House of Today is a non-profit organization, committed to cultivating a sustainable design ecosystem in Lebanon, that transcends international borders. For over a decade, the organization’s overarching aim is to strengthen dialogues in the design world, expanding the reach of contemporary Lebanese designers and their creative processes, through mentoring and educating, curating collections and nurturing connections.
Special Projects. Throughout the year, House of Today ideates and curates special projects, covering a range of topics and causes. The special projects are aligned with our mission, to foster a sustainable design culture globally.
TRACES OF LIGHT
06/05/2023 - Austria
Tamara Barrage’s ‘Traces of Light’, a pair of monumental candelabras, will be revealed at the ‘Ashes & Sand’ exhibition, curated by Alice Stori Liechtenstein, during Designmonat Graz at Schloss Hollenegg for Design.
Last July 2022, Tamara was a visiting designer, pursuing a residency program at Schloss Hollenegg for Design. The designer had the opportunity to master the art of glass blowing for the first time, at Studio Comploj's furnace, under the artistic direction of Alice Stori Liechtenstein.
TRACES OF LIGHT
by Tamara Barrage
One of the first objects a visitor in Schloss Hollenegg encounters, is a pair of monumental candelabras, standing guard on either side of the doorway to the Festsaal. Measuring over two meters in height, the candelabras are a composition of blue and white Chinese porcelains bound together by bronze arms. It is one of the many objects made in 18th century Europe - probably in the Netherlands, considering the tiles decorating the wooden foot.
These candelabras, together with the other smaller but similar pieces around the castle, were the inspiration for Tamara Barrage’s work. The fruits of her three weeks residency at Schloss Hollenegg are two glass candelabras blown in Vienna by Robert Comploj of Studio Comploj. Playing with the idea that what were once objects used regularly to provide light, are now only for special occasions, Tamara has created large pieces with a mostly symbolic function. If candles are indeed used, the flame plays beautifully with the glass, bringing the subtle colours to brilliance. Tamara has deftly adapted the shapes typical of her work and reminiscent of sea creatures, to the medium of glass: the stacked shapes float weightlessly.
13-17 February, 2023 - Los Angeles
House of Today is proud to unveil ‘SALT’ by Nathalie Khayat, an evocative ceramic installation curated by Cherine Magrabi Tayeb, with Chef Sandy Ho crafting the culinary experiences.
The unprecedented showcase, commissioned by House of Today, coincides with Frieze Los Angeles in February 2023.
Salt’ presents the latest works by Nathalie, based on a creative process that involved exploring sculptural dimensions of functional objects, be it bowls, vases or candelabras. Nathalie was keen to trust the flow in the crafting of each piece, to explore all the sculptural possibilities. The collection appears to emerge from the depths of the sea and the natural world. The creation of each unique piece, with no two alike, involved peeling back and molding layers of clay, and fusing two seemingly contrasting elements, speaking volumes based on the setting they are in.
House of Today X AUB
13/01/2023 - Maamari Auditorium, Olayan School of Business, at the American University of Beirut
House of Today and the Department of Architecture and Design at the Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture at the American University of Beirut are delighted to introduce their first collaboration of many to come.
The non-profit platform founded by Cherine Magrabi and the Department of Architecture and Design are thrilled to inspire, emulate and support the next generation of creatives by welcoming, for the very first time in Lebanon, three acclaimed international designers and architects - Porky Hefer, Guan Lee and Marco Campardo- for the symposium Augmented Autarky that will be held on January 13th 2023, followed by a 4-days workshop entitled Beyond Foraging.
Porky Hefer is an artist and designer famous for his limited edition human nests and living pods in Kooboo cane, leather or recycled waste. His work has been exhibited in leading fairs, biennales and galleries worldwide. His obsession with vernacular architecture and the use of local building techniques, artisans and materials to create is evident in The Nest@ Sossus, a totally hand built, off the grid structure in Namibia, which won the Wallpaper Design Award in 2019 for best new private residence. By embracing skills and processes that are readily available indigenously, rather than trying to emulate foreign processes, he ensures to preserve and keep them relevant in a modern age.
Guan Lee is the co-founder of Material Architecture Lab at the Bartlett School of Architecture, where he is also associate professor of architecture. Grymsdyke Farm, his own research practice set in the Chilterns Buckinghamshire, explore the value of a collective living/ working practice that involves an intimate engagement with materials and processes of making - often combining craft and digital technology- in a specific place. His series of chairs and objects made from Polirock - a fired clay with unique characteristics somewhere between ceramic and rocks yet made by recycling manufacturing waste - has been recently exhibited in Paris and Milan.
Marco Campardo is a London-based designer and maker pushing boundaries in material and manufacturing experimentation. By exploring alternatives to standardised mass production and smartly subverting/adapting tools and methods, his work for brands as well as for galleries or cultural institutions blurs the line between craftsmanship and industry, high-end and lo-fi, reproduction and uniqueness. His « Reversible»projectinexpandedclayboundtogetherwithsugarinstalled in the windows of Selfridges during last LDF, has put circularity within the context of temporary installations in the spotlight. He has just been nominated for the Saltzman Prize at the Design Museum.
Kicking off the collaboration of House of Today and the Department of Architecture and Design at the American University of Beirut, design critic and journalist Anne-France Berthelon, creative strategic consultant for HoT along with architect/designer Rana Haddad, from the Department of Architecture and Design at AUB- founder of BePublic Lab at AUB, co-founder of 200Grs.-; co-curated the symposium Augmented Autarky followed by Beyond Foraging workshop in January 2023. The symposium invites Porky Hefer, Guan Lee and Marco Campardo to share their respective creative process and highlight how working with local available resources not only prevents vernacular techniques and cultural knowledge from vanishing, but also allows bold contemporary projects and conversations to bloom.
Following the symposium, Guan Lee will lead Beyond Foraging, a 4-days workshop envisioned as a material and cultural exploration, setting the cross-pollination of disciplines (architecture, design, art, craft, engineering, computer science ...) at the core of the design ecosystem. The free workshop will be open to all design enthusiasts- designers, artists, architects, photographers, engineers, students and freshly graduates - through an application form.
Putting contemporary design on both local and global maps, House of Today was founded in 2012 in Beirut by Cherine Magrabi Tayeb as a non- profit platform identifying, nurturing, commissioning and empowering a talented community of creatives in Lebanon. A decade later, such a milestone cannot be celebrated but with the right partner, theDepartment of Architecture and Design at the American University of Beirut. For over half a century, the Department of Architecture and Design at AUB has been recognized for its rigorous education, integrating design and explorative thinking with critical research and cultural/regional positioning. With that, this collaboration celebrates both their missions by supporting inclusiveness and higher creative education and igniting dynamic cultural conversations towards a common goal: allowing the next generation of creatives at large to blossom.
‘Augmented Autarky’ is open to the public on January 13, 2023, from 3 to 6 pm at Maamari Auditorium, Olayan School of Business, at the American University of Beirut.
‘Beyond Foraging’ is open to all design enthusiasts: students and fresh graduates, designers, artists, architects, photographers and engineers. It will be taking place between the 14th and 17th of January 2023 at ArD AUB.
The workshop is free of charge: Apply here before December 27, 2022.
November 9-12, 2022 - Downtown Design, Dubai
Celestial spheres of sand unveiled by design duo Karim Tamerji and Elias El Hage at Downtown Design with the support of House of Today.
Making its debut at Downtown Design Dubai from November 9 to 12, 2022 is IOTA, a grand scale installation crafted by multidisciplinary Lebanese designers Karim Tamerji and Elias El Hage with the support of House of Today. The aesthetic wonder entails 150 handcrafted spheres of sand in hues of blood orange and shades of blue, sourced from the natural landscapes of the UAE. The modular installation reimagines the use of a natural and timeless material with both an artistic and sustainable edge, designed to welcome guests into the exhibition hall.
When the design duo came together to work on IOTA, they sought to explore sand sustainably, given its contextual and cultural importance in the UAE. Adopting the age-old technique of rammed earth, they created a narrative around grains of sand translated into ethereal spheres, showcasing shades of the country’s desert, sea and sky. An additional experiential layer of audio design has been added to immerse guests into sounds of the desert.
“Sand has existed timelessly and, in many ways, paints a meaningful picture of the city's history, culture and identity. Instinctively, we saw this as an opportunity worth embracing, while asking ourselves — how can we use the most abundant local material as an ecological ode to Dubai?”
Exploring The Creative Process
“When tasked with this project, we needed to study it from all angles, with sustainability at the core and addressed from a technical standpoint,” the designers comment. “Our proposal strictly preserves the ecological method of compressing earth, where sand and natural materials are hand pressed into ready-made molds; it’s important for us to remain true to the technique. By only challenging the material’s geometric quality, we have attempted to showcase an ancient and perceptibly heavy material as contemporary, soft, and weightless."
Karim and Elias will handmake each of the 150 spheres uniquely, using custom designed molds to house the earthen mix. Each sphere’s tangent surface is designed to rest safely on the ground or interconnect to their modular counterparts. During installation, the spheres will undergo a stackable assembly process, using steel rods and brackets to achieve a structural web.
The intricate color mixing process uses only natural pigmentations, to capture aesthetic shades of blood orange and hues of powder and cobalt blue. “Each earthen sphere takes on a unique color and texture, showcasing the desert sand in its natural beauty,'' they say.
November 9-12, 2022
October 20, 2022 - Paris
House of Today is proud to unveil ‘Ceramic Banquet’, the latest collection by ceramist Souraya Haddad, on the occasion of Paris + by Art Basel.
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House of Today, a non-profit organization founded in 2012 by Cherine Magrabi Tayeb, committed to fostering Lebanon’s sustainable design culture on a global scale, will unveil the awe-inspiring creations of Lebanese ceramicist Souraya Haddad, fused with the culinary works of art by Balbosté.
This unprecedented showcase, commissioned by House of Today, coincides with Paris + by Art Basel. On display will be an aesthetic, multi-sensory dialogue between eternally unique pieces, along with unparalleled culinary experiences, bringing to life bound- less creativity. The intent of ‘Ceramic Banquet’ is to fuse a flair for life and conviviality that characterize Lebanon and its people, despite all the dire circumstances that the country continues to endure.
Souraya designed a series of dishes, cups, bowls, vases and candelabras, made up of different volumes, layers and forms that will be show- cased at ‘Ceramic Banquet’. Souraya’s artistic process begins with crafting the object, followed by enameling, to introduce a shadowy glow to the base. Each piece entices every sense, from the gaze, to that of touch. Each piece within the collection serves as a powerful, yet delicate focal point, as guests explore the naturally pigmented enameled pieces in shades of grey, beige and hues of bluish pearl-grey.
April 21 - May 26, 2022 - New York
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Playfulness, lightness and humor converge in Lina Shamma’s pottery, unveiled by House of Today at Bungalow’s pop up show.
House of Today, a non-profit organization committed to cultivating a sustainable design ecosystem in Lebanon that transcends borders, is proud to unveil Lina Shamma’s latest collection entitled ‘Imprévu’, in New York, at Bungalow’s pop up show. With a solid background in architecture and design, Lina, an accomplished potter, fuses her passion for ceramics and worldly experiences into the intuitive collection of functional and aesthetic pottery.
The functional series part of the ‘Imprévu’ collection, are unconventional, pushing the envelope, reinterpreting everyday objects. Each piece is unique, some adorned with real gold, and others finished with a vintage detail. The collection ultimately presents pieces
that are vulnerable yet provocative, and in some pieces discordant imperfections are
celebrated through aesthetical fluidity.
The ‘Imprévu’ collection by Lina will be showcased at Bungalow’s pop up show, from April 21 - May 26, 2022, at the Westbeth Gallery (55 Bethune Street, New York, NY 10014). Bungalow is a roving and multidisciplinary gallery, founded in 2021, bringing together artists working across a range of creative modes, encouraging new and unexpected dialogues between their practices.
1-5 December, 2021 - Beirut
Cult-D is a once-a-month pop-up event that gathers Beirut premiere luminaries for a unique dining experience and an intimate conversation with curated speakers from various backgrounds.
Najla El Zein, David/nicolas, Carlo Massoud and Cherine Magrabi were the speakers. Chef: Recipes of Cherine..
Super Salone Open Talks
2021 - Milan
Cherine Magrabi is invited to participate in Supersalone Open Talks curated by Maria Cristina Didero as part of Milan Design Week 2021. She will share the stage with Parley for the Oceans founder, Cyrill Gutsch, chair of the Swarowski Foundation and Waterschool, Nadja Swarovski, and design historian. The panel explores how the creative industries can redefine philanthropy and what collaborations with charitable foundations can achieve.
Beirut Blast, Grant Program
August 4, 2020 - Beirut
House of Today established the Beirut Blast Grant Program to help reconstruct 12 designer studios with the greater aim of helping restore the city’s design sector in addition to the hopes and dreams of its talented creatives.
The Soap Project
2020 - Beirut
Rumi Dalle Hermès Workshop
2019 - Paris and Beirut
Rumi Dalle, who has been designing all off Hermès Beirut's windows since 2013, is invited to Paris to present her work and share her process with the Hermès creative team. "
Khalil Khoury Showcase
December 12 to 28, 2018 - Sursock museum, Beirut
The performance and installation by Bernard Khoury recounts the fabulous story of an impossible modernity. Described as a modernist and brutalist, Khalil Khoury was one of the first artisans of exposed concrete, leading the Modern Movement in Lebanon.
Not a retrospective, nor an objective account of the modern history of our territory, this is Bernard's story of his father and architect of the modern movement, Khalil Khoury, and his passion for aeronautic engineering, panting, hunting, politics, industrial design, architecture, and above all, the female figure.
2018 - 2019 - Beirut
Starting from April 2018, House of Today contributed to the Cedar Wings, the bi-monthly inflight magazine of Middle-East Airlines, for two consecutive years in 2018 and 2019. In each issue, House of Today showcased Lebanese designers and highlighted the latest developments in the design scene.
Product Design In Lebanon Podcast
2018 - Beirut
Roula Salamoun Iwan Maktabi
2018 - Nepal
House of Today collaborates with renowned carpet manufacturer Iwan Maktabi on a trip to Nepal. Designer Roula Salamoun is selected to join the Iwan Maktabi group in order to discover Nepal and its craftsmanship.
2018 - Paris
Suzanne Anhoury STEM
2017 - Beirut
Monsters by Tamara Barrage
2016 - Beirut
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2015 - New York
Najla El Zein and House of Today are pleased to have donated the feather Sensorial Brush; Tickle (edition 3/12) to SEAL's gala dinner. SEAL is a non-profit based in the US, which purpose is to implement social projects in Lebanon to improve lives of people in rural areas.
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ABC Men's Launch
2015 - Beirut
House of Today takes part in the launch of ABCs Men’s Department Store, curating the design section of the event. An intriguing collection of contemporary design pieces for men were designed by talented Lebanese designers: Karim Chaya, Rumi Dalle, david/nicolas, Nada Debs, Celine Stephan, Johnny Farah, Rabih Kayrouz, Cyrille Najjar, Rouba Mourtada, Alia Mouzannar and Dori Mouzannar.
Putting Materials To Good Use Starch Foundation
2015 - Beirut
Carlo Massoud at The Armory Show
2015 - New York
House of Today was delighted to support Carlo Massoud's Arab Dolls installation for Carwan Gallery at the Armory Show in New York.
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Summer Season by Rumi Dalle for Hermès
2015 - Beirut
Hermès window installation for the Summer Season by Rumi Dalle. The scenography displays a parallel between two worlds; the underwater world and that of a modern city. Both metropolises render a context under which the act of strolling is fulfilled. This is the second window scenography that Rumi creates for Hermès... more to come.
2014 - Beirut
Hermès Lebanon came to House of Today looking for a designer whose meticulous work is driven by a remarkable attention to details. Rumi Dalle was the perfect choice. Rumi designed Hermès’ window display under the theme of reincarnation, giving life to the mannequins by crowning them with wreaths made of real exotic butterfly wings.
Rumi Dalle The Counter
2012 - MENA