Ayla Hibri a photographer and visual artist from Beirut, Lebanon with a BFA in Interior Architecture from the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts and a degree in Photography from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Ayla has spent the last ten years moving from city to city exploring the meaning of being a stranger in another place through her photography. Constantly returning to Beirut, her work also tackles the sense and complexity of belonging. Hibri regularly takes part of exhibitions, publishes photography books and contributes to various publications worldwide.
Bashar Assaf a Beirut-based Lebanese fashion designer. His garments tend to accentuate the female body with sophisticated yet demure silhouettes, solid colors and clean cuts. Bashar was born and raised in Jeddah, KSA; Assaf decided to move to Beirut to join ESMOD and graduated in 2011. Soon after completing his studies, he began to work as a designer and a stylist for an array of clients within advertising and entertainment industries, both in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. Bashar’s work led to Lebanon’s representation for the International Woolmark Prize, participation in a Wallpaper* Magazine exhibition, a collection launched in Paris, and an award-winning exhibition at Somerset House.
Basma Chidiac (b. 1988), a New York based Lebanese fashion designer. After leaving Beirut to pursue her studies in Montreal and New York, Basma graduated in 2015 with a degree in Design Parsons The New School. During her studies, she embarked on several apprenticeships at renowned fashion houses, Phillip Lim and Marchesa to name a few. Working primarily with experimental styles, her main inspiration is derived from exploring trends within technologically enhanced fashion. Driven by curiosity, her new collection aims to limit the divide between the wearer and the clothing by discovering new tech infused ‘Smart Fashion’.
Carlo Massoud is a Lebanese product designer. After graduating with a Masters degree in product design from ALBA, he pursued another Masters in Luxury and Craftsmanship at the University of Art and Design Lausanne (ECAL). His designs derive from a deeply engraved social critique humorously transformed into a useful and playful “object”. His projects range from tableware products, to function driven exhibition stands, packaging, and furniture. Carlo’s work has been published in internationally and locally; and has been selected by AD France as an artist to watch out for in 2016; and has been exhibited at the Armory Show (New York, 2015-2016) in Southern Guild (Cape Town, 2014), Warehouse421 (Abu Dhabi, 2015), Carwan Gallery (Beirut, 2014-2015) and Design Days Dubai (Dubai, 2014).
CREATIVE SPACE BEIRUT
Creative Space Beirut a free school for fashion design providing quality creative education to talented youth who lack the resources, to pursue a degree at increasingly expensive institutions. The innovative school aims to promote equal opportunity into the creative sector and make the design world accessible for those with vision, flair and the driving impulse to create. Sarah Hermez a Parsons graduate along with her former professor Caroline Simonelli founded the school in June 2011.
Cynthia Merhej draws from diverse historical, social, and cultural influences and works across different disciplines and mediums to create narratives that reflect her observations.
She graduated from Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art in London, and currently is based in Beirut where she heads her fashion label, Renaissance.
Dala Nasser (b.1990) is a London based Artist centering her practice around questions of material and modern process, producing works that respond to their physical, and contextual components, evolving autonomously over time.
Having just received her BFA in Fine Arts with focus in painting from the prestigious Slade School of Arts in London, she will be undergoing her MFA at Goldsmiths, University of London this coming fall. Her work has been shown in London and Brussels, Dala has been awarded the 2016 Boise Travel Scholarship.
Elie Mouhanna- born, residing, and working in Lebanon, is an artist, designer, crocheter, knitter, and founder of Marṣabēn.
Marṣabēn · مرصبان is an initiative founded by Elie Mouhanna that utilizes a modern approach to hand-crafted crochet based on research and experimentation while retaining the craft’s fundamental attributes—the fact that it’s time- and logic-based—and a high level of craftsmanship that is slowly diminishing. Their intention is to focus on the process and the outcome as equally considerable aspects in crochet works. There is so much intricacy and dedication embedded in the creation process; at the same time, they find it essential to constantly explore the various unconventional ways in which crochet can be applied.
GEEK EXPRESS | TRIBU
Located in Saifi Village, Geek Express is a creative space and an art gallery that specializes in comic, pop and street art. The gallery features limited edition drawings and screen-prints, as well as collectibles, figurines, and other iconic pieces. Geek Express aims to curate originality that sparks one’s imagination, through art and DIY workshops. It is a platform for inventive individuals who want to convert creative ideas into reality.
Geek express is collaborating with TRIBUDESIGN for the SFERA exhibition.
TRIBUDESIGN founded in Beirut in the year 2007, is an award-winning industrial design think tank developing products and services into experiences that aim at bettering people’s lives.
After acquiring a Masters degree from European Design Labs in Madrid, Ghassan Salameh set up his studio in Beirut to focus on light, furniture and object design. Gaining from an accumulated experience in print and digital graphics, product design, set design and digital interactive design.
As an interdisciplinary conceptual and solution oriented designer, Ghassan’s projects occupy an in-between space where product design and conceptual art meet. Contemporary and experimental, his work is inspired by details from day-to-day life, often unnoticed yet crucial in shaping our experiences. More importantly, it pays tribute to local craftsmanship and presents it with new possibilities. As a child observing his father, a metal craftsman, he began to think of design as a way to preserve a dying tradition by restoring its original purpose: problem solving.
In principle, Ghassan is about having the process of production noticeable even if subtle within the final product, where each step of his work is expressed in both design and artistry.
Guillaume Credoz an architect, former teacher and researcher (Université de Montréal UQAM) with an emphasis on creativity and spatial geometry. Credoz is directing the creation and research platform at the BAKERY in Beirut.
This platform is hosting Ghouyoum Architecture & Design’s office and Rapid Manufactory’s 3D printing workshops. He has been recognized as a leading figure in the maker movement, thanks to his abundant and diversified works. His practice encompasses amongst buildings, the creation of robots like the Obsessive Drafter: an autonomous large robotic arm that draws portraits of people of which it encounters, BigVoxel: a room size 3D printer, QalamSila: a 3Dprinted construction toy that allow large assemblies of wood pencils, Hyperstat: a 3D printed metal system for furniture. Credoz recently finished writing a book entitled Efficient Fictions– about design strategies through sculpture, design and architecture and to be released this coming winter.
GRAY GARDENS PLANT STUDIO
Danya Ahmed and Abdallah Kassem founded Gray Gardens Plant Studio in 2015. Both born in and inspired by Beirut, Gray Gardens stands as an emblem of the harsh dichotomy between the natural and built environment.
The studio produces potted plants, handcrafting bold and artistic pots of concrete to houseplants of a similar bold and artistic style. Each piece is thoughtfully created to elevate the significance of a potted plant to a living sculptural object. Gray Gardens works on individual pieces, residential and commercial projects, events and installations, continually challenging and expanding the application of greenery.
In 1926, Hajj Hussein Maktabi, patriarch of the Maktabi family in Lebanon, immigrated from Isphahan to Beirut – the first Maktabi carpet shop to open its doors. The Maktabi family transferred their passion for the art of handcraftsmanship from one generation to the other. Iwan Maktabi proved to be the go-to address for modern, traditional, and textile art in the region.
About Mohamed and Shirine:
Since Mohamed and Shirine are part of the Maktabi’s third generation, it is no surprise that they are well versed in rugs and Islamic Art. Their wealth of experience spans over 30 years – working with world-renowned designers, reviving forgotten crafts, participating in exhibitions, international fairs and serving clients of different tastes.
Joe Arida, a 28 year old multi-disciplinary artist, designs furniture, home accessories and clothing, as well as bespoke garments and interiors under LA TERRE EST FOLLE* (The World is Mad*) a brand he founded in 2013. Arida also produces artworks and free-lances as a fashion and interior stylist, art director and copywriter.
Kashida an acclaimed product design studio creating bespoke design pieces based on 3D Arabic calligraphy. Questioning the traditional visual manifestations of calligraphy on scrolls and architectural facades, the team sought to bring these beautiful letterforms to life. Kashida’s aim is to transcend the classic ornamental approach to calligraphy by creating functional design pieces that respond to people’s ergonomic and lifestyle needs.
Just as the ‘kashida’ glyph bridges between two Arabic letters in a single word, Kashida bridges between calligraphy and product design. Since 2011, Kashida has been creating unique pieces by using various design and production methods, spreading its brand name from the Middle East to the world.
Krikor Jabotian jumpstarted his career within the creative department at Elie Saab following his graduation from the École Supérieure des Arts et Techniques de la Mode (ESMOD) in Beirut, an enriching experience that paved his path into the industry.
Soon after, Krikor developed independent designs and was selected by Starch Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by Rabih Kayrouz and Tala Hajjar, to showcase his creations. His first collection, under a namesake brand marked the beginning of Atelier Krikor Jabotian.
At the age of 23, Krikor set up his first atelier and workspace from where he designed his very first capsule collection. Atelier Krikor Jabotian quickly evolved into a family run company, transforming the small atelier into a thriving business alongside his father, mother and sister.
The fashion house takes pride in its refined craftsmanship and use of opulent fabrics to create a timeless message of heritage, style, tradition and innovation.
Lara Khoury was born amid the eclecticism of Beirut in 1985. At the age eighteen she relocated to Paris where she embarked upon an enlightening creative journey at the prestigious Ecole Supérieure de la Mode (ESMOD). Under the guidance of the world-renowned fashion institution she insistently explored her passion for drawing the world and dressing its residents.
Receiving regular acclaim for her fashion endeavors, Lara has been recognized by institutions such as Woolmark and international platform Not Just A Label, who handpicked Lara as one of the 100 most pioneering young fashion designer in 2014. Through this honor she also gained a unique opportunity to meet with Italy’s most renowned manufacturers and suppliers to support her design visions.
In 2015, Lara launched her debut bridal line SOW, along with her menswear line LK Man, bringing yet another dimension to her work. Today, Khoury continues to push boundaries with her fashion and art initiatives with help from her small team in the bustling Beirut studio.
Nada Debs, of Lebanese origin, was raised in Japan. Debs studied interior architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design in the United States, starting her first company in the UK, designing and producing custom furniture.
After a 40-year hiatus, Nada Debs’ Levantine spirit brought her home to Beirut, where she discovered that designs for modern Middle Eastern furniture was non-existent. She then established her company East & East, where the brand fuses Eastern tradition and minimalism. Her multicultural approach attracted the attention of the design world. Today Debs operates from Beirut and is represented globally and delivering worldwide.
Rabih Geha Architects is a team of architects and designers working to create spaces that inspire. Led by Rabih Geha, the team works on a portfolio of projects that includes architecture, interior design, product design and experimental installations. From residential and retail to commercial and recreational spaces, the studio’s founding philosophy begins with context. Each design, prompted by the environment it lives in, absorbs the surrounding physical, social and aesthetic elements to result in spaces that are never dictated by trend or style, but rather built with meaning, relevance and most importantly passion.
The Design Philosophy:
Defying categorization, Rabih Geha’s vision is regularly intersected with the demands of his clients and the modern world. In each project, Geha aims to capture the mood, ambiance and blend the spirit of the space by merging design, architecture and the client’s need – this is the key thread that runs through his work. Geha follows his intuition, as it takes him where he wants to go: a premised shaped by internal critique, creative dialogue and an exemplar level of architectural and design aesthetics.
Rana Salam a founder and art director of Rana Salam Design Studio based in Beirut.
Salam’s signature style is inspired by the Middle Eastern popular culture. She takes her visual cues from architectural surroundings, visual landscape, and signs of consumerism and translates them into visually captivating solutions for her clients; delivering a contemporary reinterpretation that extends the global relevance of her designs across everything from interiors to products.
Salam’s latest commission was to curate and design the Iconic City: Brilliant Beirut during the first Dubai Design Week in October 2015 documenting Lebanese design history from the 1950s to the year 2015.
Her studio has acquired broad experience and developed specialized knowledge in art direction, design and consultancy for retail, product, print, hospitality and exhibitions. Today, Salam’s design repute is well established within the GCC and globally.
RANDA ALI AHMAD
Born in Beirut in 1962, Randa Ali Ahmad started her pursuit in art through small street exhibits in Makhoul Street, Beirut. During her teenage years and up to her college years at the Lebanese American University, she received her AA with the Sheikh Zayed Award distinction. With the civil war in Lebanon, she went on to receive her double diplomas in Design and Studio Arts from UCLA in Los Angeles, California. Her first exhibition was in a gallery located in Beverly Hills, after which, she traveled to Paris and Beirut with the hereunder listed exhibits and received awards.
Richard Yasmine an interior architect and product designer, with an inspiration for life, objects and emotions, the human body: physiology and needs, but also focuses on internal chaos combined with a certain innate sensitivity; sometimes extreme and provocative or even not expected by others but still minimal, bold, and straightforward without disguising or hiding true reality.
Trying always to incorporate a fresh approach sticking to his culture and tradition, frequently in a muddled process but a precise immaculate result not following any specific period or trend but a reflection of his own image. Integrating the Middle Eastern individually the Lebanese knowhow and spirit within the recipe of each of his products; collaborating with craftsmen, consequently to reveal the oriental feel through an extravagant aspect, searching to spread the marriage between tradition and new technologies, by keeping his signature identity of commotion mixing craziness to sobriety with a touch of fantasy.
MARY-LYNN MASSOUD & RACHA NAWAM
Mary-Lynn Massoud trained in ceramics at La Manufacture de Sevres in France after completing her university studies and has since been working and teaching in Beirut.
Racha Nawam is a graduate of the American University of Beirut and studied ceramics in Lebanon and in the US. She combines her work in ceramics with a career in real estate management and has participated in group exhibitions in Lebanon and other countries.
Samandal is the Arabic word for salamander. Much like the dual habitats of amphibious creatures, Samandal comics thrive between two worlds; the image and the word, entertainment and substance, the low brow and the raised brow, the experimental and the traditional. Samandal is a volunteer-based non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the art of comics in Lebanon and the rest of the world. Based in Beirut, we have published 15 magazines, and three comics anthologies and hosted comics-related events since 2007. Founded by Omar Khouri, Hatem Imam, Lena Merhej, the Fdz, and Tarek Naba’a, the Samandal comics association family has now grown to include Barrack Rima, Joseph Kai, Ghadi Ghosn and Raphaelle Macaron.
Story telling is how you would define Sandra Macaron creations. Behind every collection is a tale, either to stir social awareness or to convey nostalgic sentiments. Drawn to the vintage world, each design constantly re-invents tradition with a fresh new contemporary technique, result is a ‘mélange’ of contrasts.
Sandra enjoys experimenting and exploring new materials; her volatile nature gave way to a mix of various functional collections from Democratic designs hence SMAC, to limited edition pieces that stimulate different sensations and feelings. Macaron is in constant search of the perfect balance between ornamental and functional design. In addition to that, she is the conceptual designer and interior architect behind a host of venues including boutiques, residents and restaurants and has been a faculty member at Academie Libanaise des Beaux Arts (ALBA) since 2009.
Sandra Macaron graduated with a Masters in Interior Architecture from ALBA, followed by an MFA in Lighting Design from Parsons the New school, New York. In addition, took part of a specialized internship in industrial design at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, Paris.
Second ST. was conceived in 2nd St, Alphabet City, NYC, where both Sarah Hermez and Tracy Moussi lived while attending Parsons the New School for Design. Disillusioned with the fiercely consumer-driven nature of the fashion world, they set out to create an alternative path through which the production of urban and dynamic clothing could help foster the talent of budding designers. Sarah and Tracy devised a plan to support free creative education in a partnership with Creative Space Beirut, a non profit school for fashion design. Partnering with George Rouhana, Second ST., a socially conscious brand with a playful take on the classic shirt, was brought to life in Beirut.
STARCH FOUNDATION is founded by Rabih Kayrouz, Tala Hajjar and in collaboration with Solidere, is a non-profit organization that helps launch Lebanese emerging designers. Starch is an annual program and a rotation of debut collections where four to six young designers are selected each year. The designers are guided through the process of developing their collections, as well as promoting their brands (communication, marketing, branding and press). These collections are then presented for a period of one year at the Starch Boutique. Throughout their one-year at Starch, the designers also get the chance to participate in design related workshops, seminars and various collaborations.
STEPHANIE MOUSALLEM DESIGN STUDIO
Based in Beirut, Stéphanie Moussallem Design Studio is a multidisciplinary practice with a diverse portfolio of interior projects, products and furniture. Launched in 2015, the studio is dedicated to improving the relationship between usability, ergonomics and style.
“Design is a tool to facilitate everyday life, by making the objects around us as practical and pleasant as possible.”
The studio creates one-of-a-kind as well as commissioned works of products, furniture design, interior concepts and architectural installations for public projects and private residences.
Stéphanie’s works have been exhibited at various design shows including Milan Design Week Salone Satellite, House of Today, SMO Gallery, Stockholm Design Week and Varenna-Poliform Milano-Salone del mobile.
Co-founded by Rami Boushdid and Karl Chucri, Studio Caramel is a Beirut based interior and product design studio engaged in visualizing, designing and developing new objects inspired by a mix of the old and the new.
An attention to detail as well as the choice of material and color palettes is what brings this vintage modern feel to their creations, innovating often with unusual combinations.
They believe every space or item should have a character of its own, the space presence should not only be seen, but also must be felt by the people surrounding it making each piece more unique than the other. Studio Caramel had been published within several magazines including Wallpaper* Magazine and The Financial Times Limited.
Studio Safar a Beirut-based design and art direction studio led by creative directors Maya Moumne and Hatem Imam. They work in a dynamic and exploratory environment evoked by the studio’s name (Safar in Arabic- meaning travel). Their projects span across different media formats such as publications, visual identities, exhibitions and set design, packaging, album artwork, and websites.
As opposed to having a signature style, the duo creative are committed to creating singular design approaches for each project. While they draw on a number of artistic influences and inspirations, yet research especially remains central to their design process.
Studio Safar works with a network of creative people from a wide array of fields including film, literature, music, illustration, fashion, and photography. Members of the team continues to take initiatives in starting a number of projects, such as Annihaya Records and Samandal comics magazine, which by all means contributes to the Lebanese cultural scene and have become part of the international art and design networks.
Tamara Barrage a Lebanese designer based in Beirut. After earning a Masters degree in Product Design from Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts (ALBA) in 2011, Tamara pursued a second Master’s degree from Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands specializing in Contextual Design.
Upon her return to her hometown in 2014, Tamara engaged in exploring the tactile and sensorial characteristics of the various materials. Using an array of experimental techniques, she aspires to better articulate how forms and textures provoke our senses, emotions and memories.
Tamara participated in several renowned international exhibitions including, Maison et Objet (Paris), House of Today (Beirut), Athr gallery (Jeddah), Design Days Dubai (Dubai), Biennale Internationale de Design (St Etienne) and Salone el Mobile (Milan).
Tarek Moukaddem a visual artist mostly known for his topographical work. Graduated with a Masters in photography from Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts (ALBA) in 2015, and since then he works with multiple regional and local brands and reputable publications.
Vick Vanlian a Lebanese interior designer from an Armenian heritage realized his passion for design at the age 7. Being engulfed in the world of design at such a young age through the family business; Vick attended his first Milan furniture fair with his father at the age of 10, where he grew an eye for details and quality. Spent his childhood and high school years between Beirut, New York and Montreal, Vanlian studied Interior Architecture at the Lebanese American University (LAU) and graduated with high distinction in 2000.
With a perfected sense of design, he completed his first interior design project while he was in his second year of design school. Since then, he had an overflow of projects ranging from apartments to mansions, restaurants, bars and hotels, always showing the different aspects of his fun and loving personality in his designs, which are eclectic, luxurious and out of the ordinary, which embraced the pop culture of the moment.
Vick gained fast success in the Middle East with clients that include royalty, prominent businessmen, and celebrities. With a new furniture line under his own name, he is gaining recognition with the European and International design scene and is having a significant impact onto the world of design.
Wyssem Nochi is a graduate of the Architectural Association in London and Parsons the New School for Design in New York. he has taught architecture and design at the American University in Beirut, and the Lebanese American University. he earned numerous awards and has shown work internationally, his work is widely published. in 2005 he founded ON/OFF a design consultancy in Beirut.
Underlying the aesthetics of his work, is a design solvent art expression, a function provide of the essential, reinterpreting experience in genuine materials.