KEY CHALLENGES In the process of finding answers to the research questions, various challenges have been encountered that were a setback in the collection of information and the understanding of the design industry. MENA DRC would like to address these challenges to inform researchers in case of future projects and to emphasize on the importance of the collection and organisation of data.
THE ABSENCE OF DATA There is an enormous lack of data concerning the design industry. MENA DRC assumes that this lack correlates with the underestimated value of design. In countries where the economic value of design is acknowledged, like the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, the development of the industry is documented in detail. An overview of the amount designers and design related companies, market shares, annual turnover and average wages is published every year. In Lebanon however, this data is not available. In order to develop a solid development strategy, this data is very much needed.
THE LACK OF TRANSPARENCY On an economical scale there is barely any transparency. There are few companies that share the turnover and the wages of employees. Most banks are not completely transparent about loans and investments, especially in the field of design. The government is keeping their expenses completely secret. Transparency is important for building trust and responsibility; two elements that are essential for the development of an economy.
THE LACK OF ORGANISATION There are many people in the Lebanese design industry who are not organised. In general, there is a lack of a structured business plan, a model for price determination and financial reports. Organising a business would help a lot in defining opportunities to grow.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS RESEARCH DIRECTOR: DOREEN TOUTIKIAN LEAD RESEARCHER: JUDITH LEIJDEKKERS GRANT AND SUPPORT: HIVOS This report would never have been possible without the honesty of all 100 designers who filled out the questionnaire. MENA Design Research Center would like to thank everyone who has supported this research project. We would like to thank the following people in particular, who took their time to give insight in the design industry in Lebanon: Claudine Abdelmassih (Arab Center for Architecture) Ziad Abichaker (GGRIL, Cedar Environmental) Hani Asfour (Polypod) Soha Atallah (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) Marc Baroud (Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts) Sarah Beydoun (Sarah’s Bag) Elias Bitar (Kallas Law Firm) Karim Chaya (ACID) John Chehaibar (Beirut Creative Cluster) Guillaume Crédoz (Rapid Manufactory) Sarah Hermez (Creative Space Beirut) Bernard Khoury (DW5) Simone Kosremelli Milia Maroun (Milia M) Cyrille Najjar (White sur White) Denise Sumpf and Vladimir Isaila (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia) Yasmine Taan (Lebanese American University) Rana Yazigi (Platform 39)