AUB’s TALK20 Reviewed

AUB’s Talk20 Reviewed

By Admin I: so you probably know about TALK20, okay you don’t, well it’s a mixture of Pecha Kucha and Tedx, expanding on the first and condensing the monotony of the second.

The organisers define it as being not a lecture but a gathering, an informal exchange of ideas within and outside of the design community. It begins with a series of short presentations | 20 slides per 20 seconds each | selected and narrated by a hybrid panel of students, educators and professionals.

Anyways the event was fun and interesting with a line up of good speakers, a light atmosphere that doesn’t feel as annoying as other design events happening at AUB, despite the huge audience.

The speakers were mostly an elite selection of ‘names’ (you know, those who go to Paris for an internship because they got bored), most of them agencies current or ex-staff, but in the end, AUB is indeed their place, it’s their audience breathing the same hypocrite air. *I don’t want to get angry because of some rick kids, okay, moving on*.

Here’s a fast roundup on the talks:

Timi Hayek (Fashion Designer / Illustrator): part-time Barbie doll, though the work shows some serious brain, a good eye to patterns and a multidisciplinary talent. Timi showed her work in Fashion and some illustrations for F/I/M/P magazine. An eye candy, no more, no less.

Cornelia Krafft (Artist / FAAH Faculty): could be one of the very few interesting talks about art, performance art, without the urge to idealise it, or take you in a metamorphosis. Wicked stuff that you need to check!

Micheline Tobia (Bloggers collective / Mashallah News): Whatever, you know, a news blog that started at AUB, talking at AUB, grew because it mediates local and regional stories, to a very westernised audience. A win win card that lacks authenticity, the type that considers your teta’s everyday hard life, exotic.

Karen Chekerdjian (Product / Furniture Designer): the huge NO moment of the event. For a second, I felt like spilling some gas over my body, a la Tunisian revolution. The girl bragged about her ‘minimalist’ designs (flat, simplistic, effortless, european wannabe pieces) and bluntly stated *insert french accent*: “I find it hard to design in Lebanon and produce in Italy!”. Girl, you know what’s hard? Handcrafters and carpenters losing their jobs because of people like you!

Public Beirut (Vertical Studio Spring 12 / ArD students): very interesting installations happening around Beirut city, a must know about!

Tania Saleh (Singer / Songwriter/ Illustrator): what’s important about Tania’s talk was the fact that it announced a will to go back to her background as an fine artist, which is highly due! Tania didn’t mention her Nadine Labaki titles, or the prestigious Leo Burnett position, but focused on her personal 2d art that stopped at 1997 and will most probably resume soon.

Ghita Abi Hanna (Accessories / Graphic Designer / ArD Faculty): design process, that was mainly what made this girl’s talk, a good example on how mistakes can lead to innovation. A well designed jewellery line following a well structured concept. Is that too much to ask for in this country?!

Najla El Zein (Artist / Product Designer): the woman behind the Piaff installations and a very very rich portfolio of mere visual madness. She is clearly well established, but Najla owns a studio and works hand in hand with crafters and young talents, indeed a good example.

Adrian Muller (Ogle Inc Application / ArD student): meh, an application about who knows what, who cares, that got redesigned.

Lina Abyad (Play director / LAU faculty): the famous woman behind many theatre pieces, funny, witty and full of stories.

Bahij Jaroudi (Illustrator / Animator): a natural sense of humour clearly present in his work. Bahij worked at Future TV’s animation department and is infatuated with noses, drawing them in all shapes and forms!

Nabil Gholam (Principal Architect / NG Architects): he does buildings. Big deal.

So that’s it, the review, hope it intrigued you to google those speakers and know more about their work. No we’re not linking you, simply because you’re becoming too lazy to function, go do your research ya’ll!


  1. Karen said:

    Well if you would had taken the time to google me, you would have discovered how much work i have given to the craftmen in lebanon. But anyway a critic that make fun of my french accent, does not have a lot to say i believe.

    • Admin I said:

      Dear, the point was a very superior attitude reflected in your presentation, the sentence you said is highly highly provocative that I’d wish you reconsider your audience next time you lecture. It’s not a job interview, or an international money driven potential client. That presentation didn’t even push me to google you!

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