Nada Debs: Jameel Prize 3

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Video Transcript

Nada Debs

 

My work is an extension of my personal experiences. My upbringing in Japan actually started with my great uncle who moved to Japan in 1917. So my father moved to Japan in the fifties and I was bought up there.

 

I found myself coming back to my Arab roots through my own personal journey which is actually being bought up in Japan, studying in the States at the Rhode Island School of Design, living in London, working in the UK, and then thirteen years ago I moved back to Beirut.

 

My general practice involves designing, manufacturing and selling contemporary furniture. Basically what I have been doing is taking the craft of this part of the world and applying it on contemporary forms in order for us to take craft that is traditional but make it look more available to the lifestyle of the people of the present.

 

For the ‘Concrete Carpet’ I worked with Pascal Zoghbi. We took the Japanese calligraphy Kanji and the Arabic Kufi script and we put the two together and superimposed it and we used that to create the font. This font is laid in random words throughout the panels on the concrete carpet and they create a kind of hyper-poetry, like a rhythmical effect on the carpet.

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Nada Debs is a Lebanese furniture and product designer. She studied in the USA and worked in London before returning to Lebanon in 2000 to found East and East, a company that manufactures and sells her furniture and home accessories lines. Debs discusses her application of traditional Arabic crafts to contemporary forms. The works are an extension of her personal experiences and the cultures she has been exposed to.

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