TID : Lets start with the person behind this amazing similing designer?
TE : How do I answer this! Can I let my products speak for me ?
TID : How did you decide to be a product designer? Who were the people & places that influenced your decision?
TE : I’ve only recently entered the world of product and furniture design. But I’ve always been designing. I started off in Architecture and was part of the design team at an international design firm in Beirut. I then moved into Urban Planning as an Urban Designer – designing cities.
My first design collection – The Edge – Beirut is a series of furniture and lighting products that I launched in 2014. It is a collection inspired by Beirut, a city always on the edge of instability, chaos and creativity.
I still consult as an Architect and Urban Planner while designing furniture and lighting products and I think I will always be designing in these three disciplines.
TID : What kind of products have you been working on lately?
TE : In March, I launched the ‘Square One’ table at Design Days Dubai with a pre-launch at the International Furniture Fair in Singapore. ‘Square One’ is a modular table that explores the essence of geometric designs and repetition of patterns found in traditional Middle Eastern Architecture. It brings these traditional forms into the contemporary.
I will be exhibiting at Wanted Design in New York as part of Launch Pad platform in May 2016 with ‘Fractures’. two lamps that emit ambient light from its fractures and openings made of oxidized brushed brass. I’m also working on an immersive design installation for this year’s Venice Biennale.
TID : We can see lot of shapes and edges in your work with heavy leaning on Middle Eastern culture that is at the same time contemporary? What inspires you?
TE : The designer is always the product of his environment. The Middle East is full of form and geometry. I’m forever stumbling on motifs, folds, extrusions, etc.. It’s up to the designer to find what touches them the most and adapt it to the time and space that they live in.
TID : What do you aim to do through your products?
TE : My aim is to create a series of functional mini-sculptures. Most of my products are handmade by artisans and require a high level of craftsmanship. Some of them can even take up to a month to make. I hope to make products that are both beautiful and useful.
Photo Courtesy : Tarek Elkassouf