Render design residency in Beirut connects international designers with local crafts

Joy Mardini Design Gallery (JMDG) in association with Beirut Art Residency (BAR) has launched a design residency during Beirut Design Week, inviting two international designers to immerse themselves in local craft traditions.

Francesco Pace. Photography by Colette Mahoney.

Anne-Claire Hostequin.

Italian architect Francesco Pace and French-born Anne-Claire Hostequin were paired with Lebanese creatives Marc Baroud and Carla Baz, who are represented by JMDG, to provide further insights into local craftsmanship, aiming to foster dialogue between local and international design practices.

The work resulting from the two-month residency has been unveiled during Beirut Design Week, where each designer showcased his/her work.

Each designer had a different approach to working with local craftsmen in Beirut.

Table by Francesco Pace

Marble bench by Francesco Pace.

Anne- Claire Hostequin took a more literal approach: reinterpreting elements of Lebanese crafts such as mashrabiya wooden panels and incorporating them into a contemporary framework of her reading chair.

Reading Chair by Anne-Claire Hostequin

She also dissected notions behind identity and belonging through traditional Lebanese household objects that she transformed into lighting fixtures.

Francesco Pace reinterpreted the aesthetics of Beirut and directly collaborated with local craftsmen to execute his pieces. As marble was his chosen material, he worked closely with The Piece Makers and Marm Group, where he inquired into local materials by using his own, personal technique.

“Through their own vision and culture, the two designers in residency have embraced our crafts and methodologies while creating a new typology of products relying on ergonomics, functionality and practicality,” said Carla Baz.

Also during Beirut Design Week, Annabel Karim Kassar is restoring an Ottoman mansion, and Beirut-based architects have created an installation reflecting on security and travel measures.

Artist Nathalie Harb has also installed a pink shed in Beirut’s urban context to encourage silence.

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