WE’VE ASKED ARTISTS, ARCHITECTS AND DESIGNERS, PLUS ARCHITECTURAL STUDENTS FROM LAU, TO SHARE WITH US THEIR THOUGHTS AND IDEAS AS THEY RELATE TO THEIR FAVOURITE CITIES, UTOPIAN URBAN DESIGN AND VARIOUS LIFE EXPERIENCES. HERE ARE THEIR ANSWERS, ALONG WITH ORIGINAL WORKS THAT BEST REFLECT THEIR PASSION, CREATIVITY AND EMOTIONS.
Tell us about the work you submitted and the medium you’ve selected.
The work is a series of cityscapes shaped by our crafted samples from our materials library. We specialize in taking traditional craft techniques and adding a new life into them by coming up with new ways of making or by altering materials or colours. We have divided the city into four environments that reflect different emotions: La Vie en Rose – this represents the world of desire and positivity – everything is rosy and beautiful. Green City – an attempt to accentuate the importance of sustainability and organic thinking. Green is also about our connection to our roots, about our awareness and sense of belonging. City of Daydreamers – Blue is about balance, serenity and reflection. About possibilities. City of Lights – looking to a bright future – what more than life shining light on us? It is about energy and enlightenment.
How does it represent you?
Our mission is to give craft a new life. Our material library is full of sample ideas that we create and put aside for use one day. Our furniture and products are often shaped by these craft techniques so it is quite the heart and soul of our brand. It only made sense to create our world with these samples.
My city is Beirut and to me it is a city of contrast and layers. You can see so many differences, yet they seem to all work together. I like that unexpected order that somehow creates an energy that one cannot really pinpoint.
Tell us a brief story that had marked you in your current city. How would it have been different in your created city?
This is the city that opened doors for me. It solidified my identity as someone who can be both Far Eastern and Middle Eastern, and who can use these opposing cultural thinking processes to create something out of it. It is a city that has many layers and many emotions attached to it. It is diverse. The city we have created is actually the same – multi-layered – and when you look closely, you see more details, more stories, more feelings, nostalgia, hope, light.
Where do you position yourself in a world where culture is becoming global? And how does that affect your work?
I believe no matter what, we still have our roots to look back on, and I also believe that no matter what, us human beings have a need to belong. So although culture is becoming global, it is always through a certain angle, in our case, the Beirut angle. So what is the Beirut angle? It is a city of “almost,” as an old friend once said to me. It is a city that is “almost” there – always searching for something new, aiming to attain something different, mixing cultures, fusing ideas, making impossible connections work – and that is what I like to do with my work.
A VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE APPEARED IN PRINT IN SELECTIONS #45