Forget pretty things

Designing solutions to Lebanon's social ills

Vit-e's workshop on design citizenship conducted by Nathalie Fallaha and Nadine Kanafani was featured in the Middle East Eye (link


One afternoon last month, Natalie Fallaha led a free Design Citizenship workshop at the Lebanese American University (LAU), as part of Beirut Design Week. After a general introduction to design theory, she divided the attendees – students, young professionals, as well as older people, only a few of whom were design professionals – into three groups according to the types of social problems they most wanted to address. One particularly stylish group wanted to address problems faced by Lebanese fashion designers; the other two focused on how to promote upcycling in Beirut, and how to get young people in Beirut more engaged with the Lebanese dialect of Arabic.

“It is an absolute necessity to introduce ideas of design to non-designers,” says Fallaha, the founder of branding and digital agency vit-e, and former LAU lecturer in design thinking. “A design thinking approach provides an added value to any discipline – the added value being a rational and informed way to envision the solution to a certain issue, benchmarked by research and a critical sense.”