9th June 2014 – Beirut Design Week (BDW) was launched this year at the Souks of Beirut under the patronage of the Lebanese Minister of Tourism, Michel Pharaon, in collaboration with designers from the Danish and Dutch Design Week, and organized by the MENA Design Research Center.
Beirut Design Week will run this year from Monday the 9th of June to the 15th and will showcase the work of local and international designers through exhibitions, conferences, workshops and open studios featured all across the capital.
“We are excited to be organizing the Beirut Design Week, currently in its 3rd Edition, and to witness its growing success every year,” states Maya Karanouh, co-founder of the MENA Design Research Center and CEO of TAGbrands . “Since the beginning, the festival has stood firmly on pillars of creative economies, intercultural exchange, design education and entrepreneurship,” adds Doreen Toutikian, co-founder and Director of MENA Design Research Center.
Beirut Design Week will serve as a platform of cultural exchange between the city and the rest of the world. This year, it has been organized in such a way that each day will be dedicated to a certain part of the city; the program allows the audience to explore every area of Beirut without missing out on any of the events.
“In terms of scale and variety, Beirut Design Week is one of the largest festivals in Lebanon, encompassing over 90 events and locations,” emphasises Toutikan. “Some of the events that should not be missed this year are the Dutch Design Exhibition, the Danish Architecture Exhibition, the Newcomers Exhibition, the Designer Dinners and the films at the Metropolis Cinema, in addition to the Designer Market and the tours of Bourj Hammoud and Mar Mikhael stairs.”
Since its inception in 2012, Beirut Design Week has helped build the careers of over 50 young designers in Lebanon by promoting their projects through exhibitions, workshops and talks.
One of the organizations in partnership with Beirut Design Week is the Lebanese American University, which is hosting a conference with big names such as Mona Hatoum and Hilary Alexander at the Beirut Campus on the 12th of June.
In addition to this, Rowan Bain from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London will be holding a talk on International Design, and Rik Runge from Philips will be conducting an interactive workshop, both on the 11th of June.
“Working with Beirut Design Week enables students to experience our local design scene and interact with successful working designers operating in our city,” explains Karanouh. “The conference will involve a panel of regional and international designers and educators discussing the support and development of our design scene and how to use our current design talent to solve issues facing our country today.”
The MENA Design Research Center is a Lebanese non-profit organization that focuses on promoting a diverse understanding of design through the implementation of design research and collaborative multidisciplinary projects in the region.