Lebanese architects Roula Salamoun and Ieva Saudargaite have created an installation that tackles the recent international concerns with security and travel which has “changed the way bodies move across borders”. The installation is showcased at the 2017 Beirut Design Week, in Lebanon’s capital.
Entitled NATIONMETRIX, visitors are invited to navigate through an experience of travelling as a Lebanese passport, walking through a thousands of vertically suspended recycled plastic ribbons.
The artwork uses the idea of a passport as a metaphor for travel, reflecting on issues such as citizenship and previous travel history, where people are forced to undergo various “hierarchical scanning and control procedures as a result of travel restrictions”.
The installation “functions as a heat map of varying density and opacity”, with each area hosting an attributed audio piece, a release states.
“We wanted to create an environment where, even if you knew that you were crossing thresholds between areas, the whole thing would throw you back in to confusion,” the architect said.
“The speakers, booming voices from above, are distinct but are also heard as a cacophony of instructions and indications.”
Salamoun is a Beirut-based architect whose practice focuses on trans-scalar design and architecture. Saudargaite is also a Beirut-based, Lithuanian-Lebanese visual artist whose work investigates questions of territory.
The sixth edition of Beirut Design Week runs from the 19-26 May.
Last year, designMENA spoke to various Design Weeks in the Middle East, including Beirut, Dubai and Amman about the progress of design in the region. Read more: Middle East design scene: are we there yet?