MID Students, Faculty Explore Cross-Cultural Design Methods in Beirut

Month-long Master of Industrial Design project culminates in exhibit and presentation during Beirut Design Week June 24 – 30

June 10, 2013

How do design tools and methods translate across cultural, linguistic and geographical lines? And how do the underlying assumptions and values embedded within these practices sit within other cultural contexts?

These are the questions that Master of Industrial Design Associate Professor Jonas Milder and graduate students Jordan Shade MID '14, Min-Wen Yeh MID '14, Nidhi Jalwal MID '14 and Vrouyr Joubanian MID '14 (pictured left to right above) are attempting to answer during their month-long design project in Beirut, Lebanon. Through workshops and focused fieldwork, the MID team will collaborate with Lebanese students and designers to explore the shifting definition and application of design methods and tools in the Beirut context.

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The project will culminate in an exhibition and public presentation during Beirut Design Week 2013, being held June 24 – 30. The four grad students will be joined by Assistant Professor and MID program head Jeremy Beaudry during the second annual conference to discuss their experiences in Beirut.

Essential to the project was the MID team's partnership with the MENA Design Research Center, a Beirut-based non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the understanding of design and developing its role as a creative tool for the enhancement of society at large in the Middle East and North Africa. Studio workspace was provided by AltCity, a co-working and incubator space created to facilitate, mobilize, encourage and support high-impact entrepreneurship and innovation in Lebanon and the region.

The University of the Arts' Faculty and Academic Development Fund generously supported this project, with special assistance from Associate Provost Jim Savoie.

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