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 Photos: Hala Muhanna Photography
“Throughout Mábar, children will not be trained only to imagine, but to compare their imagination with reality. For them, Damascus deserves to be a dream and a decision at the same time.” Reem Mahmood, Tishreen Journal
Mabar is a temporary educational installation dedicated as a research space for and by children. With two windows representing the duality of (existence-vision) (real-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.
Mabar emphasizes 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 usual. 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 different from what they have been told in history classes.
Mabar six activities vary from the large scale urban content (the city) till the most detailed remarkable 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).
August 2010, I.Wlab won first prize of the competition bridging the gap led by the Ifpo Damascus. IWlab suggested (Mabar) the development of the idea was by the implementation of the workshop in one school located in the old city, this has been done with coordination between the Cultural participation for heritage regeneration program and the ministry of education in Syria .
September 2011, A very nice small scale school called Jameelah Al Ansariah has held Maber workshop, the Arabic house courtyard held Mabar activities that were done by children between 10 and 12 years old.
February 2011, Mabar workshop was developed by the children themselves to become an exhibition fulfilled by their ideas and dreams. The National museum in Damascus hosted Mabar exhibition in for two weeks.