Dubai Design Week 2021 highlights Lebanon’s creative division through Beirut Concept Store


Dubai Design Week 2021 (DXBDW2021) has finally kicked off, and this year, the event boasts of a rich programme spanning design, architecture, art, crafts, and technology.

One of the captivating popups at the Design Week is the Beirut Concept Store that is showcasing the breadth of Lebanon’s creative offering.

From vintage prints to a book exploring Beirut’s traditional homes and a table crafted from a 200-year-old tree, the initiative aims to shine a spotlight on Lebanon’s design scene.

Curated by Mariana Wehbe and conceptualised by artist Rumi Dalle, the Beirut Concept Store aims to provide visibility as well as commercial opportunities for the multifaceted creatives being featured, especially at a time when they need it most.

“I am sincerely grateful for the support of Dubai Design Week and the Dubai Design District for providing us with this platform, which offers visitors an experiential journey into the heart of Beirut’s design scene, while promoting the work of emerging and established designers and studios from Lebanon, shedding light on the country’s talent, capabilities and possibilities,” Wehbe tells The National.

The exhibition has a newly launched incubator by Exil Collective that is presenting more than 20 established and emerging product designers. Exil has created a framework whereby cost-conscious objects made in Lebanon are industry-competitive, by adapting designs to local manufacturing skills.

Giving something to everyone at this space, it also has works by master ceramists such as Hala Matta, Nathalie Khayyat, Souraya Haddad and Lina Shamma that are exhibited alongside Beirut Je T’aime, Spockdesign and Cut Paste Build.

The centre of the segment has a four-metre-long table by architect Samer Bou Rjeily, called ‘Untitled’. The artwork has been crafted from a long metal plank and the trunk of a pine tree that is more than 200 years old. Bou Rjeily came across this piece in Lebanon after it had been toppled by an unusually powerful storm.

The trunk has been treated with the 18th-century Japanese technique of Shou sugi ban, which involves preserving wood using fire.

Apart from this, other participating designers and authors are showcasing their work at the segment which will be on display till November 13 at the Dubai Design District (d3).

Cover Image: Dubai Design Week