On December 1st , the Beirut Art Center was bustling with energy. Upstairs, or in the Lebanese designers space, took place an exhibition of rocking chairs. Among the crowd, a man in a white-shirt invited people to sit on the chairs to discover them. The man was Karim Chaya, whose creations filled the space, inside and outside! The day was the opening of his exhibition, “Beirut Rock Center.” .
Karim Chaaya grew up in Beirut and studied Industrial Design at Rhode Island School of Design in the United States.
Growing up, he remembers watching his father “always working with his hands… He did things and made us do things and fix things and change things…” Yet, his father also “taught [him] to use [his] eyes before using [his] hands”, a philosophy he applies to design to this day.
His university training imparted him a very hands-on approach to design, reminiscent of Bauhaus methods, where, “before you learn how to design a chair or table you have to know how to make it. You have to know materials, methods, machines, and techniques.” His final graduation project is his beloved metal chair. Continue reading