The Soul of a City
Interior Design (BFA)
My project, titled Soul of a City, is a book that proposes the implementation of a sustainable tourism development plans that does not infringe on the integrity of the cultural heritage site at Petra, Jordan. The overlap of legislation and policies imposed on the Bedouin tribes of Petra, as well as the demands of tourism, have caused changes in the Bedouin's cultural and social life. It has eroded some of the skills, traditions, and knowledge that these communities developed over the years. After Petra was “rediscovered” and tourism boomed, the Bedouins, who still inhabited the site, found an equilibrium between their own lifestyle, the archaeological site, and the visitors. Modern authorities, however, failed to take those realities into account. Their sole focus was to exploit the site’s tourism capabilities to its limit, with development strategies that continuously overlooked the local Bedouins. As Petra was listed as a World Heritage Site, the traditions, stories, and cultural practices of the Bedouins became part of UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage. My intention is to use spaces and designs to give visibility to the struggle of the Bedouins. By offering the Bedouins a space where they can re-exist within the site, I argue that labor and the economy of Bedouins can be integrated into the landscape, as they are fundamental to the site.