Commended by a growing audience, the 2018 edition of Beirut Design Fair concluded on September 23rd at Seaside Arena, with Lebanon reflecting the extent of its confidence in Design, and Beirut asserting its position as a regional marketplace in this field. As a Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Design hub, the Lebanese capital enabled several international and regional Design stars to shine for 5 days.
The fair’s museo-scenography set-up by Galal Mahmoud presented an exceptional architectural space full of emotion, which put the value of Design in the foreground. The level of this 2nd edition of Beirut Design Fair was perceived as significantly higher, as per the objectives of the organizers * and the Selection Committee **; and the 19,800 visitors (up by 20% compared to 2017) did not miss to underline that perception.
This 2nd edition brought together 58 exhibitors (28% more than in 2017) from the region and for the first time from Europe (Italy, France, Belgium, United Arab Emirates …) presenting the creations of 111 designers (up by 26%).
Following the success of the Lebanese Rising Talents Awards at Maison&Objet (Paris, September 7-11), Beirut Design Fair (BDF) demonstrated the rightful and growing place of creative Lebanon on the international Design scene, as well as the appetite of the local market for the furniture and quality objects that were displayed. Nearly 90% of the exhibitors achieved sales during BDF, and most of them expressed their intention to participate again in 2019.
Talent, innovation and ambition were particularly highlighted by the three awards bestowed on Thursday 20th September by the Selection Committee. The Initiative Award was given to Joy Mardini, creator of the Joy Mardini Design Gallery in 2011 and renowned for promoting Lebanese designers whom she defends brilliantly and vigorously in Lebanon and abroad (USA, Switzerland, France, United Arab Emirates …) with a unique positioning. The Object Award was accorded to Fadi Sarieddine who presented personnalizable objects, including during BDF a stand designed as a workshop that left plenty of room for interaction. Each visitor was invited to become a designer in their own way through this creative process.
The Talent Award, which distinguishes the personality of a young designer, was granted to Vivian Van Blerk in appreciation of the dream world he invites to with a touch of humor, making the child in each person smile.
The “A + Award“, the first concrete and successful private initiative meant to give Lebanese students (Interior Architecture, Design) an opportunity, was awarded on Friday 21st September. The 2018 theme was “Know your roots”. The Jury and the mentors *** had selected 7 projects from which they chose to reward Maya Safi for her particularly ingenious, beautiful and practical oil spoon (Elias). This creation will be developed in collaboration with WxHxD and with its support, and it will be exposed in the SpotOn space of Beirut Design Fair 2019.
Held under the patronage of the Association of Lebanese Industrialists, and supported since its beginnings by Myrna & Tarek Khalifé, Beirut Design Fair owes its standing and its development to the support of exceptional partners that it holds dear, starting with the partner that renews its commitment without fail– its Founding Partner, Creditbank, that renews its commitment without fail.
During this edition of BDF, Creditbank announced an unprecedented initiative to offer a 0% interest loan aimed at encouraging Lebanese designers to create Design products for the general public which would be industrially mass produced in Lebanon. The projects will be submitted to a jury of experts which is being set up, then they will go through market research to ascertain their viability and their subsequent entry (www.Creditbankproductdesignersloan.com).
Important and real supporters joined BDF for the first time this year, among them were:
GM Architects (Scenography), Kore (Lifestyle and Sanitary), Colortek (Painting), Skaff (Fabrics and Decoration), Unilux (Lighting), Maison&Objet (Lebanese Rising Talent Awards).
The next edition of Beirut Design Fair will be held from 19th to 22nd September 2019, alongside BEIRUT ART FAIR.