Prestige issue 275, June 2016
Karen Chekerdjian. © Archives Karen Chekerdjian
Who are you? Tell us about your studies … My career in the world of design is characterized by a series of practical experiences in various fields of creation. I made my professional beginnings in communication, designing commercials, graphic design … My Masters in Industrial Design obtained from the Domus Academy in Milan allowed me to work with Massimo Morozzi for EDRA for which he was the artistic Director. He was my mentor and trainer for four years. In 1999 EDRA produced and distributed my first piece of furniture, Mobil, a suspended hanging system.
What did you do when you returned to Beirut? Back in Beirut in 2001, I founded the Karen Chekerdjian Studio. It is based on the dynamic dialogue between the designer and the craftsman which still represents the essence of my work. It is in this workshop that I created collections of furniture, objects, jewelry, under the brand «Series by Karen Chekerdjian», items in limited edition. In 2010, I founded the Karen Chekerdjian Showroom, established in the commercial port of Beirut. And this year, a workshop is planned.
What do you present in this exhibition? Under «Retrieving Beirut», I present a preview of the film that was produced and created especially for my exhibition «Respiration» held at the Museum of the Arab World Institute. I would like to emphasize here that the IMA gave me the green light to create this exhibition.
Why do you participate in this exhibition? What is«Retrieving Beirut» for you? I am a designer based in Beirut. It is therefore quite natural that everything that relates to the capital be essential, or even important to me.
Among your works, which one is closer to your heart? All my creations are the result of work that I take to heart and I realize happily.
What are your future plans? I am preparing to launch the Karen Chekerdjian Workshop, a new area of 600m2 in the industrial area of the port, in Karantina. This will allow me to expose all my designs and pieces. Our showroom will be transferred while the flagship store will always be at the commercial port of Beirut.