"let's have a seat"

Beirut - Lebanon

In Beirut, on Thursday, October 20, at the University of Balamand-ALBA, the event ‘let’s have a seat!’ took place. The workshop seminar organised by the University, in collaboration with the Istituto Italiano di Cultura (Italian Cultural Institute) and the local dealer Chairs Gallery, saw the international designer Marc Sadler illustrate the genesis of a design project, the chair, and specifically illustrate the case history of the maré armchair, iconic chair by Metalmobil. The company’s art director, Guido Benedetti, explained how the project was then developed internally in the company and communicated to the market and the commercial network.

Sadler laid the basis to sketch a specific project and gave the brief to the students. In fact, each student was asked to further elaborate on the theme: ‘Public Seating: vision of the future’.
They were asked to think of a chair for a public venue of the future, trying to meet the quality standards that distinguish the excellence of Italian design in the world, with a clear sign of originality and functionality.
Students were asked to fully explore the technical and design aspects of the chair, thinking about and having as input the future public venue.

At the end of the four hours of work, Sadler, joined by Benedetti, Alessandro Gabellini, Commercial Director of Metalmobil, George Chalhoub, owner of Chairs Gallery, and of course the design teacher of the University, Vrouyr Joubanian, evaluated the work of the class and determined the winner: Alix Lenoir with his project ‘Portable Comfort’, a folding and portable chair, like a bag, for the following reasons: for the completeness and concreteness of the presentation and the good interpretation of the brief, a smart solution that suits the increasingly hectic future lifestyle, with Portable Comfort, the moment of relaxation and sharing is possible everywhere and every place becomes a public venue.

It was a training experience of great depth for this class of design students who saw, in the academic environment, the experience and procedures of the business world, allowing them to work with a great designer, whose work is known and appreciated in the world not only for its originality and aesthetic quality, but also because of the attention paid to the functionality that has always characterized it.
Bringing Metalmobil to a university also has a big value for the company, in fact, the meeting with the young designers of tomorrow is a moment full of stimuli, emotions, and creativity.

In the evening, the event continued in the lecture hall of the University where, after the presentation of the company and Marc Sadler to the community of local architects and interior designers, they hosted the inauguration of the shop in shop alongside the exhibition of a young Lebanese painter, to offer the large number of participants a tangible glimpse of design, art, and culture.
Designed to convey the essence of the brand and the originality of its design, the exhibition corner shop in shop by Metalmobil is a space dedicated to the flagship collections, from the padded products to the outdoor seats and the best-sellers of the brand. It is a predefined, modular, yet versatile and adaptable proposal for the introduction of new future products, a platform able to highlight the Metalmobil design, its style made of formal neutrality, dynamism, simplicity, comfort, and attention to quality. During the inaugural event, the corner was put together at the University, and it is now visible at the Chairs Gallery where the designers or end users can discover and feel with their hands the Metalmobil collections.

The morning workshop with the students and the evening time with the local architects have been moments of knowledge, reflection, and discussion between three interlocutors of the industry: the university, the world of design, and the companies, and they created the opportunity to analyse the various aspects that characterise the design and production process of an object such as the chair, make the students come in contact with future career prospects and the business world, and examine in depth the range of products at the design studies. A surely successful event.