Beirut Design Week recently refurbished KED, a 1930s metallurgical factory, in the industrial zone of Katarina next to Beirut’s port. KED has been the central hub for the fair since 2016, and on the opening night of the fair, it will host four floors of exhibitions that explore this year’s theme. KED will be open everyday between the 19th and 26th of May from 3:00pm to 10:00pm.


Speculative Needs XOXO

The MENA DRC presents a speculative & design-fiction exhibition of prototypes generated through a series of participatory workshops with 9 Lebanese universities.  Through fiction, forecasting, and extrapolation the exhibition materializes possible futures and alternative scenarios through unusual future objects that challenge our tame views and the status-quo.  Design is used as a medium to explore topics such as emerging digital anxieties, ethical machines, DIY Currencies, living with cyborgs, techno-spiritualism, digital shrines, strange biospheres and mutations, E-cosystems, and much more.

Our Daily Needs

Design is all around us, in every man-made object and interaction, yet many people identify design as a luxury commodity. If design was conceived out of a need to refine the quality of our daily lives, why is it often perceived as something for the elite? With this challenge in mind, a group of Lebanese designers decided to change this misunderstanding of design, and curate an exhibition that reveals the design processes that go into the development of products and services which usually go unnoticed by the consumer including street signs, interiors, mobile apps and cooking utensils. The MENA Design Research Center brings together a selection of 7 collaborative projects by Penguin Cube, Damj Design & Craft, Dima Boulad & Beyti, Dar Onboz, Khajag Apelian, Greener.ontheotherside (Zeina Kronfol & Pamela Haydamous) and Anghami.

Need for Regional Cultural Exchange: Beirut, Amman, Casablanca & Cairo

Beirut Design Week brings together Design Weeks from the MENA region to foster collaboration.Curated by architect, independent researcher and writer Mohamed Elshahed, Cairo Now! captures the current design landscape of the Egyptian capital, and celebrates innovation and emerging talent in the fields of product, furniture, graphic and typeface design as well as architecture.  

Rana Beiruti and Abeer Seikaly, founders of Amman Design Week, which debuted last year, showcase a selection of pieces by Jordanian designers and invite the audience to visit their second edition.Moroccan collaborative collective Houna is an experimental platform for creative interaction and training that encourages meetings, exchanges and cooperation between designers, researchers and entrepreneurs. It is developing the first Casablanca Design Week next year, and will be introducing a new generation of Moroccan designers to Beirut. KED will also host a discussion about developing further collaborations between designers from these three cities and Beirut, as well as the major challenges that affect design projects in the region.


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 metaldetecting 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.

Critical Mass: Women in Graphic Design

Women Graphic Designers have played a vital role in Lebanese contemporary visual culture over the past three decades, yet few are known for their skills outside the commercial realm. Working mostly for clients, much of their artistic self-expression is lost. As an ode to these brilliant women, Beirut Design Week presents an exhibition of playful, cosmic and ethereal posters and products for sale by five young contemporary female designers: Samar Haddad (Space Vacation); Rana Zaher; Yasmine Darwish; and Stephy Ibrahim (Saturn in Motion).

Criteria Exhibition: Fantastic Devices, Amelie Goldfuss

Amelie Goldfuss explores people’s relationship with new technologies by planting fictional devices in real homes and inviting her audience to test them. These objects aren’t sleek finished products but thought experiments that stimulate debate.  Beirut Makers: Night brought the need for Light, KED Open collective Beirut Makers combines design and craftsmanship through digital production. In response to this year’s theme, it will present a collection of lighting products and explore the changing needs of the city’s nascent maker movement as it increasingly relies on digital Fabrication.

Criteria Exhibition: Life is Good for Now, Bernd Hopfengärtner
Let’s say, in the coming years, Switzerland has managed to fully realize the right of informational self determination devising a functional infrastructure to protect it. Every citizen would have total control of their personal data, granting or denying access to anyone else. Huge data collections would be accumulated, but with people's knowledge and consent. The power of data analysis to improve medical treatment, uncover hidden relationships or design more efficient systems could be fully harnessed, without having to worry about its dark sides. This hypothetical future allows to refocus from the dangers of data abuse to the logic of data analysis. How would it condition the way we think about ourselves, our relationships, how we tell stories? In my work, I’m interested in the wayward little scenes that emerge when the big scenarios come alive. Little scenes, partial and open that do not aim to solve problems or design solutions but explore and rig out small spaces in the realm of the thinkable.

Criteria Exhibition: The Need to Mourn, Karma Dabaghi

The Need to Mourn is a project by Karama Dabaghi that acknowledges the presence amongst us of loved ones who passed away. It is a collection of functional objects that addresses the need to grieve. The objects that live within the home are to be displayed, used and touched. They address complex human feelings of loss, sadness and emptiness, then create a transition towards acceptance and hope. These objects have double agency; they satisfy a ‘real spiritual need’, and aspire to change mentalities by proposing a new kind of everyday utilitarian family of objects. The usually unacknowledged behaviors of mourners are expressed through new types of objects, thereby helping users through times of immense distress, and changing the approach that society has to the process of mourning.

Criteria Exhibition: Domestic Disturbances, Daniel Jasper

Commercial design production typically results in concrete statements couched in positive terms, which celebrate consumerism, consumer products and the munificent culture that produced them. Theorist Guy Debord characterized the psycho¬-philosophical underpinnings of this mediated environment in the following terms, ‘Everything that appears is good; whatever is good will appear.’ The work presented here attempts to challenge this narrative by supplanting it with a counter narrative expressed through seemingly innocuous products imbued with messages that are commercially unviable. For instance, wallpaper designs that call in to question basic assumptions about the purpose of textile designs for domestic applications. In addition to being decorative and aesthetically pleasing could textile patterns also be emotive and consciousness-raising with regard to current topics including the United States’ drone program or casualty rates among US military service members? All of the work has gone into some form of production or manufacture to produce multiples, if for no other reason than to diminish their potential value as a one-of-a-kind objet d’art. When considered in toto, this ongoing body of work provides a highly selective, idiosyncratic, visual history of early 21st Century fin de siècle angst.

Pleiades, Nightmares From Fabric

As the flow between the imaginary and the material is increasingly prosthetized with the body through wearable computing devices and smart fabrics, the negotiation of the real becomes sartorial as well as digital. In mind of Beirut Design Week’s emphasis upon design with social impact, we are presenting wearable design pieces that tacitly encode various actions on the part of the wearer, thereby magnifying the consequences of material happenstance within the everyday. These actions take the form of if-then propositions embedded within the clothes, known only to the wearer. The encoding is performed via a reverse branding action in which the logos adorning superbranded articles such as sportswear are cut out and replaced with vernacular Bedouin patterns which serve as design interruptions. As our tangible and digital worlds are ever more integrated, we anticipate an erasure of the distinction between a spatial intervention and the use of a body to perform an action. Therefore, we envision this series as a prototyping process – to send these pieces into the world to see how people interact with them – in which the brand-adorned body functions as a spatial metaphor. 

Silent Room, urban intervention by Nathalie Harb

We live in an environment where we find ourselves bombarded by a constant flux of information and distraction, both visual and sonic. The overflow of advertisement and spectacle manipulates our desires and contributes to the build-up of a hyper-consumerist society. Governments and political parties propagate fear and dreadful promises through the distribution of constructed images and sounds. Urban segregation can be mapped through noise variations across the city -underprivileged communities are the most affected by higher noise pollution. We need more silence. The Silent Room by Nathalie Harb is 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. Location: Armenia Street & Emile Lahoud Boulevard intersection.

Confess, Architects For Change

It is quintessential that individuals take the challenge to introspect whether design is a need or not. Confess: an installation that serves this challenge to the public is a modest imitation of a self-ignited dialogue. It is a journey of questioning the definition of design, our general needs, and the link between the two within interrelated scenarios. The trail of scenarios will be the hub of engagement and debate: a personal conversation between the content and the occupant.

Sustainably Modified Fashion

ESMOD Beirut showcases its students and alumni’s work, produced along their 3 years of specialization within the frame of the university.

From classic techniques to creative approaches, from basic products to complex garments; the exhibition emphasis on the conscious design and execution process, recently integrated within the program, and used to guide the students towards a shift into sustainable thinking.

BDW2017 Pop-Up Store

The Pop-up Store is back in KED featuring an array of designer knick-knacks, posters, accessories, small items, books, postcards, jewellery, house-hold objects and much more. Drop by the 2nd floor of KED and discover the works of Luanatic, Cairo Now, Saturn In Motion, Space Vacation, Rana Zaher, Yasmine Darwiche, Dana Adada, Siwar Kraytem, Joy Srour, Talar Manoukian Skin Gem, Waste, Cedar Environmental, Beachill, Paola Sakr, Neda Khoury, Narinée, Adrian Muller, and Studio Kawakeb.