Beirut’s design community struggles to rebuild in the aftermath of explosions / Rebecca Anne Proctor
‘The blasts destroyed the cultural heart of Beirut,’ said designer Roula Salamoun, whose office in Hamra was fortunately not as damaged as those in the epicentre. ‘We are going through erasure, and that’s very dangerous because we already went through it after the civil war [of 1975–90]. If we wipe out museums and institutions, then we wipe out our past and we wipe out our culture, our society and our heritage.’
World View: Letter from the Middle East
Rebecca Anne Proctor
Also in Beirut, architect and designer Roula Salamoun has been expanding her ‘Anatomy’ series, which launched in 2018. ‘My new work addresses the relationship between the body and space, particularly in the context of the home,’ she explains. ‘I am trying to infuse the pieces with anthropomorphic qualities — a timely body of work to coincide with the lockdown.’
The 3rd edition
of the Beirut Design Fair demonstrated the diversity of present-day Lebanese
design and increasing national pride through the promotion of local products / Hilary Edesess
The Anatomy collection by Lebanese architect and designer Roula Salamoun in collaboration with House of Today is surprising in its appearance of delicacy despite being made from concrete. Salamoun molded body parts to create the curving forms of the table and coordinated mirror. “The hollowed-out table is so thin that it resembles a piece of draping fabric, while the organic curves give it inner stability.”
6 Buzzworthy Designers who made a splash during the Lebanese capital’s most vibrant design event / Rebecca Anne Proctor
In collaboration with House of Today, the Lebanese architect and designer, Roula Salamoun, is known for her limited-edition pieces that explore the relationship between human bodies and the space that they occupy, notably in her collection titled Anatomy. With their curvaceous structures, these anthropomorphic creations breathe new life and movement into interior living spaces.
Beirut Design Fair is back this year to allow visitors to explore the vibrant—and sometimes chaotic—design creations of the Middle East / Rabih Arasoghli
The collaboration between architect/designer Roula Salamoun and Lebanese design platform House of Today probes the relationship between the human body and its environment (spaces and objects). Roula’s designs distinguish themselves with their experimental—and experiential—approach. This year at Beirut Design Fair, Roula is introducing products and landscapes that are intriguingly human-like.
Fair 2019 showcased Lebanon’s multi-disciplinary diversity and exhibited
furniture designs by architects and interior designers / Tracy Lynn Chemaly
Only in its third year, the annual Beirut Design Fair has provided an exciting platform to showcase the multi-talented aptitudes of Lebanon’s designers. And, with product design only offered at two of the country’s universities, and both of these programs being relatively new, most of this year’s furniture pieces were designed by trained architects and interior designers who have turned their hand to functional objects.
Beirut Design Fair opens today and focuses on
contemporary and modern furniture by designers and galleries from the Middle
East / Monocle
Economically, Lebanon is on the brink of financial crisis; politically it is dominated by sectarian strife and stagnation. But culturally, at least, the country is more alive than ever. This week sees its capital host two fairs on art and design, respectively. Now in its third year, the event is being held in the same seafront exhibition space as the Beirut Art Fair, which runs concurrently. Such events provide a little space to breathe and focus on what the country is doing well.
Beirut Design Fair’s third edition is showcasing
both emerging and independent Lebanese designers and international studios
looking to interact with the country’s market
/ Tracy Lynn Chemaly
Roula Salamoun’s collaboration with House of Today has seen the Lebanese architect and designer produce limited-edition pieces for a collection titled Anatomy, exploring the relationship between human bodies and the space they occupy. Appearing as anthropomorphic landscapes in interior living spaces, her console and mirror originate from casts created from different body parts and give new meaning to high-performance concrete.
Architect and designer, Roula Salamoun creates
contemporary and modern design objects at the Beirut Design Fair / Rita Saadé
“Architecture consists of developing solutions specific to a particular site, in a specific context, taking into account the customer's requirements. Although the projects I have designed are mostly contemporary, I would like to work on the renovation of a traditional Lebanese house. It would be an excellent opportunity to disseminate the qualities of such spaces and this typology.”
Covering the theme design & nostalgia, Beirut
Design Week offers a space for creative actors in the Lebanese scene to
discuss, learn and propel / Damn
This year, time and its fluctuation play an integral part of Beirut Design Week’s theme, Design & Nostalgia. To the aware eye, the past eras have always left their mark on the surface of design. As software developed, our minds expanded and our visions sought what we thought would propel us forward, and we slowly left the past behind. This past now witnesses the speed of our daily lives, and with it a lurking longing for immersions in real experiences.
House of Today Design Biennale: Young Lebanese
design on display in a new Norman Foster building in Beirut / Marco Sammicheli
House of Today Design Biennale is the platform dedicated to the emerging Lebanese design scene conceived and curated by the patron Cherine Magrabi Tayeb. The fourth edition is set up until December 28 in the spaces of 3 Beirut. With a simple and effective set-up conceived by the Ghaith & Jad studio, the main exhibition entitled "Elevate, the quest for heightened sense" presents ten projects of some of the most interesting profiles of the new Lebanese school.
or anthropomorphism, the universe of Roula Salamoun revolves around materials, proportions
and relationships between the different protagonists of a singular design / Christiane Tawil
Roula Salamoun cultivated a growing passion and curiosity for travel, discovery and different cultures and traditions, which sharpened her artistic and creative flair. Project manager, then architect responsible for projects and workshop management, she combines professional experience and simultaneously develops her entrepreneurial and artistic facets.
As part of the fourth edition of House of Today,
the exhibition of Beirut design biennial was founded and organized by the
patron Cherine Magraby Tayeb/ Marco Sammicheli
The platform has the advantage of enhancing and bringing to the attention of the international public young talented Lebanese designers and researchers. Among these Ala Tannir, today assistant curator of Paola Antonelli at the MoMA in New York and in the team of the XXII International Exhibition of the Milan Triennale; Salim Al Kadi, architect and founder of Sigil collective; Roula Salamoun, product designer.
Lebanese and US designers have collaborated on
new tables that show off their diverse talents. A chat with founder Cherine
Magrabi Tayeb / Tracy Lynn Chemaly
Lebanon’s capital city of Beirut received big-league designer clout this month as global hotshots Humberto Campana, Peter Marigold, Pascale Mussard and Italian duo Formafantasma visited the city for the House of Today Biennale, where they formed part of its talks programme. But it’s these superstars who experienced the biggest thrill as they witnessed innovative new work by some of the country’s most exciting contemporary designers.
After a crisis that saw rubbish pile up in the
streets of Beirut, local designers were inspired to use the waste around them
as a resource / Rima Sabina Aouf
The recycled and upcycled projects were shown at this year's Beirut Design Week, the second held since the so-called trash crisis began in 2015. For their first collaboration, architect Roula Salamoun and artist Leva Saudargaite created the Nationmetrix installation – a spatial representation of what it's like to cross borders with a Lebanese passport, particularly given recently added travel restrictions to the US and UK.
You don’t have to look very hard to see that
architecture and design in Beirut is having a moment / Zetteler
Beirut Design Week (this year set for 22-29 June) is the fastest-growing design festival in the MENA region. Beirut’s a city in constant flux, of contradictions (sometimes sublime, sometimes maddening), always bubbling with energy. Applications opened last week for designers and start-ups based around Beirut to submit small-scale, or limited-edition pieces that express the distinct feel of Lebanon’s design culture and fit in with this year’s theme ‘Design and the City’.
Beirut Design Week looks to the future of
making, challenging the need for design / Giovanna Dunmall
In a city as colourful, rich and challenging as Beirut, you would expect a design week to be thought-provoking and fascinating. And the sixth edition of Beirut Design Week did not disappoint. Provocatively titled ‘Is Design a Need?’, the event’s central exhibition in the KED building in the north of the city brought together experimental, emerging and conceptual designers under one roof.
Beirut Design Week: ‘We wanted to shock people a
little bit’. Is design a need?
That was the question posed this year /
‘To get them thinking, why on earth are they asking this question?’ A former designer, Toutikian is interested in questions as much as answers. Unsurprising then, that the show is a world away from the standard trade fair jamboree of product launches augmented by a couple of corporate-sponsored installations. The energetic and seemingly chaotic entity that is Beirut itself only serves to sharpen the sense that this is alternative – the anti-Milan.
A crisis that saw mountains of garbage fill the
streets of Lebanon led to heightened interest in recycled materials, say
designers and architects at Beirut Design Week/ Rima Sabina Aouf
Recycled and upcycled projects were in abundance at the annual design event, the second held since Beirut's so-called trash crisis began in 2015. Construction waste was 3D printed into tiles, plastic was recycled into an immersive installation, and used coffee grounds turned up in home accessories during Beirut Design Week, as designers spoke about working with new local environmental organizations to source materials and clean-up communities.
Interview with Doreen Toutikian, co-founder and
director of Beirut Design Week, which was initiated alongside Vrouyr Joubanian / Lea Zeitoun
Beirut design week has returned for its sixth edition, with a provocative theme titled ‘is design a need?’ established in 2012 by Doreen Toutikian and Vrouyr Joubanian, it has attracted more than 25,000 visitors and hosted over 150 events across the city of Beirut. We sat down with Toutikian to discuss Lebanon’s creative scene and how her challenging journey across the design field led to a vision for change.
Lebanese architects reflect on security and
travel measures in an installation showcased at the 2017 Beirut Design Week / Aidan Imanova
Lebanese architects Roula Salamoun and Leva Saudargaite have created an installation that tackles the recent international concerns with security and travel which has “changed the way bodies move across borders”. Entitled NATIONMETRIX, visitors are invited to navigate through an experience of travelling as a Lebanese passport, walking through a thousand of vertically suspended recycled plastic ribbons.
Beirut Design Week takes on collaboration,
security and community and brings a mélange of design trends to the Lebanese
capital / Florence Massena
At this year's event, held May 19-26, one can find accessories that combine Eastern craftsmanship and contemporary design, bold patterned embroideries inspired by traditional Arab garments and recycled plastic cables creating the experience of crossing unfriendly borders. For this year’s theme, organizers settled on “Is Design a Need?” The subtopics are regional collaboration, community and security.
Pudelma is a pavilion inspired by the traditions
of Finnish wood-working and created as part of the European Capital of Culture
The project combines state-of-the-art computer-aided manufacturing methods as well as traditional woodworking techniques. A basic mortise and tenon joint were utilized for almost every connection. Each beam either receives or abuts to four other beams creating a highly stable weave pattern. The use of CNC fabrication resulted in extremely high tolerance, allowing the entire structure to work in compression with no glue, and minimal screws.
a combination of the Finnish words puu (wood) and kudelma (web of)
“Pudelma” is a combination of the Finnish words puu (wood) and kudelma (web of), and is composed of 490 CNC shaped Kerto-Q wood beams which range from 2-6 feet in length. Originally erected in City Hall Park in Turku, Finland as a temporary installation, the pavilion has since become a permanent city landmark. The project combines state-of-the-art computer-aided manufacturing methods as well as traditional wood-working techniques.
Venice Biennale 2012: “New Forms in Wood” will highlight the work of young Finnish
architects who have used wood inventively in their recent works / Karissa Rosenfield
Wood has always been Finland’s preferred building material, as both nature and the forest has long provided a livelihood and enduring source of inspiration for Finnish artists and architects. Now, with the use of modern technology and new treatment methods, Finnish architects are pushing the boundaries of this conventional material to unleash new creative potential.