Karen Chekerdjian is a Beirut based designer who attended the Domus Academy Master’s in Industrial Design in 1997. Karen began by studying cinema and then moved into the world of advertising, establishing one of the first branding agencies in Lebanon.
The Milanese period is a phase of transformation, she met and collaborated with her mentor Massimo Morozzi, a founding member of Archizoom and Art Director at Edra. During their time together, Karen produced her first piece, Mobil, which was fabricated and distributed by Edra (1999), marking the beginning of her new career.
In 2001, Chekerdjian returned to Beirut and there she founded a design studio in order to continue actively rethinking and redefining her métier and methods.
Interested in tradition and culturally specific artisanal skills, she began working with local artisans, transforming the process of handcraft into distinct product design.
The studio has developed into an eponymous brand that produces series furniture and accessories collection, limited edition furniture, custom-made unique works and practices spacial design.
Between 2014 and 2016, Karen exhibited Trans|Form at Beirut Art Center in her native city, followed by Design Miami in Basel and Miami with Carwan Galerie. In 2016, Respiration, a retrospective of her work, opened at L’Institut du Monde Arabe and Galerie Dutko in Paris.
Karen’s work, considered works of art, objects and/or architectures, has been in many international exhibitions and galleries over the past twenty years.
“I had the chance to do all my learning furniture design in 1997 at Domus Academy with the most talented minds of Italian design. From Morozzi to Branzi and many others. They made me understand that design is not only about technique and comfort. Furniture became for me a way to give life to a space.
Every furniture becomes a search for a meaning and a story. It is also an encounter between a craftsman and a designer.
From there, I decided to go back to Lebanon and to be one of the first to develop design in a country that did not know much about it. Today I am proud to have my own eponym brand and especially to have helped and inspired many future generations of designers in Lebanon.”
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