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CRITERIA CONFERENCE AT SURSOCK MUSEUM, SATURDAY MAY 20, 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
The MENA Design Research Center, in conjunction with Beirut Design Week and in collaboration with the Sursock Museum, is proud to host Criteria: A Conference on Critical Design. This event will explore the theories and practices of critical design, an emerging field dedicated to challenging the industrial underpinnings of design and questioning its continued relevance in our quickly changing world. The Criteria panels will bring forward conversations about the theoretical orientations of critical design and its educational applications, as well as critical design as praxis and prototype. The event as a whole aims to connect critical design to other critical turns in the arts, humanities, and social sciences and to distill the value of critical design to this year’s Beirut Design Week theme, Is Design a Need?

A conversation between designer Ghassan Salameh and L’Artisan Du Liban’s artistic director Maya Eid, SATURDAY MAY 20

Design today is no longer the production of objects but has rather become an underlying system for exploration, experimentation and development as well as a force for social change. It is important that we step out of the globalized theories and concepts of how a design should be done and treat each case as a concrete study in relation to its context, environment and cultural relevance, through collaborative exchanges with artisans and craftswomen/men as well as a deep understanding of material. 

This discussion will examine the impact of socially motivated design, mainly through the work of L’Artisan du Liban since its creation in 1979 and the effects of such efforts on the lives of artisans and craftspeople, who are active shapers of the cultural identity the main source of inspiration for designers. Location: Sursock Esplanade

On this occasion, ADL will exhibit a design installation in collaboration with 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.


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OPEN TALKS AT KED, SUNDAY MAY 21, 5:00- 8:00 PM

SESSION I:
DRAFT: DESIGN VALUE IN PUBLIC POLICIES, 5:00 - 6:00 PM
BY GRAPHICISM
In the absence of a Ministry of Planning & Design, and in light of policies made without considering the human citizen, how can we communicate the value of design in public policies & national economy? And with the absence of strong  representative of the local design community, how can we as designers (in academia, corporations, NGOs, syndicates, industries, & as individuals) define the value of our sector  before communicating it with non-designers and other sectors? It is an open call to all designers to share ideas & different POVs. Graphicism is an official club of graphic design & visual communication students and graduates at the Lebanese University. This panel will be facilitated with Graphicists Fatima Farhat & Maria Dermosessian  Location: KED, Karantina, 5:00- 6:00pm.

SESSION II:
NEED FOR REGIONAL EXCHANGE, 6:15 - 8:00 PM
DESIGN WEEKS & COLLECTIVES OF BEIRUT, AMMAN, CAIRO, CASABLANCA & TEHRAN
A panel discussion bringing together all regional exhibitors to discuss the potential of collaboration between four countries in the Middle East. This is an open platform for discussion that will lead to future plans that consolidate designers and their efforts within the MENA region. Speakers include Mohamad El Shahed (Cairo Now), Rana Beiruti (Amman Design Week), Houna Collective (Casablanca Design Week), and Persia Collective. Location: KED, Karantina, 6:15- 8:00pm.

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TALKS AT FOCH SQUARE, MONDAY MAY 22, 7:00 - 9:00 PM

SESSION I: 
Object Permanence, the role it plays in a creative life,
It is a conversation between artist Leila Pazooki, psychoanalyst Nayla De Coster and designer Milia Maroun.
What is design vs art? Isn’t it all about channeling our creative mind? representing in metaphors and subliminal messages our internal world?
How can creativity and design represent a survival pillar in one’s life? more specifically in the context of motherhood
Reconstructing the mother
Does maternity stop creativity?
The role of play/Object for child and mother.

SESSION II:
Expertise France
(TBA)

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THE IMPORTANCE OF DESIGN THINKING AT EARLY STAGE VENTURES AT ANTWORK, WEDNESDAY MAY 24, 9:00- 11:00 AM
Talk by Martin Dudek, Head of Design at Pollen8, followed by a Round table discussion.

Being problem centric is the quintessence of working in a startup and human centric design is the key element to create a successful new venture. It’s 2017 now, a time where customer experience is the primary basis for competition and designers stop being pixel pushers and become the drivers of success and new business opportunities. Martin Dudek, Creative Director of one of London’s fastest growing innovation startups, talks about combining problem solving, creativity, empathy and experience to tackle some of the most difficult challenges of new ventures and the underlying trends supporting the returning influence of designers.

Round Table Discussion
Experts from various disciplines debate the importance of design thinking and designers as co-founders of startups and social ventures. The round table discussion focuses on questions around the contribution of design thinking to the success of ventures and why it is important to create something users love. We are also trying to find answers for the most important skill sets designers need to become successful entrepreneurs, what the shortcomings of design school teaching are and what makes designers attractive hires.

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FICTION, DIGITIAL MEDIA AND DESIGN FOR GENDER EQUALITY IN THE MENA REGION AT ANTWORK, WEDNESDAY 24 MAY, 6:00 - 8:00 PM
A CONFERENCE BY WOMANITY
The Womanity Foundation is organizing a launch event, in partnership with Beirut Design Week and Off the Ground, for the third season of the « Be 100 Ragl? edutainment program. 
This event will provide an opportunity to debate with local and regional actors about how new tools such as design, digital media and edutainment can influence men and women’s role in society. The conference is designed to bring a diverse audience who reflects the collaborative approach of the program: regional NGO's, civil society actors designers and creatives, change makers and young activists, social innovators, and media. 

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A TALK ON BUILDING TODAY'S EXPERIENCES FOR TOMORROW'S HABITS AT BORN INTERACTIVE HQ, THURSDAY MAY 25, 5:00- 6:00 PM

A 50 minute talk from senior User Experience and User Interface designers of a 20-year-old digital agency on how the best web and mobile experiences are built today to capture user interests in seconds and become the digital platforms of the future. Talk will be followed by the Official Housewarming Party; music, bites, drinks and chats.


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OFF THE GROUND PROJECT PRESENTATIONS AT ANTWORK,  THURSDAY MAY 25, 6:00 - 8:00 PM 
The results of the 2  day hackathon will be presented to the public. The evening consists of 5 presentations by 5 teams that took on a social challenge and used Design Thinking to innovate. Presentations will be followed by an evening of drinks, music and networking.

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TALK: GENDER FLUIDITY IN FASHION AT KED, SUNDAY MAY 21, 6:00-6:45 PM
Bashar Assaf x Marwan Kaabour, La Terre Est Folle, /perverse label/, Chantal Harb and The Creative Space come together for an informal talk about "Gender Fluidity in Fashion".
The exhibition "Gender Fluidity in Fashion" in the hall of Station runs until the closing day of Beirut Design Week 2017, on May 26. A collaboration with the Beirut Design Week.