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Designing for a cause

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The Indian digital platform Design Pataki, based in Mumbai, dialogues with the Lebanese architect Richard Yasmine, who explains why so many of his collections are inspired by the socio-cultural context in which they are conceived

The Lebanese architect Richard Yasmine’s response to the question as to whether the fact that his work is often inspired by the surrounding socio-cultural context is a conscious decision amounts to a manifesto: “Yes, for sure. Since I was born in the Middle East, I was conscious about a lot of contradictions and taboos in my society. Therefore, since my university studies it has been my ambition to highlight and raise awareness of various problems in the society along with spreading awareness of my cultural heritage. I would like each individual in the society to contemplate with sensibility, ask and believe in diversity, equality, feminism, regardless religion, skin color, sexual orientation besides many additional matters which most are still afraid to open a dialog around…”.

Yasmine’s work manages to convey an allegorical air, as in the Wake Up Call collection of table lamps resting on abandoned birds’ nests, which transmits a sense of environmental awareness. Dreams and visions materialise into tangible objects in his skilled hands.

He often translates the emotional experiences around him into design objects which, in turn, arouse a multitude of emotions in their viewers and envelop them “in a visual experience that is part reality and part fantasy. Designing these objects is a personal process through which Yasmine responds to the socio-cultural dynamics which surround him,” the author Tarjani Samani writes.

The author concludes with a more general observation: “More and more designers now acknowledge the responsibility they hold towards the need of thoughtful inclusive designs and realize the various implications behind the production process. Some designers work towards material sustainability while some work towards social sustainability.



Original Text: Tarjani Samani

Photo: Courtesy of Design Pataki

Magazine: Design Pataki

Publisher: Design Pataki

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18 November 2021