Design Miami 2017
Jungle Protocol 2016
French-born architect Annabel Karim Kassar has developed an international expertise in Architecture and Interior Design since founding her architectural practice in Paris in 1994. She now has offices in Beirut, Dubai and London. Annabel Karim Kassar has been credited with breathing new life into the Middle East’s most creative capital, Beirut. In the mid 90's, she was declared winner in a competition for the reconstruction of the city’s souks. She is also responsible for creating some of Beirut’s hottest venues, Momo at the Souks with Mourad Mazouz, Strange Fruit and Balima. She is currently working on completing major architectural projects in Lebanon and UAE: the Souks Entertainment Center, a 13 movie-theater complex part of the new souks in Downtown Beirut and Al Zorah pavilion, a landmark overlooking the mangrove of Ajman and a Golf club in Ajman. The ongoing interior projects range from hospitality to residential with: Almaz by Momo, restaurant in JBR, UAE and different interiors in Paris and London. Alongside her architectural practice, Annabel Karim Kassar has created with lighting designer Christophe Hascoet and architect, Isabelle Rolland, Caï-light, a company dedicated to Lighting Design.
Bernard Khoury studied architecture at the Rhode Island school of Design (B.F.A 1990 / B.Arch 1991). He received a Masters in Architectural studies from Harvard University (M.Arch 1993). In 2001, he was awarded by the municipality of Rome the honorable mention of the Borromini prize given to architects under 40 years of age. In 2004, he was awarded the Architecture + Award. In 2008, he was a visiting professor at the Ecole polytechnique Federale de Lausanne; he has lectured and exhibited his work in prestigious academic institutions in Europe and the U.S including a solo show of his work given by the International Forum for Contemporary Architecture at the Aedes gallery in Berlin (2003) and numerous group shows including YOUprison at the Fondazione Sandretto in Torino (2008) and SPACE at the opening show of the MAXXI museum in Rome (2010). His work has been extensively published by the professional press. Khoury started an independent practice in 1993. Over the past 15 years, his office has developed an international reputation and a significant diverse portfolio of projects both locally and abroad.
Carlo Massoud is a Lebanese product designer and interior designer. After graduating with a master in product design from Alba (Academie Libanaise des Beaux Arts), he pursued a Master in product design for the luxury industry at the School of Art and Design Lausanne (ECAL) where he had the opportunity to work on several projects under the supervision of international designers such as Ronan Bouroullec, BarberOsgerby, Marti Guixé, Pierre Charpin, Umberto and Fernando Campana. His designs derive from a deeply engraved social critique humorously transformed into a useful and playful “object”. His projects range from tableware products, to function driven exhibition stands, packaging, and furniture, to ultimately embrace interior spaces in a magical atmosphere.
"As a junior designer I had a great experience working with House of Today's team. They gave me the freedom to work on my products and follow the production as I usually do. The exhibition was a great success and the initiative was amazing."
Fadi Mansour is an architect. He graduated from the AA School of Architecture in London in 2009. He currently lives in Beirut where he runs his own practice since 2011.
Hoda Baroudi & Maria Hibri
Hoda Baroudi and Maria Hibri are the Beirut-based duo behind the Bokja concept. The pair is a natural union of talent and creativity. They both share a common love for antiques and vintage furniture, as well as a passion for ancient textiles and tapestries from the Levant and countries along the Silk Road. Established in 2000, Bokja is an expression of respect and love for an age-old culture and aesthetic with a human approach. The concept stands for a poetic use of color, an emphasis on craftsmanship, and the sustainable use of available materials to express an artistic idea with an ever-present spiritual content.
Karen Chekerdjian is an object and product designer of Lebanese-Armenian origin. Her route to industrial design has not been direct. Film, advertising and graphic design have each helped shape her vision. She graduated from Domus Academy, Milan, in 1997 with a Masters in Product Design and Design Direction, under the supervision of Massimo Morozzi, a founding member of Archizoom and Art Director at EDRA. After graduation, Karen worked in Milan for a number of years. During this period, one of her first designs – a suspended hanger system entitled Mobil was produced by EDRA. In 2001, she returned to Beirut and opened Karen Chekerdjian Studio. Beginning as more of a conceptual think-tank, dedicated to exploring new ideas in design, the Studio has gradually become more focused on production; furniture and everyday objects in small series, limited editions and made-to-order commissions. Karen regularly participates in some of the biggest annual design fairs, including New York’s ICFF, Milan’s Salone del Mobile, Cologne’s Mobelmesse, Paris’ Furniture Fair and Design Days Dubai. Her work has also been displayed at a number of international exhibitions, amongst them Utopi (Copenhagen), Beyond the Myth (a pan-European show), Promosedia 2007 (Milan), Northern Lights (Tokyo) and ECHO (Beirut), Haus der Kunst (Munich) and Foundation Boghossian, Villa Empain (Brussel), and at galleries ranging from Spazio Orlandi Gallery, Gallery Nilufar (Milan), Sfeir-Semler Gallery (Beirut) and Carwan Gallery.
After graduating in Industrial Design from the Rhode Island School of Design, Beirut born Karim Chaya co-founded Abillama Chaya Industrial Design in 1997. ACID, which specializes in design, manufacturing and installation of architectural detailing, currently employs 170 craftsmen, architects, and administrators, and handles projects across the globe. In 2001, Chaya started spockdesign, a company devoted to furniture, product and as we like to call it, stuff design. He also actively contributes to Blatt Chaya, a family owned, traditional, colored-cement tile producer that was originally founded in the 19th Century. In addition, Chaya teaches fifth year industrial design at the Academie Libanaise des Beaux Arts. He has been invited to showcase in many exhibitions such as: 100% Design (London) and Maison et Objet (Paris) where his furniture as well as art installations have been presented. His work has been published in the local and international press including Le Figaro, Officiel Design, Monocle, Interior Design, and Interni.
Makram El Kadi
Makram el Kadi received his Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the American University of Beirut in 1997 and his master’s degree in architecture from Parsons School of Design in 1999. After working at the offices of Fumihiko Maki in Japan, he joined Steven Holl Architects where he was project designer on numerous international projects for 5 years, among others the world trade center proposal with Richard Meier, Peter Eisenman and Charles Gwathmey, the Natural Museum of Los Angeles County and the Beirut Marina project. El Kadi taught architecture with Steven Holl at the Columbia University Graduate school of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. He co-taught studio and seminar at Cornell University, and is currently teaching graduate studio at Yale University.
Marc Baroud is a Beirut-based designer, with work spanning over various fields.
In his method the process is designed first, thus turning it into a stand-alone outcome as it takes a form of its own.
Since 2012, he also serves as the director of the design school at Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts (ALBA) where he used his same design approach to shift the vision of the department with new curricula, envisioning design as broader discipline than how it is generally perceived; one for creating aesthetics.
As a product designer, his curiosity led him to experiment and challenge various materials, techniques, objects, and scales, working on a large scope of industrial and artisanal products. His works has been shown in Beirut, Milan, Dubai, Paris, London, including solo shows in Design/Miami and Design/Miami Basel.
Marc Dibeh is a Beirut based designer who opened his studio in 2009. He studied Architecture at the Ecole Nationale Superieure de Paris Val De Seine before returning to Beirut in 2006 where he received a Masters in Product Design from the Academie Libanaise des Beaux Arts.
After completing his Master’s degree, he worked for designer Marc Baroud before opening his own space following Baroud’s advice. They later collaborated together on several projects. The philosophy of his studio is mainly based on collaborations, which by definition implies working with other fellow designers or non-designers.
His work revolves around the storytelling: to try and create a story behind each and every product or interior while keeping it timeless and simple. He has been selected along with Marc Baroud as part of the 5 breakout stars of the design Miami, Miami edition in 2013 by the Wall Street Journal after exhibiting the Wires series with Art Factum Gallery, and part of the 5 up and coming designers of the design Miami, Basel edition in 2015 by Artsy.
He exhibited in Milan, Miami, Basel, Dubai, Lausanne, London, Paris and Beirut where he also teaches at Académie Libanaise des Beaux Arts.
Nada Debs, of Lebanese origin, was brought up in Japan. She studied Interior Architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design in the United States and started her own design company in the UK designing and producing custom furniture. Returning to her roots in Lebanon after an absence of 40 years, Nada Debs found designs for modern Middle Eastern furniture almost non-existent. This made her determined to use her multi-cultural background to create furniture which would appeal to a global market. Nada created her company ‘East and East’ in the year 2000, which concentrates on designing, manufacturing and selling her own furniture and home accessory lines. The company now has retail outlets throughout Beirut: the Nada Debs Gallery, which displays the ‘East & East’ and ‘Contemporary’ collections and two Nada Debs Boutiques, which carry her home accessory collections.
"House of Today is just the beginning of the awareness of the importance of design in our everyday life; a much needed mission in Lebanon/today's world."
Nadim Karam received a Bachelor of Architecture from the American University of Beirut, and a PhD in architecture from Tokyo University in 1989. His use of many different mediums (painting, sculpture, urban art installation and architecture) has given rise to a consistent conceptual line that fuses oriental and Japanese theories of spaces. In 1994, he founded Atelier Hapsitus, a pluri-disciplinary group, focused on the creation of an original urban vocabulary. Based in Beirut, they have created large-scale temporary urban art projects for various cities in the world, and permanent projects in Melbourne, Tokyo and London. Four books on his works have been published by Booth-Clibborn Editions, London, ‘VOYAGE’ (2000) and ‘Urban Toys’ (2006), ‘The Cloud, the Desert and the Arabian Breeze’ (2007) and ‘Stretching Thoughts’ (2014).
"It is fantastic that House of Today is investing in design education of young Lebanese and creating a platform for local creativity to thrive. It is about time to start institutional support for designers."
Rabih Kayrouz is praised for his architectural cuts and exacting construction, but the designer’s approach is far from rational. Emotion is the crux of his ready-to-wear label, which launched in 2009 with the opening of Maison Rabih Kayrouz in Paris. He works instinctively to design garments that embody comfort, confidence and, most importantly, joy. Beyond pragmatism and pleasure, Kayrouz’s work reflects exceptional craftsmanship. It was this delicate balance that won over the international press and the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, who invited him to participate in the official calendar of couture fashion shows in 2009. Kayrouz had been designing dresses for private clients since 1998, but the decision to include his premier collection marked a first in couture. He later joined the ready-to-wear calendar, debuting in Paris in March 2012. Showing four collections per year, Kayrouz continues to apply rigorous haute-couture style codes to his ready-to-wear collection, and his distinctive ease to couture. While Maison Rabih Kayrouz label is exclusive to the world’s most prestigious boutiques and department stores, the designer’s collaboration with La Redoute in 2012 confirmed his widespread appeal.
Raëd Abillama received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1992 and Bachelor of Architecture from Rhode Island School of Design in 1993. He later received his Master of Architectural Design Degree from Columbia University, New York in 1994. He worked at Raphael Viñoly Architects PC, New York, from 1994 to 1996. There he was involved in and exposed to various large-scale projects. He established Raëd Abillama Architects in Lebanon in the year 1997. His vision was to create a setup which would include a wide array of professionals in both the design and production fields working side by side. In this spirit, he formed a parallel setup called A.C.I.D. (Abillama Chaya Industrial Design) specialized in the production of architectural detailing and product design field. This step would give better quality products as well as better design quality. This makes the transition from drafting board to product truer and promotes design as an asset.
After three diplomas in Marketing/Advertising, Modern French Literature at la Sorbonne Paris and Film directing at Esra School Souheil Hanna comes back to Lebanon his native country and works as a T.V producer in his father’s company Intermarkets for three years then decides to open his own gallery XXeSiecle in 2002 that specializes in decorative arts of the Twentieth Century. XXeSiècle was the first to promote design of the twentieth Century in the Middle East .The gallery meets great success in Lebanon and worldwide where his Royère pieces brake world records and were bought by international collectors. After ten years of experience and successful achievements Souheil starts drawing custom made furniture to meet his clients’ needs helped by his knowledge in furniture design.
Stéphanie Moussallem is a Beirut based product designer. Being always driven by joining artistic form, usability and ergonomics, she undertook her studies in interior architecture and graduated in July 2011 with a Master’s degree in product design from ALBA (Académie Libanaise des beaux Arts). Upon graduation, Stéphanie started collaborating with Spockdesign - a very well-known design firm based in Beirut. This collaboration has led to many design shows: BRC Beirut Rock center at Beirut Art Center, PAD London, PAD Paris and Design days Dubai to name a few. Focusing also on a solo career, she has participated in many exhibitions such as La Fiera di Milano – Salone Satellite – in which her product was listed in the top ten of the Salone by L'express.fr, Confessions by House of Today, and was selected by Designboom to be part of the Stockholm design week. Stephanie’s touch expands beyond product to interiors with the design of the Starch boutique 2012/2013, the Jimy Beyrouth boutiques, Pamela Milano stores and many residences across Lebanon. “Design is a tool to facilitate everyday life, by making the objects around us as practical and pleasant as possible.”
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