AN ART & DESIGN DISTRICT FOR DOWNTOWN BEIRUT?
Beirut: The Aïshti Foundation and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) joined forces to host “Shaping Cities Through Art and Design,” a panel discussion that focused on the importance of art and architecture for successful urban planning.
The symposium was held at the Aïshti Foundation, and it featured an international panel moderated by Amale Andraos, dean of Columbia’s GSAPP and co-founder of architecture firm WORKac. Other speakers included William Sawaya, partner at architecture firm Sawaya & Moroni; designer Karen Chekerdjian; Barry Bergdoll, professor of Art History at Columbia and curator at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA); Nicolai Ouroussoff, former architecture critic for the New York Times and adjunct associate professor of Architecture at Columbia; Julian Rose, co-founder of architecture laboratory Formlessfinder and adjunct assistant professor of Architecture at Columbia; Hanan Sayed Worrell, senior representative for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in Abu Dhabi; and Hala Wardé, founder of HW Architecture and partner at Ateliers Jean Nouvel.
The panel discussed their varied proposals for the creation of an art and design district in Downtown Beirut. Their suggestions were the result of a daylong workshop that was preceded by a tour of Downtown Beirut and its historic and contemporary architectural landmarks.
After the discussion and a Q&A session, Vietnamese-born, Danish artist Danh Vō unveiled a new installation, Untitled, composed of cardboard boxes from Mexico depicting motifs of beer companies. The reverse side of each box features the original 13-star design of the American flag, gilded with gold leaf, with 27 flags in total. The installation hangs from the ceiling along with various farm tools.
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