Awakening static objects, Hashem Joucka explores the fusion of art, design, technology and science.
From a young age, Hashem Joucka was fascinated with the colours and patterns. From a family of artists and architects, he was constantly surrounded by blueprints, tools and above all: artwork. Exposed to the idea of transforming concepts into physical objects, Hashem developed his three passions of science, art and technology alongside each other.
Fast forward a couple of decades and the designer runs TechWorks, a digital fabrication laboratory in Amman, during the day and he works on his art during the night.
“I am an artist, innovator and inventor,” Joucka says. “My passions grew to become a profession and an obsession.” Joucka is a self-confessed “man of different hats” and works with multiple disciplines. Over the course of his career, he has worked with product designers, exhibition designers, architects, builders, food designers, fashion designers and experiential designers. His work is displayed in museums, used in kitchens and found in classrooms, and truly stands at the intersection between science and art.
In 2016, Joucka created a series of contoured pieces of furniture composed of stacked laser-cut layers of wood in a shape derived from mathematical surfaces. The Labyrinth series is an ongoing series and is one of the clearest visual demonstrations of the artistic appreciation of both mathematical science and technology, and was showcased at Amman Design Week.
For Dubai Design Week in 2017, Joucka created three interactive installations under the collective title 'Ferromancy', using ferrofluid - a highly magnetic, oil-based liquid which reacts to magnetic fields – to illustrate the effects of electromagnetic force on our lives. “These works used an invisible force and made the invisible visible, which is essentially what I am interested in - awakening static objects, animating the physical world and mimicking natural movements.” says Joucka. As an extension of this work, he recently created a piece of apparatus to explore the transitions of a ferromagnetic mixture under magnetic stimulus. The user can vary the strength of the magnetic field, which creates an endless number of animations, rich with complex patterns and organic forms.
Another presentation, on show in New York in 2017, focused on the sun-dried yogurt called 'Jameed', used in the national dish of Jordan. He designed a 3D-printed press to make the packaging and storing of the yogurt more convenient and with improved aesthetics.
Visitors to Dubai Design Week will also remember Joucka’s contribution to the 2018 edition in the Abwab Pavilions. As a representation of Amman, Joucka collaborated with Basel Naouri, a sound designer to create an audio-visual experience named 'Duwar'. Based on the concept of the roundabout, one of Amman's most recognizable traits, the installation took viewers in a continuous circular motion of successive events that alternated between chaos and order. Almost like the concept of a flip book, the work used filming, digital fabrication and spatial sound design in the form of hanging sculptures composed of sequential images reflecting the narratives of the city.
“The project aimed to show a glimpse of our daily lives in Amman,” he says. “These are the beautiful elements that have shaped the city's identity. This is our Amman. This is our chaos of order. I hope that whoever experienced Amman related to the work.”
More information on the Amman pavilion of Abwab 2018 can be found here.
Moving forward from this project and into 2019, Joucka is continuing to developing artwork that tells a story and that uses science and technology. “I will proceed to venture, to create, to innovate with new tools and applications, moving my work off the computer screen and into real spaces, into the physical world.”
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