Beirut Design Week Reviewed 3: Let’s call it a wrap!
By Admin I : So we’re finally wrapping up the first ever Beirut Design Week with a flow of mixed feelings. What was witnessed during this week was not a normal phenomenon and it took us only a weekend to step away from the chaos and look at the event from a distance: It was a hell of an experience that made everyone engaged in what is happening in this country. Yes, it had so much flaws that pushed our buttons whether on twitter or here, a lot of badly organized logistics, a one woman show that got out of control and a whole lot more, but let me tell you, for once, our diva attitude can reign and proudly look at every lousy designer in his face saying: What do you know, you didn’t even attend our local design week!
This whole phenomenon allowed us to know on a factual basis, that this scene is split in 3: passionate students craving for design events, arrogant professionals afraid to be seen working on their design growth, and a wide ground of blondies, wannabe blondies, and on-hold blondies that are of no interest in the design scene and are now easier to spot. Yes, we lack a ground of interested-interesting people to lead; this intelligentsia will exist with time, and with the flow of such events.
So the last days of Beirut Design Week got more interesting. Workshops ended with quite an impressive outcome, especially the one dealing with Lebanon’s infogaphics that was able to produce a timeline, trees of connections and maps for 7 years of information in 3 days under the supervision of a talented team of designers from Density Design, Italy.
What’s more interesting in the last day in particular, was how a group of amateur visual artists reacted towards the creative flow. A team of talented designers that previously launched “Urban Pacman” an interactive intervention taking a form of a game dealing with cognitive mapping; the concept was pushed further with a live intervention at the St.Nicolas stairs during the final exhibition and Urban Pacman was there to say NO for the corrupted driving habits of the Lebanese, classifying street signs and lights as “memorabilia”.
On a final note, what is positive about having quite a random unorganized event is the room for improvement. You guys can make a whole shift in next year’s event with super moderate efforts, and we’re sure you’ll produce a quite interesting 2013 version, hoping to take into consideration the international reach and the importance of linking our Week to international events, because Beirut Design Week shouldn’t be less engaging than the one in Berlin or any other capital.
A second final note, organizing next year’s event is a jackpot (even with minor marketing efforts), which is perfectly fine but make sure you keep encouraging small designers/design studios to contribute; Do not make it Elite, Do not make it a luxury no matter how sexy zeros might look on your bank account, just in case you believe in a collective design curve.
Let’s call it a wrap!