“Is Design A Need?” That was the question given as a theme to the architects, graphic, product and fashion designers who took part in Beirut Design Week that was held for the sixth consecutive year at the Lebanese capital this past May (19/05-26/05).
The reason why a lot of creators decided to work with recycled and upcycled materials was the trash crisis that has been affecting Lebanon since 2015. After the main landfill shut down, the garbage gradually built up to excessive amounts and blocked the streets with the government presenting only temporary fixes.
Inspired to offer creative solutions to alleviate the problem, architect Guillaume Credoz, crafted a lounger using reclaimed wood and recycled aluminum cooking pans as well as 3D printed tiles from recycled glass and construction rubble. Paola Sakr presented a collection of containers, titled Morning Rituals, made from coffee grounds and old newspapers. With sustainability being a core component of its ethos, brand Civvies designs prints on textiles and fashion items working with polyester made from recycled plastic and natural linens.
Architect Roula Salamoun and artist Ieva Saudargaite worked together to produce an art installation with the title Nationmetrix. Long cords of recycled plastic hanging from the ceiling act as a visual, metaphorical representation of the experience of crossing borders while holding a Lebanese passport.
During the week-long fair in Beirut, the visitors got to see bags, accessories, home equipment even recycling bins all made of recycled materials.