On Sunday October the 7th, Director of the MENA Design Research Center -Doreen Toutikian- invited past Desmeem Participants to join in a panel to discussion: Open Design. Along with Elena Habre, Rawad Hajj, Giorgio Roberto Uboldi, Dima Boulad and Andreas Mueller, they discussed how a designer can play an important part in society by contributing to social and environmental issues.
The Desmeemers explained to the audience the different design research methods they used, and how their understand of design changed within the participatory process they developed with their project stakeholders. Then went on to infer how the Desmeem project has affected their current situation. Andreas and Giorgio returned to Lebanon to further develop some of their projects, Rawad won the Seeqnce challenge for his new social venture, Rikbit, and Dima continues to develop new initiatives for the community with the Beirut Green Project.
This discussion showed the various scopes of the designer outside the commercial sphere, and presented the audience with examples of some socially conscious efforts that are made possible within the world of design and social innovation.
Finally each designer discussed their own definition of Open Design. To Rawad, design became everything; to Elena is was the breaking of disciplinary boundaries: to andreas, he wanted design to be open for more than just designers; to Doreen, it is the founding of the MENA Design Research Center.