A collaborative project between Bram Kerkhofs and March at Minjara (Tripoli, Lebanon) from 02/12/2019 until 09/12/2019.
Sawa is Arabic for together. It symbolizes the fact that the project helps people from two hostile areas in Tripoli to reconcile. This they try to achieve by letting them work together on different modular furniture objects. The modular system that forms the base of each design, symbolizes perfectly the social cohesion necessary to succeed. It starts from the use of round shaped beams with diameter, varying between 20 to 120 millimeters. Each diameter is made of a different kind of wood. The smaller the section, the stronger the wood. The dimensions used in the system are based on the well-balanced proportions in Roman architecture, a nudge to Lebanon’s history. This balance is also achieved in the furniture and between the participants in this project.
Sawa’s modular system starts from a simple connection between two beams using metal screw threaded rods and cross dowels. Using this system, two beams either form a T connection or can pass through another one.
Each piece of furniture has its own instruction manual, and its own specific parts. An object will only work if all steps are followed precisely.
SAWA’s social purpose is to learn from each other. It is about commitment, pride and ownership. It is also about learning and combining skills, starting from and with respect for everyone’s individuality, strengths and weaknesses.
Sawa is an all-embracing project which is both ethical and esthetical. For this workshop Bram has been assisted by one staff member from March to guide 11 people between the ages of 19 and 25.