We had a dialogue with this year's Maison&Objet Rising Talent Award winner Marc Dibeh about his design approach and process.
My dream is to be the Wes Anderson of design scene by creating a unique visual story telling. I don't want to be pretentious. I am a product designer and I want to make people smile, at least. Seeing the interaction between people and my design makes me really happy.
Photo credits: Charles Cremona and Marco Pinarelli
How did your design practice evolve by time?
First I studied architecture in Paris, and then I came back to Beirut on the 11. July 2006. The next day the war started. I consider this as a sign. I wasn't happy with being an architect in Paris. Despite the war, I decided to stay in Beirut. I completed another bachelor degree in interior architecture, this time in Beirut. The day I wanted to register for my master’s degree, I bumped into my future professor back then, Marc Baroud, who invited me to the product design school to continue my studies. These incidents or even accidents shaped my way to become a product designer. We started to work with Marc Baroud. With this project we went to Miami and Basel in cooperation with Joy Mardini Design Gallery. This was a turning point in my career. Today I am working in three different fields; product design, interior architecture and architecture. Sometimes the architectural projects become very demanding as you spend a certain amount of time with the client. Then I go back to my studio to work on my product design projects.
You work on different scales. How does this effect you work?
I see it as an enriching thing. It allows me to connect various missions. I love this dynamic work cycle.
How do you want to build your career?
My biggest expectation from presenting at Maison&Objet is to be presented to design firms. Right now, I am working with galleries; Joy Mardini Design Gallery in Beirut, Gallery S. Bensimon in Paris, Seeds Gallery in London and Bazaar Noir in Berlin. I would like to also experience serial production by collaborating with design firms. Concerning interior projects, I am really happy as I started to work more and more in abroad. I am working on a residential project in Washington DC right now. I have recently finished a rehabilitation house in Corsica and a house project in London.
What is the Lebanese touch in design from your perspective? Concerning colour, material, making techniques…
I guess there is not a strong Lebanese identity concerning aesthetics. In general, we can observe a lot of adaptations in the Lebanese design. We don't have new technologies or materials. Concerning our heritage, it is again a mix of various cultures; Roman, Venetian, Phoenician, Ottoman, French and others. You ask yourself why a designer worked with a certain technique or material. Then you learn that the craftsmen he worked together could do it only this way. These limitations lead to adaptation. This is typical Lebanese for me.
Which discussions in the design scene catch your attention right now?
Sustainability shouldn't be a trend but a fact. Sustainability should be established as one of the main rules of design. I am 33 years old. I want to discover more and grow. I am a curios internet guy. Dezeen, Designboom and some other good publications are very important for the design scene. I love narrative design. I want to share my stories with people through design. My dream is to be the Wes Anderson of design scene by creating a unique visual story telling. I don't want to be pretentious. I am a product designer and I want to make people smile, at least. Seeing the interaction between people and my design makes me really happy.
What are your upcoming projects?
My solo show, Dimanche 6, opened on the 21. September in Joy Mardini Design Gallery. I lost my mother on a Sunday 3 years ago. It was a very hard time as you can imagine. I am revisiting this time but not in a sad mood. Here I want to show the power of being able to create which can convert event a sad moment like this into a story to share with others.