Beirut Design Week Reviewed 01
By Admin I : It’s quite familiar to us being designers how everyone in this field tends to envy the other, expressing a tremendous amount of hate towards a fellow practitioner suffering from the same issues and going through the same shit; yes we’re known to be good individuals and total failures in groups. So let’s break the rule and give away some of our Diva-ish-isnous (I can copyright my terms, right?!) and bluntly say: Beirut Design Week proved successful from its first day.
Why?! It’s not like we know the organizers or anything, but it’s that this country was lacking richness and content. Beirut Design Week was able to present a good load of material, immensely diversified and super engaging.
So Let’s start with the list of negatives before jumping to the detailed review in later posts:
A failing visual identity
This event was organized by the MENA Design research center (logo in Helvetica) and TAGbrands (logo in Helvetica), and guess what, the event itself was all tailored using Helvetica, from A to Z; No guys, I’m not paranoid and I certainly have nothing against Max Miedinger, but being “Helveticaddicts” doesn’t quite work with the purpose of having a “DESIGN” week, where innovation should’ve taken form at least in the logo. A custom made logotype would’ve solved the issue; and no one’s buying the “we didn’t have time” excuse; the typeface is overused, a safe reach for all amateurs designers.
Being called “Beirut Design Week” which is genius – marketing wise, the whole event lacked identity. Have you ever seen a local design event in any country with no local adaptation?! How come you’ve worked so hard on an identity that looks like Japanese Origami with a hint of Arabesque and disregarded having an Arabic adaptation?
The map as well needed simplification, which wouldn’t be so hard to achieve having all events running in a very restricted area between Gemayzeh/Mar Mekhael, Hamra and close-by regions.
Schedule overlapping and online interactivity
We highly appreciate having an event as rich as yours, but guys, having events all over the place with a full day schedule was a bit of a chaos simply because it becomes impossible to keep on track. Such schedule could’ve been extended for a better experience. Everyone wants to be there, so why squeezing the whole journey?!
A last negative note: Online. We’re in 2012, the website is worked with sliced images that made it look totally unprofessional with a zero reach to the interactive age of information. you can’t even select type, not to mention that you have to google each name to know more about it.
But let me tell you: content and workshops made all the difference!
The infographics and data visualization workshop started with an interesting presentation about the subject matter and the media used to visualize data. The workshop, having an outcome, will focus on studying the flow of information related to Lebanon during the period between 2005 and 2012, based on the ‘Guardian’. Interesting indeed!
The Design research workshop also came very interesting and above all ‘fun’. While the attendees worked in groups of ‘blondies’, students and instructors, the outcomes came out to be entertaining and benefiting, simply by finding solutions through narratives, research and collective learning.
In the end of this first Design Week review, I must admit that I had lower expectations, and that your hard efforts showed how dedication makes a dream project come true. We can finally say: We have a Helvetica week, shooot, meant we have a Design Week!!