Beirut Design Week 2017 through Instagram

By Liyan Aljabi

Beirut hosted one of the most anticipated design fairs in the region last May for the sixth consecutive time. Organized by MENA Design Research Center, Beirut Design Week 2017 showcased the best of Lebanese and international design to encourage intercultural exchange, design education, social impact, and design entrepreneurship. This years’ fair theme focused on critical design, prompting the question ‘Is design a need?’

BDW is initiated and organized by the MENA Design Research Center, a non-profit organization, which focuses on promoting a diverse understanding of design in the region through collaborative, multidisciplinary projects and rigorous design research.

Doreen Toutikian, the co-founder and director of BDW and the MENA Design Research Center, told Dezeen in an interview about the event “We’d like to show the world that Beirut is not just about political instability, especially during such critical times, but that we are a city and people that have overcome many challenges and have used them to fuel our creativity,”

HKZ followed BDW through visitors’ interactions and perceptions on social media. By following the hashtags #BDW, #BDW2017 and #BeirutDesignWeek2017, we were able to highlight the best of Beirut Design Week though its 25,000 visitors to over 150 events.

Silent Room, urban intervention by Nathalie Harb

A hand-made timber tower with a brightly painted exterior, making it stand out within the urban landscape. Visitors are invited into its cocoon-like interior, which has been upholstered for comfort and suffused by indirect light, offering a retreat from one of Beirut’s busiest thoroughfares.

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Beirut Makers is an open collective of makers joining forces to explore digital fabrication. Participants: Kamal Aoun, Hadil Ankouny, Assad Awad, Stéphanie Bachir, Marine Bustros, Guillaume Crédoz, Mariane Ghrayche, Charbel Jreijiri & Michel Moukarz.


A post shared by The Makers (@beirutmakers) on

A post shared by The Makers (@beirutmakers) on

Beirut Makers invite users to actively participate to the creation. In the design process, as they take users into account, and want to share with them the assembly and composition of their designs.

Beirut Makers work is modular, honest and focuses on fair trade.

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A post shared by The Makers (@beirutmakers) on

Homesick By Bokja

Outside of defining the concept of home as a space, home is a sentiment one forms after repeated engagement with object, place, or situation.

In thinking about longing for home, Bokja ponders on how spawning fish, after years away from their places of origin, navigate longs distances back to the location where they were birthed.

For BDW, Bokja celebrates the home and a fishy sense of belonging.

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A post shared by Bokja (@bokjadesign) on

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NATIONMETRIX by Roula Salamoun & Ieva Saudargaitė

International security concerns have drastically changed the process of crossing borders, and travel restrictions result in hierarchical and tangible control procedures for travellers. Roula Salamoun and Ieva Saudargaitė present a timely installation that offers their audience the spatial and sensorial experience of travelling as a Lebanese passport holder. Initially inspired by metal detecting portals, and the idea of the passport as door to certain geographies, the geometry of each gate is derived from the specific metrics of the nationality of a specific passport holder and their destination.

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Objects of Change by Ghassan Salameh and L’Artisan du Liban at Sursock Museum

This design installation is collaboration between the Lebanese artisans, featuring designer Ghassan Salameh and glass artisan Atelier Céline Hage. The installation focuses on an evolution of traditional craft techniques applied on various materials, reconfiguring and extending the usage of basic geometric elements found in various oriental aesthetics, into a connective symbiotic system. Through this experimentation, ADL invites Lebanese artisans into an encounter with a young designer and a new generation artisan. The installation co-occurs with an exhibition curated by Adham Selim.

Mix and Match by Nada Debs x Tarek Moukkadem

Mix and match is a collaboration born out of the interaction between two Lebanese designers recognized in different disciplines but sharing a common love for the region’s ancestral design and craft. In this edition, Tarek Moukkadem brings with him his exuberance and his playful artistic expressions with Nada Debs’ constant pursuit for re-invention of established traditional designs. From this collaboration is born a modular, high in color re-interpretation of the all-so-famous Levantine Tarabeza.

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A post shared by NADA DEBS (@studionadadebs) on

Design for Life by ALEF STUDIO

Alef Studio is a visionary design & architecture studio that sponsors “designs for life”, designs created with the authenticity & honesty that echo people’s daily aspirations & the boundless evolution of their desires. Aman & Abeer founded Alef Studio as their earnest contribution to the world for uniqueness. To them design is an eternal way for expressing & appreciating the exceptional splendor of this world and the magnificence of its creation.

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Feature Image by Raintree

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