Thank you so much Beirut for a great week! Thank you to our lovely participants, our supportive partners and sponsors and to our media ambassadors. All of this would have not been possible without you. See you again next year!
Last year, during the first Beirut Design Week 2012, we had 9 workshops in total. This year we have 29 workshops given by a multitude of talented designers and educators in a variety of disciplines and fields. Make sure to register before the 24th of June to ensure your participation seat. All information about workshop details, locations and schedule can be found here.
This year we are thrilled to have brought together 84 Lebanese participants to collectively take part in Beirut Design Week as a design community. They include product designers, furniture designers, service designers, graphic designers, fashion & accessories designers, jewelry designers, urban & landscape designers and architects.
To view full details of participants in pdf, click here.
Design is a versatile discipline and designers have reached a very broad flexibility in their respective fields. The Beirut Design Week 2013 Conference brings together for the first time in the region, designers and architects from the UK, Denmark, The Netherlands, USA, France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and Lebanon under one roof to come together and discuss Design in all its broadness.
From product designers who have redefined aesthetic value such as Michael Anasstasiades, to fashion designers creating garments from food and organic material like Suzanne Lee, and even food designers recreating what we eat -Magali Wehrung- ; the spectrum of design seems to grow ever further with each innovation. 3D printing, another innovative growing technology has been spearheaded by Guillaume Credoz in the entire MENA region as a design revolution. Already City X from San Francisco, have started training children between 8 to 10 years old with this great technology, helping them to reshape their cities and the fictional characters that inhabit them. Sarah Thelwall and Jason Steel will be discussing Fashion Design as an education and a career path from a local and global perspective, guiding young designers through the journey of this field of design. While Rany Sader, a lawyer who surrounds himself with designers and creatives, will tell us a few secrets on how to protect your intellectual property rights, and give us some startling examples from all around. Architecture and mobile technology are also not far from discourse, as Conrad Bercah’s panel will certainly prove, with the help of Ayssar Arida and Imad Gebrayel. Architect Valerio Ferrari, takes us through his own approach with designing interactive and immersive theaters around the world.
As organizers ofBDW & the Conference, MENA Design Research Center focuses on design for social impact. Therefore, it is a great honor to have the Director of Index, an international award dedicated to the cause with us. Moreover, T+HUIS also a design for social impact studio from the Netherlands, have inspired us with their community building projects for years. The understanding of the role of design in civic society as well as community, is in fact a specialty of Ruedi Baur from the Master Program in Geneva. But researching the core dynamics of community which is built on TRUST, has been the month-long project of Jeremy Beaudry and his international Master of Industrial Design students from the Philadelphia University of the Arts.
To view the full pdf of conference speakers, click here.
On FRiday March 1st 2013, the Desmeemers were invited to the Lebanese American University to talk about their design process during the three months of the Desmeem project. The teams informed the design students about the research methods they used, the challenges they faces along the way, and the outcomes they achieved through human-centered design. On behalf of the MENA DEsign Research Center, we would like to thank LAU and the Desmeemers for this truly informative and inspiring event!
During December 2 workshops were held in AltCity concerning migrant workers in Lebanon. At the end of which an exhibition and a Community Day was established on December the 16th. The workshops were developed in collaboration with Migrant Workers Task Force, AltCity, Joumana Ibrahim, and a group of Graphic designers who dealt with infographics. The exhibition design and concept was developed and implemented with the help of Doreen Toutikian, Director of the MENA Design Research Center, since it is one of the center’s goals to contribute to design for social change in the Arab World. Moreover, having worked with migrant workers on a previous Desmeem project, Community Day with the aforementioned partners is a good way to follow up with the latest updates and concerns regarding this serious challenge that affects the country profoundly.
On Community Day migrant workers from many different communities plus Lebanese and other nationalities came together in AltCity to share food, stories, laughter and celebrate the end of the year’s classes.
The Two Exhibitions of the Workshops are:
1) Lens on Life: A series of photo essays created by migrant workers using their mobile phones under the guidance of Ann Megalla and Dima Saber
2) Visualizing Migrant Rights: A series of infographics depicting the lives and rights of migrant workers in Lebanon produced by graphic designers under the guidance of Joumana Ibrahim.
In addition to the 2 workshops, AltCity is also displaying a series of infographics by Visualizing Palestine depicting some of the human rights violations conducted in Palestine.
This whole exhibition has been made possible through the help and support of the MENA Design Research Center, the Netherlands Embassy in Lebanon, the Migrant Workers Task Force, and numerous volunteers.
For more images click here, courtesy of AltCity.
This past weekend, as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab Region in collaboration with AltCity, ArabNet, the MENA Design Research Center along with dozens of active partners in the Middle East, organized the first Beirut Social Innovation Camp. As a Design Coach, director of the MENA Design Research Center -Doreen Toutikian- was invited to spend one-on-one time with each team to guide them through the design process of their project.
The room was crawling with developers, designers, and entrepreuneurs who had come to team up with each other and turn their ideas to life. 14 teams were formed with project themes varying from community recycling plans, customer- product reviews, local talent archiving, braille apps, Garage sales, bio-lemonade, handcrafts, location-based job scouting, health planning, youth protection, housing for students, and gunshot detection.
On the third day, the judges who were representatives of ArabNet, Cedar Environmental, AUB, and Naharnet listened to the pitches and picked the winners. Instead of creativity, originality, research, or reasoning behind the project, they seemed to be entirely focused on business models and competitors. Personally, we would have preferred more diversity in the criteria, but nonetheless, it was a great effort from all parts; and surely the participants learnt some valuable lessons. The first prize went to Job Pinner, an app that determines the location of freelancers/ service providers from various fields.
Images Courtesy of Naharnet & Beirut.com