Today, My Design Agenda is going to present you the six extremely skilled rising talents that were chosen by the jury of the event. The chosen ones – Anastasia Nysten, Carla Baz, Carlo Massoud, Marc Dibeh, Paola Sakrand Studio Caramel – are a representation of the future of Lebanese design, a new generation that has followed the footsteps of their ancestors by putting their international experience to the service of local, usually little-known manufacturing techniques. Let’s get to know more about each and every one of these talented designers.
Coming from a multicultural background, Anastasia Nystew chose Lebanon to pursue a degree in industrial design at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts. In 2015, she established her own design studio specialized in furniture and interiors. Besides the honor of being chosen to be a part of the Rising Talents selection, Nysten has also been distinguished by the Beirut Design Fair for the design of her Troll Chair, which combined Scandinavian comfort with a bold aesthetic. This is one of the characteristic features of her work, which systematically pushes formal research beyond the classics, but always makes use of natural materials.
The French-Lebanese designer has a masters degree in product design for the Luxury Industry from ECAL Lausanne and even work for the Zaha Hadid Architects at some time. Calling on the expertise of Lebanon’s most experienced artisans, her furniture reveals the beauty of fine materials. One of the best examples of this is her Hay Bench, a handcrafted design made of solid oak and completed using traditional cane weaving techniques. In addition, her stunning Borgia candelabra was produced by Bonadea. The extraordinary design was made from solid brass, hand-brushed and hand-polished.
Carlo Massoud graduated from the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts and ECAL Lausanne, and afterward, moved to New York to further enhance his craft. Through an artistic approach, his work is best defined by a balance between functional design and art, while also having a social and political statement, take, for example, the African fertility dolls inspired his Autopsy project, a collection of stools that he designed in collaboration with his sister Mary-Lynn Massoud, the Otto du Plessis foundry and the South African Imiso ceramicist Andile Dyalvane. He has also come to explore new manufacturing processes for brass pieces, such as Boule and Capture.
Mar Dibeh has a masters degree in product design from the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts. After that, he gained experience by working alongside Marc Baroud. He gives great importance to create something that has a story while also keeping that same interior or product timeless and simple. Please, Don’t Tell Mom is one of his most compelling designs. It is comprised of five mirrors that were broken accordingly and elevated by angles in order to form a 3D shape. Inspired by the “Jungle Protocol” exhibition held during the House of Today’s Design Biennial, Dibeh created a very dramatic rattan umbrella system, which he named “Somewhere Under the Leaves”, an evocation of a safe haven in the jungle.
Paola Skar graduated from the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts in product design. Nevertheless, she is quite skilled in other areas as well, including photography and art.Everything she creates has their own story, for instance, Impermanence which is a series of vases was made from a pile of concrete cylinders she found on the edge of a construction site. At the same, the designer also has the ability to transform things into useful objects, such as the Morning Ritual collection, consisting of recycled coffee grounds and old newspapers.
Studio Caramel is comprised of Karl Chucri and Rami Boush, who first met when they were studying interior designer at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts in Beirut, but it was only a few years later that the dynamic duo reunited to create their studio in 2016. Some of the duo’s most iconic pieces are the Mirage music box and the Indolente armchair. These designs bring a nostalgic feeling of the 50’s and consequently benefit from vintage details and historical references. They were also behind the design of the Baron bar cart for a restaurant designed by FaR Architects.