Nada Debs - furniture designer
Nada Debs was brought up in Kobe, studied at Rhode Island School of Design and worked in London before moving 'back' to Beirut, a city she barely knew, in 1999. By rights then, she deserves to be confused. Instead, as heir to two disparate cultures, Debs has chosen a design path that marries the geometric but decorative Middle Eastern tradition with the pure forms of Japan. This quest is evident in the two eponymous design stores she runs in central Beirut's Saifi Village; the newer is devoted to Debs' larger items that make up her East Is East collection, as well as her most recent armchair, Arabesque Moderne, which lies somewhere between art and functionality.
'Of course, furniture has to look good, but it has to feel good too and not only to sit with emotionally, but also to sit on physically,' Debs says. 'This trend of furniture as art, I like the idea but for me, it's more important that furniture is functional.' And, she reflects: 'If you go to Japan, you see this geometric work. It looks almost Middle Eastern, it's funny how there are similarities. Sometimes, I don't know where I am. I'm lost in translation. Okay, maybe not lost, more like in the process of evolution.'