Doreen Toutikian
Co-founder & Director

Doreen Toutikian is an interdisciplinary designer and a social entrepreneur. She holds a Master’s degree from Koeln International School of Design in European Design Studies and a bachelor’s in Communication Design from Notre Dame University. Her book, 'Design Education in the Middle East', the result of a 3-year’s master degree, was awarded the Cologne Design Prize in 2010.

Her professional experience involves a range of projects that deal with strategic planning, service design, branding, and user experience. In 2008/9 she spent a year in the product & service design department of the Glasgow School of Art working on projects with Skills Development Scotland, Careers Scotland, and HooverCandy.

In 2010, she returned to Beirut to focus her career on building a collective design community and enhancing the understanding of design and research in the region. She became head of Research & Development for TAGBrands, a branding agency, while also establishing MENA Design Research Center.

She believes that the key to all successful design is collaboration. This belief has inspired her to initiate various projects in order to encourage multidisciplinary teamwork for social innovation. Such projects include Public Design Intervention: Beirut (2010), Desmeem: Rethinking Design though Cross-Cultural Collaboration (2012) and Beirut Design Week (2012).

She is currently co-founder, president of the board and director of MENA Design Research Center, and Director of Beirut Design Week. She is also an educator on design research methods in various Lebanese universities, often serving as a mentor or jury member for student projects and start-ups.

In addition to her work in Lebanon, Doreen has been a guest speaker at various conferences around the world. She is a board member of the International Gender Design Network, member of the International Advisory Board of 'Board of International Research in Design/BIRD,' fellow in the Salzburg Global Seminar, and member of the Young Cultural Innovators of the British Council.

Doreen is an avid traveler, speaks five languages fluently, and loves throwing dinner parties at her home in Beirut.