This was a live brief in collaboration with Public Works Studio and the Lebanese Physical Handicapped Union, concerning accessibility and integration in Lebanon, focusing on the case of people with disabilities.
The project questions how key existing urban public space in Beirut can be reclaimed and how new visions can be afforded to enable minority groups to be more integrated within the social and physical engagements of the city.
Like many cities, Beirut has significant challenges to social and physical equality and integration in many of its public spaces. Too often the needs and ideals for minority groups are ‘inserted’ into visions for public spaces as after thoughts within the design process. Consequently, this creates urban spaces that actively ‘disable’ many of the physical and social activities and interactions of those who have different abilities – be they physical, social, cultural, religious or technological.
Beirut Moments aims to raise awareness, challenge perceptions and shift attitudes regarding disability and its material culture.
After extensive research and immersing ourselves within the culture of Beirut, my group and I decided focus on the ramp. We explored its deconstruction, giving it new meaning and subverting its concept; utilising a single object to direct the voices of the community, acting as a lens for their narratives. We wanted to emphasise the ramp as an object of plurality, celebrating the archetype, branching out, allowing it to give access to other things in the world.
During the project we grew a rich network of different communities within Beirut. Through this contact we received an exciting opportunity to publish our project in a magazine called Rusted Radishes in their issue ‘The Political City: the Human Condition in a Politically Changing Landscape.’
Rusted Radishes is a magazine featuring exclusive works from a diverse range of emerging and establish creatives, curating a striking interdisciplinary collage of fluid symbols of Lebanon. This opportunity acts as a platform for our project to engage with a wider audience, allowing our concept to grow.