, students can imagine and choose the location where initial emergence of Damascus city started 5000 years ago.


Mábar six activities varies from the large scale urban content (the city) to the most detailed social and architectural cases, each activity contains two parts, the imaginary and the real one. The classroom will integrate the idea by its two lightweight puzzles referring to each side by color and shape (black-white).

Mábar first activity concerns the CITY, and it is about presenting the factors needed to establish a settlement with a similar geographic and logistic conditions of the city Damascus. The process however is made of students our stories of how settlements developed to be later compared with the development of Damascus city.

Mábar second activity concerns the DISTRICT, and it is about to present and imagine the compositions of the urban content of the old center of Damascus. The process however is made of creating an virtual neighborhood, student decide the shape, location and function of their own individual houses. The final product of their accumulation will be compared with a district in the old city.  

Mábar third activity concerns the NEIGHBORHOOD, and it is about to present the relationship between size, function, and form of each building and to indicate what makes a building a special building within its context. The process however is made of memory  trip inside students' houses and remember what he/she sees within this trip. Meanwhile, samples of real buildings will be analyzed.

Mábar fourth activity concerns BUILDINGS, it is about to present the relationship between the urban spaces (with all its social and architectural details) and the buildings themselves. The process is made by completing each passenger path that he/she walks every day from home to school depending on his/her memory. Meanwhile, all the materials and questions will be prepared for the next activity (the tour).

Mábar fifth activity concerns patching all previous activities with a tour. and it is about to present the real and exact cases of all the previously imagined conditions by checking how memories and vision where close to reality. The process however is made by dividing passengers to group according to their wish; photographers, investigators, journalist and urbanist. All the photos and graphs produced by each group will be used in Mábar final exhibition.

See also Mabar Workshop project

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Location : Damascus, Syria

Clients & Partners : Institut français du Proche-Orient , Ministry of education – Syria .

Project Phase: Completed 2011

Type of assignment : Competition first prize  


Mabar- Educational Classroom installation