Beirut Design Fair announced in a press conference the holding of its second edition at the Seaside Arena (formerly BIEL) during September 20-23, 2018. A VIP opening ceremony is set for September 19th.
The event builds on the remarkable success of its first edition in 2017 which witnessed almost 17,000 visitors, a number expected to exceed 20,000 this year.
Hala Moubarak, Co-founder and Head of Exhibitors Relations, said: "Beirut Design Fair's first edition, in 2017, was of a Lebanese character, but the strategic objective is to also exhibit works from galleries and designers from all over the world, with both local and international designs emanating from creative unique pieces of products and furniture.
"Beirut Design Fair's core belief is that the Lebanese design scene is deeply rooted, pluralistic, dynamic, connected to the contemporary world, and in permanent reinvention. Our first edition featured the works of 47 exhibitors, galleries, design studios, and emerging designers, of which more than 40 sold either some of their pieces on display, or transacted multiple sales on all their pieces. To this day, there are exhibitors who are still producing units as a result of their participation in Beirut Design Fair's first edition. Our second edition will show how we're moving gradually, yet at a fast pace, to welcome foreign talent. The 60 exhibitors and 150 designers of our 2018 edition will have European galleries represented.
"For this year, the scenography and museography effects, which are part of the fair's DNA, are made by the worldwide reputed architect Galal Mahmoud, a true Beirut Design Fair enthusiast and ally."
Hala Moubarak went on to say, "In addition to providing 'SpotOn!' opportunities for young talents, Beirut Design Fair activates the relationship between design and manufacture, thus promoting a microeconomic ecosystem of its own with spillover into the country's macro economy, let alone ramifying positively into the social sphere."
As for Guillaume Taslé d'Héliand, Founder and Fair Director, he stated: "When we embarked on Beirut Design Fair, we did it out of our strong conviction that Beirut was in the process of imposing itself as the platform, indeed the hub, of Design in the Levant and the Middle East by virtue of the community of Lebanese architects and decorators being all there, and presenting the fair with both a leverage and a support.
"Beirut is a major Design pole of the Mediterranean basin, a bridge between East and West; its history and its geographical location account for the creativity, curiosity, culture, and the discerning flair of the Lebanese.
"Moreover, the first edition of Beirut Design Fair revealed Beirut's position as the marketplace for Design in the Middle East, with the city not just being the regional meeting point of demand and supply in Design, but far ahead of all the other countries in the region in that sphere.
"Accordingly, Beirut Design Fair imposed itself on the scene as satisfying a need, and demonstrated that in spite of all the prior perceptions, the purchasing power was there.
"Furthermore, Beirut Design Fair set its offering on Selection and Quality, with those two pillars being the conditions sine qua non for ensuring a sustainable prominence in matters of Design for Beirut. It's a costly positioning for the fair, as a lot of applications to entry to the 2018 edition were not accepted by the Selection Committee, but it's the only way to occupy the first place in the region, and rise to the next level year after year.
"And beyond the indispensable Quality consideration, some other ingredients influence the degree of success of an event, and the affluence it induces. Among these, Beirut Design Fair carefully cultivates the sense of the heartfelt emotion, the memorable experience, and the human encounter. Visitors are participants. We want to give participants a '!' moment, the 'WOW' effect that is, induced by spectacular and surprise elements generated by content, scenography and museography.
"With its dual focus to put Lebanese designers forward and showcase works from internationally renowned exhibitors, Beirut Design Fair thus enables the necessary networking between the two, as well as asserts Beirut's position on the international scene of Design."
About Beirut Design Fair:
Beirut Design Fair (BDF) is organized by co-founders Guillaume Taslé d'Héliand and Hala Moubarak, with the support of its founding partner, Creditbank.
In April 2018, Beirut Design Fair opened doors for 6 Lebanese designers to be selected for the prestigious "Rising Talent Awards" bestowed by "MAISON&OBJET", the professional trade fair in Paris dedicated to lifestyle, decoration and design, an opportunity that will allow them to present their latest creations and represent Lebanon during the international "MAISON&OBJET" Salon, taking place in Paris from September 7 till 11, 2018.
Beirut Design Fair carefully structures its Selection Committee to reflect its positioning and vision, with quality, creativity, diversity, innovation and ancestral know-how being the key selection criteria set. Further, the role of the Selection Committee is to allow BDF to feature a balance between national and international exhibitors, and between established and emerging designers, whether Lebanese or European. This interaction is essential to maintain BDF's primary objective of Beirut becoming the design showcase of the Levant and the Middle East, and the Mediterranean Basin by extension, as well as the hotbed of design-manufacture collaborations beyond frontiers.
BDF's Selection Committee for 2018 comprises Aline Asmar d'Amman, Lina Ghotmeh, Karim Chaya, Marc Baroud and Mathias Ohrel, who all embrace Beirut and its particular openness to the world closely, and are renowned interior architects, architects, designers, creative minds, and unique talent hunters in their own right. The Selection Committee participates closely in the elaboration of the fair, the vetting of exhibitors, and the decisions on the recipients of the three Design Awards of BDF's 2018 edition.
Furthermore, Lebanese architect and renowned interior designer Aline Asmar d'Amman was designated as the Ambassador of Beirut Design Fair, as her exuberant energy, generosity, enthusiasm, and distinguished expertise combined to make of her the perfect advocate for Beirut Design Fair and its international calling.
Beirut Design Fair is in partnership with Beirut Art Fair (same place, same dates), which holds its ninth edition and awaits more than 30,000 visitors this year.