For the first time ever, Lebanon is one of the 30 countries being represented in one of the biggest and most anticipated design events worldwide: the Design Biennale in London. Despite the challenges Lebanon is currently facing, here is something positive we can shed light on for a change. So, let's explore this awesome achievement together.
As Lebanese, we are never fully satisfied about what we have around us. However, when it all comes down to it, every single one of us is actually very proud to be Lebanese. So let's take off that black hat and put judgment aside and let's put on the red one to sense the beauty of the Lebanese installations at the Design Biennale in London.
So what is the Design Biennale? It is a series of exhibitions that started back in 1996 at the Shanghai Art Museum, and have been held all over the world ever since. Every two years, the exhibition takes place in a different city and opens its doors to diverse displays portrayed from different artists around the world. This September, for the first time Lebanon is being portrayed at the Somerset house terrace overlooking the Thames River.
This year the London Design Biennale, showcased at Somerset House implements the theme “Utopia by Design” in honor of the 500th anniversary of the publication of Sir Thomas More’s classic “Utopia” (1516). It is quite intriguing to see how the different interpretations of “The Perfect World” would take shape at the Biennale. This unique setting included design teams of architects, designers, scientists, writers and artists from 30 countries and territories that worked on exploring big issues that are affecting the world we live in from sustainability in Saudi Arabia, the migration crisis in Albania to pollution in Australia. These highly qualified teams are proposing design solutions through interactive installations and innovation to present an immersive inspiring and entertaining tour of the world.
Thanks a lot to our first @londondesignbiennale visitors for your enthusiasm! We are waiting for you at @somersethouse from 11am to 7pm, stay tuned to learn about late night openings #LDB16 #UtopiaByDesign #Design #art #architecture #lebanonlondon #mezzinginlebanon #akkarchitects #annabelkarimkassar #andprltd
I was very proud when I knew Lebanon is being represented at Somerset House Terrace under “Mezzing in Lebanon “. Architect Annabel Karim Kassar impressed us all with her on point portrayal of a Lebanese street; she found glimpses of Utopia within the paths of Beirut. The authentic urban interventions that appears through the creative and unique ways in which Lebanese people occupy social space, made her illustrate an installation that includes everything from a falafel stand (YES she recreated an actual falafel stand in Somerset House) to coffee stalls, a cinema lounge, street signs and carts to an authentic old-school barber shop. Such a depiction allowed visitors to experience Beirut’s chaotic urban life right at the heart of London. Kassar's impressive and authentic representation of the Lebanese pavilion shed light on the ingenuity and optimism of the Lebanese people.
Besides the Lebanese pavilion, the content of this exhibition is not one to be missed. It’s an immersive and inspiring gathering of different countries from all over the world, coming together to present to you their own unique perspective on what Utopia is or ought to be. Rarely does one ticket take you to 30 different countries at the same time, but this one surely will. Its events like these that change one’s perspective on life and the way one interprets surroundings and events. Without doubt, the beauty of this exhibition lies within the diversity of displays from all corners of the world coming together under one roof.
So, if you happen to be in London between 7-27 September, I strongly urge you to visit the exhibition and explore the way in which different nations are coming together to re-imagine the world as we know it.
* Main Banner Image: Dezeen.com