Our third year Humber Interior Design students were challenged to develop an adaptive reuse project for Nablus, Palestine. This entailed re-purposing the 150-yearold Toukan Soap Factory into a museum focused on cultural preservation of the historic soap industry in Palestine, and a co-working office that supports the region’s emerging entrepreneurs and small businesses.
The Palestine Project provided students with a platform to expand multi-cultural awareness and solve design problems for the built environment through the examination of geographical, historical, cultural, political, economic and environmental lenses.
Inspired by iconic Arabic artifacts found in the region’s architecture, art, costume design and traditions of embroidery, the Interior Design students created individual interpretations of an artifact that celebrates the inter-relationship between Palestinian craft, design and architecture. Students utilized traditional craft and modern fabrication processes and created a 13’ wide x 6’ high installation.
The artifacts collectively form 3 screens which symbolize how design can span across time, cultural traditions and languages, to become a unifying catalyst for positive transformation, empathy building and social inclusion.
The teaching team consisted of Anna Stranks, Jordan Fang, Scott Brewster and cultural collaboration with architectural firm Consolidated Consultant in Amman, Jordan.