Maison & Objet


This September in Paris, the Maison & Objet is blasting onto the scene once again for another successful interior design and decoration trade fair. It exhibitioned in Paris this past January, with huge success, highlighting design trends of the season, together with its showcasing of the eco-friendly designers from around the world, The ‘M&O’ is one not to miss.
After the United Kingdom and Italy, it is now Lebanon’s turn to present its talents during the upcoming event held at the Parc des Expositions in Paris Nord Villepinte from 7 to 11 September, 2018. It’s heavily influenced by Lebanese culture spotlighting some of Beirut’s most up and coming Lebanese designers - who will be competing at the event’s ‘Rising Talent Award’.
Two of Lebanon’s ‘Rising Talent’ designers - Karl Chucri and Rami Boushdid   - are members of Studio Caramel. Their designs have clear architectural influences and are highlighted for their eminence of refined furniture, emphasizing silhouettes and visual culture.
Carlo Massoud is another of Lebanon’s ‘Rising Talent’ stars. His work reflects an artistic approach characteristic, with projects that fluctuate between functional design and art installation, usually incorporating a social and political comment. Some of his creations have led him to explore new manufacturing processes, such as his Boule and Capture work in brass.
Half-French, half-Lebanese, ‘Rising Talent’ star Carla Baz embodies the expertise of Lebanon’s most experienced artisans. Her furniture reveals the beauty of fine materials, as exemplified by her Hay bench, handcrafted from solid oak and incorporating traditional cane weaving techniques. More recently, the UK’s luxury label Bonadea has produced Carla’s Borgia candelabra, made from solid brass, hand-brushed and hand-polished.
And there’s Paola Sakr, a graduate of the Lebanese Academy of Fine Art. Her approach is consistent with the original function of product design: finding a solution to a specific problem, or – in Paola’s own words – establishing a ‘collaboration with the world’. From Beirut to Dubai, several design festivals have already given this Rising Talent protégé a stage to spotlight her talents.
And another graduate of the Lebanese Academy of Fine Art is Ottawa-born Anastasia Nysten.  With a father from Finland and a Lebanese Mum Anastasia’s designs show both Nordic and Lebanese influences. Her Troll chair has earned her a Talent Award at the first Beirut Design Fair in 2017. The piece combined Scandinavian comfort with a bold look – one of the characteristic features of her work, which systematically pushes formal research beyond the classics, but always makes use of natural materials.
And the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts’ prodigious output of design talent continues with ‘Rising Talent’ star Marc Dibeh. Marc recently created an exhibition entitled Jungle Protocol, held during the House of Today’s Design Biennial. This inspired him to create a very dramatic rattan umbrella system he called ‘Somewhere Under the Leaves’, an evocation of a safe haven in the jungle. All of these ideas, Marc Dibeh consistently materializes with his very own stylistic approach.
So, there’s a wealth of Lebanese talent at the M&O and the event spotlights design and cultural influences from Lebanon and the Middle East in a way not previously done in such a focused way. This provides these young designers with an incredible platform. With the new design ideas coming from this part of the world M&O is recognizing the growing importance of ‘Lebanese Style’.
It’s a design-look which has frequently contributed to broader international designs we see around the rest of the world; and a reflection from what remains a highly cultured and outward-looking country. Indeed more often than not, the country’s designers are fluent in several languages and their ideas and innovations are thoughtful and reflect international and local cultural influences. It will be interesting to see which of these young Lebanese design talents evolve into internationally acclaimed designers of the future.


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