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In the corner of the Seaside Arena exhibition hall that is housing the Beirut Design Fair this week, a skeletal scaffold rises from the floor."Saint Balech" is the brainchild of interior architect Donna Maria Feghali, founder of the cultural platform Retrieving Beirut, and artist Charbel Samuel Aoun, who were invited by the fair's organizers to create the installation.The combative piece, Feghali said, is intended as a rebuke of the lack of design in the development of the modern city of Beirut. According to Feghali, cutting off Beirutis from the sea has not only eliminated a key aspect of the city's "golden age," but is also making it more difficult for the city's residents to care about one of its major issues – pollution – to which the repurposed plastic bottles are a sardonic allusion.Galal Mahmoud, founder of the architecture and design firm GM Architects, who designed the fair's scenography, is trying to encourage a more positive way of thinking about the city's future.This vision for the future, inspired by the past, is essential for Beirut's next generation of designers, said Hala Moubarak, the fair's co-founder and creative and design director.
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