In ART NARRATIVES, DESIGN

The annual design event was back this year with its 8th edition. Under the theme of design and nostalgia, Beirut Design week took place in various locations across Beirut.

The past is alive in most of the Lebanese designs, it’s there triggering new ideas and inspiring designers to use traditions yet move beyond them. Designers, artists, tech innovators, and thinkers were invited to explore the concept of nostalgia through the lens of present and future designs.

The program (July 1-7) was rich with talks and workshops in addition to a number of exhibitions. Here are the highlights of the past week.

Exhibitions

Thomas Ollivier | RE:BIRTH

A series of conceptual products depicting the era of a pre-internet technology. London-based art director tom le french has envisioned some of today’s most famous technologies, as objects from the 1980s. In this project, he imagined the rebirth of some of our most favourite 80s inventions, branding them with the colour palettes and insignias of post-wifi tech giants.

Thomas Ollivier, RE:BIRTH Exhibition. Courtesy of Beirut Design Week

Goethe-Institut | Fantasmeem 

The Goethe-Institut was a key participant in Beirut Design Week 2019. Its participation showcased the work of the FANTASMEEM Faculty alumni – designers from different design fields working in Lebanon. The exhibition featured Ahmad Hamad, Ali Abuawad & Elma El, Khouri, Archag Togramajian, The Art of Boo, Dima Tannir, Pamela Mansour, Hadir Dimassi,  Jana Aridi & Rami Moukarzel, Lucy Momdjian, Marc Freiha, Mohamad Mckouk, Nour Ayoub, Salam Shokor, and Speetra Design Studio.

Goethe-Institut, Fantasmeem Exhibition. Courtesy of Beirut Design Week
Goethe-Institut, Fantasmeem Exhibition. Courtesy of Beirut Design Week

Milia M | Femme En Colere

For the Beirut Design Week’s theme of Nostalgia, Milia Maroun has collaborated with Paris based writer and artist Lamia Ziade using her iconic portrait of the celebrated singer Asmahan to illustrate her eponymous Kimabaya.

Milia M, Femme En Colere. Courtesy of Beirut Design Week
Milia M, Femme En Colere. Courtesy of Beirut Design Week

Maotik | Flash Memory

The installation explored the evolution of visual arts by mixing different techniques together. By using a camera 3D and a projection, the system will use a time buffer to capture and record some images in a time lapse.

Maotik, Flash Memory. Courtesy of Beirut Design Week
Maotik, Flash Memory. Courtesy of Beirut Design Week

Alfred Tarazi | Anatomy of Two Revolutions

Anatomy Of Two Revolutions is ongoing research around the visual culture of the seventies in Beirut. It highlights the echoes between the revolutionary callings of the Left to calls for sexual liberation predominantly through the world of Arabic Popular Culture.

Alfred Tarazi, Anatomy of Two Revolutions. Courtesy of Beirut Design Week
Alfred Tarazi, Anatomy of Two Revolutions. Courtesy of Beirut Design Week

Sofiane Si Merabet | Bonjour From Al Watan

Through the installation “Bonjour from al Watan”, visitors were invited to discover postcards of Arab cities torn by conflicts. Each of them at a different time, interrogating Arab geography, chronology, and emotional bonds.

Sofiane Si Merabet, Bonjour From Al Watan. Courtesy of Beirut Design Week
Sofiane Si Merabet, Bonjour From Al Watan. Courtesy of Beirut Design Week

Beirut Makers Exhibition

Waves of industrial revolutions and its technological progress have pushed some designs into oblivion; with their associated social practices.

Beirut Makers Exhibition. Courtesy of Beirut Design Week
Beirut Makers Exhibition. Courtesy of Beirut Design Week

Adra Kandil | Dear Nostalgia Where Are You Now?

The exhibition concept was traveling through time. The exhibition was a form of time travel across the different works, leading up to empty prints, clean slates, the now. Some of us are stuck in the past, and some of us are creating the present, the exhibition was a visual representation of that. The exhibition was 10 collage artworks suspended in an eclectic pattern at different heights.

Adra Kandil, Dear Nostalgia Where Are You Now? Courtesy of Beirut Design Week

Nada Ghazal

The ‘Heritage & Heirlooms’ limited-edition collection was comprised of eight unique designs with only 30 pieces of each design being produced for this occasion.

Nada Ghazal, Jewelry. Courtesy of Beirut Design Week
Nada Ghazal, Jewelry. Courtesy of Beirut Design Week

Sarah Bahbah | Hold Your Heart

Known for her explicit exploration into the intimate psyche of millennial women, Bahbah empowers her audience to embrace indulgence and self-love in all its forms. Smashing the stereotype of female emotion being a hindrance, her storytelling harnesses the power of breaking taboo and celebrates the liberation of transparency and desire.

Sarah Bahbah, Hold Your Heart. Courtesy of Beirut Design Week
Sarah Bahbah, Hold Your Heart. Courtesy of Beirut Design Week

Moshtari Hilal | When My Mother Entered My Work

When my mother entered my work explored the realisation of Hilal that in a world of social constructs and neoliberal individualism, there was nothing more genuine than one‘s origin. In her work Hilal aimed to create a visual language that is informed and shaped by the most subjective in her life – which became her hair, her nose, and her mother.

 

Moshtari Hilal, When My Mother Entered My Work. Courtesy of Beirut Design Week
Moshtari Hilal, When My Mother Entered My Work. Courtesy of Beirut Design Week

Nada Debes | MarquetryMania

MarquetryMania explores the handcrafted technique of marquetry by applying a playful yet powerful interpretation to it.

Nada Debes, MarquetryMania. Courtesy of Beirut Design Week
Nada Debes, MarquetryMania. Courtesy of Beirut Design Week

Tamara Hassouna | Dreaming Memory in The City of Beirut

As a means of relating space to art and art to society, the exhibition represented a map of a Beirut dystopia regenerating post-war romantic ideals in a sense of longing and belonging to common empty buildings, artworks, songs, dreams by giving a sense of a metaphor to the city.

Tamara Hassouna, Dreaming Memory in The City of Beirut. Courtesy of Beirut Desgin Week
Tamara Hassouna, Dreaming Memory in The City of Beirut. Courtesy of Beirut Desgin Week Tamara Hassouna, Dreaming Memory in The City of Beirut. Courtesy of Beirut Desgin Week

Workshops

Pottery Workshop: Handbuilding Techniques
By Zeina Bacardi Sakr

This workshop went over the basic techniques of handbuilt pottery. Starting off with wedging the clay, which is essential, and moving on to making a small bowl through the pinching technique, the simplest form of handbuilding. Then getting a small taste of the more advanced techniques, which are coiling and slab-building through making a plate. The participants applied these techniques on a small scale so that they were in control of their piece.

Zeina Bacardi Sakr. Courtesy of Beirut Design Week
Zeina Bacardi Sakr. Courtesy of Beirut Design Week

Kufi Reinvented
By Pascal Zoghbi

the outcome of the workshop was designing an A3 poster including the Kufic artwork and a small paragraph explaining the meaning of the chosen slang word.

Pascal Zoghbi. Courtesy of Beirut Design Week
Pascal Zoghbi. Courtesy of Beirut Design Week

Embroidery Workshop
By Salim Azzam

Some women came down from the village, taught basic skills and techniques for attendees to be able to share their own stories through this traditional skill.

From Landmarks to Lovemarks! By Blue Hat

Through a full-day workshop that involved subject matter experts, the workshop focused on iconic and nostalgic landmarks in Beirut city, those that have been neglected throughout the years.

Talks 

  • Pursuing Creativity Through Time and Space in a Golden spacesuit by Johannes Torpe
  • Rethinking Arabic Typography by Pascal Zoghbi
  • Is Nostalgia a New Oil in the Arab World? By Sofiane Si Merabet
  • #Tbt By Nour Tabet
  • Modernist social Housing in Britain: Different Reading of Nostalgia by Pablo Sendra
  • Nostalgia, or The Real Construction of a Dream: From Disneyland to Celebration by Andrea Canclini
  • Nostalgia: [Getting] Sick of Home by Jana Traboulsi
  • It’s a Long Story by Ramsey Naja
  • Challenging Nostalgia by Salim Azzam
  • The Lovers: A Tale of Two Revolutions by Alfred Tarazi
  • An Epicenter of Italian Design and Interior Architecture by Aoi Hasegawa
  • Temporalities of Nostalgia: ‘Heritage(s)’ in Urban Everyday Life and Design by Filipa WunderlichAn
  • Archeology of the Future by Lina Ghotmeh

Beirut Design Week was held from July 1-7

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