Beirut Design Week 2013 – The Review

Beirut Design Week 2013 – The Review

June 24 was the date; Beirut Design Week launched its second edition after a very successful first year filled with Design talks, workshops and a conference.

We didn’t wait almost 10 days to release a review post for nothing. The point was to ask as many people as we can in order to develop a well-rounded point of view, simply because being in partnership with the event this year automatically makes us biased. Okay, so we did have a workshop on our own (you’ll see the full outcome in few days), and we had the honor to be the last event at the week’s closing conference where we interviewed 3 designers (Sarah Hermez, Leen Sadder and Ghassan Salameh) and gave a live-blogging experience to the attendees.

So briefly BDW13 was rich; a huge schedule to follow, numerous designers, open-houses and exhibitions with a missing element: content. Well, com’on guys, the issue here is that you made your own contributions to Beirut Design Week more like a food and booze fiesta instead of really thinking a step further. BDW13 had a committee of Lebanon’s well-known designers that practically couldn’t implement any rules/constraints on participation or on the quality of workshops. No, it is indeed not acceptable to have a huge load of workshops with no design content. I mean ‘Do your own jewelry, slippers, flip-flops, jewelry again and so on’ is not really design. You again lacked content.

The week was split into areas. Each area was assigned a day that was practically about a tante opening her luxurious collection of design findings with some cheese and wine, you know for additional entertainment, not to forget about Mr. ‘Nada Debs wannabe’, and some other craft-class design productions, again lots of booze and orange-sprayed bodies.

AIGA Middle East launched its activities during BDW, with a party and a live survey as well as many interesting workshops such as the Arabic Lettering workshop by Maajoun (BDW people, it doesn’t hurt to have some more focus on Arabic Design), the ‘Design it, Brand it, Donate it’ by Kashida and a fish in sea, Interaction Design and The craftsmen tour.

We won’t really bore you out with the worst coucou workshops on planet earth (you can check the visuals we prepared), or the most unprofessional social media ‘experts’ that stopped doing their work after knowing that BR is a part of the week, but we can wrap up this review by saying that Beirut Design Week is almost a mission impossible at a country where designers use mafia strategies for expansion and recognition (most of them at least). We’re proud to be a part of this beautiful initiative, hoping for more content next year, more talks, more tangible design topics for everyone, instead of the idealistic euro-inspired ‘design can save planet earth’, because we need a socio-culturally aware design week, tailored by and addressed to Lebanese aspiring design talents.


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