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Surrounded by the bespoke, sparkling high-end products of Dubai Design Week's seventh edition of the Downtown Design exhibition, the much younger MADAR section stands out.Curated by Lebanon's Ghassan Salameh, the former creative director of Beirut Design Week, the section focuses on non-commercial research-based projects from 42 exhibitors from nine MENA countries, divided into 12 categories.In this second iteration of MADAR, nine of the projects showcased come from Lebanon. The projects were chosen by Salameh, who selected designers who were doing work on responsible, sustainable design -- such as waste management, combating pollution and spotlighting startups offering practical solutions to longstanding problems.The section also has many projects related to fabrication and generative design, with a lot of material experiments that designers are doing, to be able to come up with new materials and production processes.While creating innovative designs is often considered a step forward, Salameh sees this as half the effort in making change on a wider scale, something he sees as especially relevant in the case of Lebanese design.
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