Beirut Design Week Conference

Design is a versatile discipline and designers have reached a very broad flexibility in their respective fields. The Beirut Design Week 2013 Conference brought 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 who created garments from food and organic material like Suzanne Lee, and even food designers who recreated what we eat such as, Magali Wehrung. 3D printing, another innovative growing technology that had been spearheaded by Guillaume Credoz in the entire MENA region as a design revolution.

Already City X from San Francisco, had 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 discussed 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 surrounded himself with designers and creatives, told us a few secrets on how to protect our intellectual property rights.

Architecture and mobile technology were also not far from discourse, as Conrad Bercah’s panel certainly proved that, with the help of Ayssar Arida and Imad Gebrayel. Architect Valerio Ferrari, took us through his own approach with designing interactive and immersive theaters around the world. As organizers of BDW & the Conference, MENA Design Research Center focused on design for social impact. Therefore, it was 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, inspired us with their community building projects for years. The understanding of the role of design in civic society as well as community, was in fact a specialty of Ruedi Baur from the Master Program in Geneva. But researching the core dynamics of community which was built on TRUST, had been the month-long project of Jeremy Beaudry and his international Master of Industrial Design students from the Philadelphia University of the Arts.