The glass blowing industry in Palestine is one of the most beautiful and technically advanced local traditions. The tradition has managed to survive for the last seven centuries; however, due to the fragility of the political context and the fragility of the material itself, the exportation of the products has decreased dramatically in recent years. To revive this tradition the concept of this project is to experiment with more contemporary forms and collaborate with the craftsmen in the area to produce a provocative exhibition. The goal is to highlight the cultural heritage while maintaining the current global standard of product design. 3D software and renderings are used to communicate the designs to the craftsmen. In this exchange, the technology crosses the boundary between the ancient techniques of glass blowing used in Palestine and contemporary design. The aim, of crossing these boundaries, looking back to move forward, is to produce objects that will resonate with a sense of place while maintaining the ability to act on a regional and global level. This is not a sentimental or nostalgic project; This is an attempt at reactivating the industry and reviving traditional crafts while learning the ancient techniques used to draw inspiration from them.
About the Artist
Dima Srouji, founder of Hollow Forms Studio, is a Palestinian architect and artist exploring the power of the ground, its strata, and its artifacts in revealing silenced narratives and embedded intergenerational memories. The practice excavates moments of potential imaginary liberation searching for ruptures through the coupled past and present colonization and occupation of Palestine while forging methods for collective becomings. She works with glass, text, archives, maps, plaster casts, and film, understanding each as an evocative object and emotional companion. Her projects are developed closely with archaeologists, anthropologists, sound designers, and glassblowers, as she believes collaboration is integral in the collective process towards liberation.
Srouji is currently the Jameel Fellow at the Victoria & Albert Museum and leading the MA City Design studio at the Royal College of Art in London.