Maison & Object Paris | 6 emerging designers from Lebanon for the next ‘Rising Talents Awards’


Organized every year by MAISON&OBJET, the ‘Rising Talents Awards‘ is a platform for promoting young designers by giving them a chance to exhibit their work for an audience of international professionals. For the upcoming edition – to be held at the ‘Parc des Expositions’, Paris Nord Villepinte, from 7 to 11 September 2018it is now Lebanon’s turn to present its talents.

cover: Paola Sakr, “Impermanence vases”, Collection of seven concrete vases made of abandoned pieces and material scraps, photo courtesy of Paola Sakr.

Marc Baroud, designer and member of the selection jury says: “The essential characteristic of design in Lebanon is the multiplicity of its influences. There is no cultural standard, no industrial heritage, and therefore no ‘ideology’ on function, whether formalized or otherwise. It is a great liberty …”
Unconstrained by the weight of industrial tradition, designers have however been able to rely on an immense wealth of artisanal crafts. Hala Mubarak – main promoter of the first Beirut Design Fair – put in: “Ancestral crafts that have been passed on through generations giving life to contemporary designs have put the Lebanese creative community in the spotlight. Refined aesthetics, clean lines, and a taste for noble materials are the main features that have allowed Lebanese design to start forming an identity.”

Carlo Massoud, Marc Dibeh, Carla Baz, Anastasia Nysten, Caramel Studio and Paola Sakr: these are the names chosen by the Jury members of the ‘Rising Talents Awards’ to represent the future of Lebanese design. A new generation that has followed in their elders’ footsteps by putting their international experience to the service of local, usually little-known manufacturing techniques.


Caramel Studio – Karl Chucri and Rami Boushdid met when they were both studying interior design at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts in Beirut. After earning their master’s degrees – from IED Madrid for Karl and from Politecnico di Milano for Rami –, they met again in Lebanon and founded Studio Caramel in 2016. Their personal experiences in various architecture firms have influenced their approach to furniture design. Mirage music box, similarly to other pieces in their collection, suggests a nostalgia for the 1950s featuring vintage details and historical references. Image: Mirage music box, photo courtesy of Caramel Studio


Paola Sakr  – Trained as a designer – she studied product design at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts – Paola Sakr also engages with various other creative disciplines, from photography to art. This multidisciplinary approach has allowed her to satisfy her passion for innovation as well as to cultivate curiosity as the main source of inspiration for her work. Image: “Impermanence vases”, Collection of 7 concrete vases made of abandoned pieces and material scraps, photo courtesy of Paola Sakr. website:


Carla Baz – Half-French, half-Lebanese, Carla Baz started studying at ESAG Penninghen in Paris before she went on to earn a Master’s in Product Design for the Luxury Industry in 2010 from ECAL Lausanne, where she met many designers, including Fernando Campana and Ronan Bouroullec. In London, she completed her training by joining Zaha Hadid Architects and subsequently decided to start her solo career, an initiative that was soon rewarded by the Boghossian Foundation. Image: Borgia Candelabra product by Bonadea. Photo © Bonadea; website:


Anastasia Nisten – Born in Ottawa, Canada, Anastasia Nysten grew up in Finland, France and Lebanon. She chose Lebanon to pursue her degree in Industrial Design at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts, and later to start her career with Karen Chekerdjian. After three years in London, where she worked with Michael Anastassiades, she established her studio in 2015. Today, working from Beirut and Dubai, Anastasia expresses her multicultural background through her designs, both for furniture and interiors. image: Troll chair, courtesy of Anastasia Nisten; website:


Marc Dibeh – After studying at the École Nationale Supérieure de Paris Val De Seine, Marc Dibeh returned to Beirut to pursue a Master’s in Product Design at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts. After a three-year experience working alongside Marc Baroud, Marc opened his studio in 2009. Today, the two designers still regularly collaborate, most notably on Dibeh’s Wires series, which took him to DesignMiami in 2013. Featured in institutions such as Gallery S. Bensimon in Paris and Seeds London Gallery, his work skilfully plays on the notion of narrative, as exemplified by the five mirrors from his Please, Don’t Tell Mom range, specially designed for the Art Factum Gallery. Image: Camille Cake Stand, from ‘a narrative selection of stolen products’; photo © Marco Pinarelli. Website:


Carlo Massoud   After graduating from the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts and ECAL Lausanne, Carlo Massoud moved to New York, where he joined Nasser Nakib Architect to oversee bespoke furniture design for the firm’s high-end residential projects. His career as an independent designer, (started in 2014), is based on an artistic approach, with projects that fluctuate between functional design and artistic installation, usually incorporating social and political messages. Image: Mar Mikhayel, photo © Filippo Bamberghi.

Parc des Expositions, Paris Nord Villepinte,
7 / 11 September, 2018

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