Lebanese furniture designer Karen Chekerdjian will be featured for the first time in the UK in a solo exhibition entitled Designing the Middle East Beirut. The exhibition, which opens May 31 – July 19 at the 19 Greek Street Gallery in London, will explore how certain challenges resulted in new ways of creating and making through a process of trial and error.
The Elephant Armchair
“Designing the Middle East Beirut is further celebration of this region’s unique approach to creativity despite the restraints in fully realizing a project, which demonstrates how contemporary design responds to its contextual surroundings without losing its universal power,” said 19 Greek Street owner and creative director Marc Péridis.
Chekerdjian set up her studio in 2001, which evolved from a conceptual think-tank to a production-oriented entity. Despite the challenges she faced, chiefly in terms of the availability of materials and manufacturing techniques, Chekerdjian has overcome these obstacles by re-thinking her approach to design.
The Cookie Paper
Work on display, such as Cookie Paper, has the appearance of an upside down cupcake and is folded from a single sheet of metal without welding of any kind.
The Pouf is an indestructible version of the low, cushioned seats popular all over the Middle East with this version cleverly produced from beaten metal and a pseudo-rattan top made from hand-perforated mesh.
The Dernakeh, named after a type of drum traditional from the region, is a set including a side table and accompanying hourglass stool, which reinterprets the nomadic dining set—often no more than a tray placed on a large cushion. Chekerdjain’s objects are a testimony to the ingenuity of design ideas and their manual execution.
The Wing Stool and Side Table Collection
19 Greek Street celebrates international contemporary design and honors the values of craftsmanship, sustainability and design aesthetics. Established by Peridis, the six-floor Victorian townhouse hosts an eclectic and contrasting mix of collections.
Alongside this exhibition will be two floors of vintage and re-editioned pieces by Espasso, the Brazilian design specialists, which houses its European outpost at 19 Greek Street.