Beirut Design Week 2014 is officially launched!

Last night, Monday 9th marked the official launch of Beirut Design Week 2014, with three key exhibitions starting us off. This year, we were delighted to welcome guests, both local and international to the Beirut Souks, where the Contemporary Danish Architecture Exhibition and the Dutch Design Exhibition both took place. Everybody gathered in the jewelry section for drinks, music and of course to discover the work of international designers including Rik Runge, Jasper Van Grootel, Mieke Meijer and Roy Letterlé, Dennis Meulenbroeks and Aike Heuvelink and Niels Bakkerus right here in the heart of the city.
As the sun set, we made our way over to the Newcomers Exhibition in Saifi, the third launching event of this week. One plus One, Moi et ma Puce, We Shape Hearts, Sacoche, Kera, Karma J, Nour Hage, Sana’ and Siwar Kraytem all came together in one space to show off their new designs and collections, to great success. The street was crowded with people excitedly talking about the numerous talented young artists participating in Beirut Design Week.
We have a lot of exhibition spaces in Saifi Village, so guests could walk around the streets, each shop displaying something different, from jewelry to fashion to graphic design. Plastik Magazine also had a huge success with their pop-up shop.
The crowd then moved on to Central for drinks and canapes, a perfect end to a great evening.
Join us throughout the week for more exhibitions all across the city. For more details, click here.


Meet the 93 participants of BDW14

Come along to our Beirut Design Week events to meet the 93 Lebanese designers taking part this year. These artists range from fashion designers to graphic designers, including furniture design, service design, jewelry design and urban & landscape designers and architects.

For full details about what’s on where, click here.


BDW14, behind the scenes…

NEW-LOGO-BDW2014Here at MENA Design Research Centre, the excitement is mounting as Beirut Design Week approaches. If you haven’t already, take a look at all the fantastic workshops, talks, exhibitions and other events we have scheduled for you from the 9th of June to the 15th.

What you don’t know is how hard the team is working to put on these events, and so here is a little insight into the preparation it takes to organize a festival on the scale of Beirut Design Week. Currently in its 3rd edition, it has grown immensely since 2012, and this means a lot more work for the team. From press releases to coordination of designers, both local and international to creating and sending hundreds of invitations, here is the story of how it is all done on time.

Since March, the whole team has been working towards creating Beirut Design Week 2014. As usual, Beirut Design Week is held across Beirut City, featuring exhibitions, conferences, workshops and open studios showcasing the work of local and international designers operating within Lebanon. All our events focus on creative economies, intercultural exchange, design education and design entrepreneurship. 

MENA Design Research Centre has been working to bring together designers from around the world and right here in Beirut to showcase their work in different areas of the city including the Beirut Souks, Saifi Village and Gemmayze. The events are designed so that participants can explore the city without missing out on any of the events.

The past few months have therefore been full of emails and calls to designers and artists worldwide to invite them to participate. Hilary Alexander. Rik Runge, Rowan Bain, Mona Hatoum and Jasper Van Grootel are only a few of the inspiring people that will be speaking during Beirut Design Week. These talks will vary from Fashion Design to Interior Design to Graphic Design as well as Design and Entrepreneurship and Contemporary Art. Be sure to come along to see any or all of these artistic innovators.

The week will not only feature well established figures of the Design community, however. The annual Newcomers Exhibition is back with young designers eager to display their work. See Karma J, Johanna Jonsson Abchée’s display of mirrors, Karen Kanaan and her brand Kera, Sanaa Ayoub’s fashion line Sana’ for today’s modern woman, Siwar Kraytem and her cycling guide to Beirut. Discover Nour Hage’s eponymous fashion line, We Shape Hearts, born out of a love/hate relationship with the city, Sacoche’ beautiful display of leather bags. Witness Moi et ma Puce exploring the bond between moms and daughters and finally, One plus One’s furniture concept.

Beirut Design Week will also feature the work of Crealev (Angela Jansen), Studio JSPR, Studio Mieke Meijer, Niels Bakkerus, Rik Runge (Philips Healthcare) and T+HUIS in collaboration with the Embassy of the Netherlands and Dutch Design Week. Explore the latest in Dutch lighting design, furniture design, interaction design, product design, and design for social impact.

Another event of the week to look forward to is the Contemporary Dutch Architecture Exhibition. Socially sustainable projects that are programmed for interaction, environmentally sustainable projects that reduce emissions by converting sun, wind and water into energy, and economically sustainable projects, where abandoned buildings and even entire districts are be­ing put to different use – all are represented in this exhibition, which gives an overview of the talent and diversity of contemporary Danish Architects.

We’d like to say a big thank you to all the members of the MENA Design Research Centre and everybody else who has contributed to making Beirut Design Week possible for all your hard work.


The BDW13 Conference Speakers are Announced!

Conference BDW13

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.