//COMMAND: COMMANDLINE  / by Beirut Makers

BeirutMakers back for winter exhibition from 21 to 28 February 2017 at Station

BeirutMakers present their third design exhibition under the title Command: Commandline, showcasing a variety of locally-developed know-how's for authoring, editing and hybridizing digital and physical media as a mode of design. Set around organizing two exhibitions each year, this winter BeirutMakers invited two independent curators Adham Selim and Dima Hamadeh to join their effort for bringing digital design and fabrication to the fore of discussion over the future of design in Lebanon and the region. 

The exhibition draws on the notion of the commandline, a software utility upon which many design programs are based, as the key to defining the relationship between the designer and design-object. Relayed as a sequence of orders, this relationship outlines the designer’s newfound agency to make design decisions that are at the same time defined by syntax and material meaning. Juggling; tweaking; zooming in and out; bifurcating; reversing through different commands yields different possibilities for tentative, accidental and playful design-objects. 

In this exhibition, artifacts and their traces in time such as: materials, tools, machines, techniques, etc. are re-synchronized and condensed into one code/design-object that is not merely a representation of the final artifact, but a performative embodiment of it; a log of instructions that summons it into existence. These design-objects effectively replace a diverse array of material and intellectual apparatuses used for the aesthetic production and evaluation of design artifacts, thus presenting objects that are forms of knowledge: edited, tweaked and deployed in alternative forms.

Command: Commandline showcases objects, codes, relations and systems designed by five designers, revealing the various processes, choices, errors, undo's and transfigurations behind the finishedness of the exhibited objects. The exhibition features the latest designs by four members of the BeirutMakers collective: Ahmad Khouja, Guillaume Crédoz, Karim Chaya and Stephanie Bachir. Additionally, world-renowned designer, Janne Kyttanen, will be a special guest of the exhibition. 

Each designer presents their own interpretation of tool-specific, material-researched and digitally conceptualized objects. Whether a piece of furniture, a lighting fixture or a wearable item, these designs take form, material, tool and technique as their primary site of inquiry to develop a localized take on digital design. In certain instances, such inquiry informs not only the form of the piece but also the very chemical composition of materials involved in its production (Ahmad Khouja). In other cases, it transforms into a series of procedural abstractions where twisting the steel sections of a chair to make it structurally stable, connecting a lamp's rotation with the intensity of the light it emits or smoothing the surface of an eye-wear to match user's facial contour, becomes a regime of design-thought where the designer produces material-specific information rather than objects (Guillaume Crédoz). This also translates in the designs of Janne Kyttanen, who sent his objects to Beirut as codes via internet, and in so doing, questions the object-hood of these objects. On a different scale, Stephanie Bachir mathematically analyzes the human body's surface and turns it into a triangulated surfaces ready to be manufactured out of flat-sheet materials, thus radicalizing couture.

This exhibition comes as a timely contribution to the emergent discourse on the future of design in the region, not only as a profession but as a practice that characterizes and redefines all forms of human endeavor.