Box fresh: unconventional packaging ideas from 13 global designers
In time to provide plenty of Christmas wrapping inspiration, Beirut-based Joy Mardini Design Gallery asked 13 international and local designers to reinterpret the idea of a ‘box’, for its annual group show. From jewellery to cigar to music boxes, each one reflects the aesthetic of its creator – and the sensibility of its contents. Alongside process sketches, the exhibition presents the outcome of each designer’s individual enquiry, aiming to step outside the established notion of what the archetypal box is, or can be. ‘This Side Up’ runs until 3 February 2018.
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Opened in 2015, the small Beirut-based design workshop Sayar & Garibeh (founded by Stephanie Sayar and Charbel Garibeh) aims to create innovative, unique objects like this sweet box, shaped with alternating brass and steel compartments, like the layers of a cake.
This cross-stitch-inspired jewellery box features an embroidered leather exterior and painted wood interior, courtesy of multidisciplinary practice Stéphanie Moussallem, based in Beirut.
Rendered in painted brass and steel, ‘Yasale’ (which means ‘write’ in English) is a deconstructed take on a stationary box by interior architect Niko Koronis. It puts the contents of the stand on view, front and centre.
French interior architect Charles Kalpakian has put the fun in functional with his graphic, elephant-shaped toybox, in poplar wood and birch plywood.
In red travertine, a pourous stone with marine origins, comes this watch stand from Atelier2té – a young studio founded in 2015 by Lebanese-Polish sisters and architects Tessa and Tara Sakhi.
Borrowing her concept from Russian dolls, Carla Baz’s three-part storage system, ‘Malishka’, is rendered in embroidered leather, intended to house trinkets and jewellery.
Burmese teak wood, French oak and brass make up david/nicolas’ opulent backgammon box. It's a heritage-meets-contemporary offering from the ‘retrofuturistic’ design studio.
The ceramic ‘Naked Raku’ box by Hala Matta is more vessel than packaging idea. Created using traditional raku techniques (in which the potter removes the vessel from the kiln while at bright red heat and places it into containers with combustible materials), it has a fractured, imperfect exterior.
This solid American walnut music box by Studio Caramel, an interior and multi–disciplinary product design studio established in 2016, features an on-show Reuge mechanism – a movement defined by its visual, as well as audio, impact – created in partnership with the Swiss manufacturer.
Nada Debs’ dining kit is designed for refined eating on the go. The leather and plywood table mat, complete with slots for cutlery, can be rolled up and transported easily, keeping its contents secure and clean.
This opulent cigar box, with a Canadian cedar interior and chiseled black lacquered wood exterior, is designed by Lebanese product designer and craftsman Thomas Trad, who cut his teeth with Fredrikson Stallard.
Founder of Wood&, Georges Mohasseb is renowned for his celebration of raw and organic materials, as displayed in his walnut and brushed-and-polished brass modular shoe-shine box.
The transparent ‘Coral’ jewellery box by Alya Tannous allows its contents to shine. It comprises blown glass, a velvet pouch and a ceramic coral-shaped fixture from which rings and bracelets hang.
Elly Parsons is the Digital Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees Wallpaper.com and its social platforms. She has been with the brand since 2015 in various roles, spending time as digital writer – specialising in art, technology and contemporary culture – and as deputy digital editor. She was shortlisted for a PPA Award in 2017, has written extensively for many publications, and has contributed to three books. She is a guest lecturer in digital journalism at Goldsmiths University, London, where she also holds a masters degree in creative writing. Now, her main areas of expertise include content strategy, audience engagement, and social media.
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