Design is here to Disrupt!

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We just spent three days at the Design!/Disrupt ideathon. Three days of scratching our minds, coming up with ideas, letting go of others, developing them with mentors and getting inspired by participants with a great energy for positive change in the country.

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Design!/Disrupt was organised by MENA design research centre in partnership with HIVOS and took place at Dawawine in Gemmayzeh.
10 teams with 10 disruptive ideas were selected from more than 90 applications, in 7 different categories. You can read more about the participating teams here.

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Dima Boulad from BGP, teamed up with Pamela Haydamous from Green Studios and designer Celine Khairallah to enter the competition with a question:

How do we make use of leftover spaces in Beirut to make it greener?

We were especially inspired by Paul Hugues’ ten meters of thinking presentations that helped us clarify our idea and perfect our pitch.
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After three intensive days, we developed our question into a solution that we presented to a jury on Sunday night.

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.. And we won!
The project received great feedback and support from the judges. We are very happy to announce that the jury selected our team and gave “Meter Mrabba3″ (Square meter) a chance to take part in an exhibition of the winning projects during Beirut Design Week in June 2015.

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Congratulations to our fellow winners! Mabrouk to the bomb shelter project, “Khallik metel Sami” and the Beirut River.
Another great environmental project to lookout for: The Beirut River by The Other Dada in collaboration with Made For Brands.

We would like to thank MENA DRC and their partners for this great opportunity. See you at Beirut Design Week in June!

 

 

 

 

 

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Green your Lunch tomorrow

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Spring is finally here and Green Your Lunch is back! Join us on Saturday April 18th, starting 2:30 pm, in Horsh Tabet garden for the first of this series of picnic gatherings in public green spaces around Beirut.
https://www.facebook.com/events/1641582839411608/

The first 10 to arrive will be offered complimentary meals by our generous sponsor Cup & Roll.

Following the picnic, there will be a 90 minute by donation Vinyasa Flow – Karma Yoga Class at 4:30 pm with Sharon Ghanimé.

Bring your picnic lunches, your positive vibes, your park props and let’s make this a picnic to remember!

Beirut Green Project

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#1month1park: Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. Cape Town, South Africa.

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Breathtaking nature

South Africa’s nature is absolutely incredible. While Paris has its Eiffel Tower, Cape Town has got its famous Table Mountain, and obviously anything that isn’t man made is always much more grandiose and impressive.

What makes it even better is that South Africans know how to honor their nature, respect it, live in harmony with it, and make use of it.

For example, there are no bins in their National Parks because they don’t want wild animals getting used to having food easily from humans waste, so it’s important to them to keep things the way they naturally are, so people just keep their trash with them after a nice picnic and then throw them in a bin once out of the park. 

They know that the earth has to be respected, and that it shouldn’t be used as a garbage.

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Education

The other thing that struck me in their culture, is the importance of education, anywhere. In the worst of times, during apartheid, the prisoners of Robben Island would take any opportunity they have to learn, their moto was “each one teach one”, and they ended up having their own university and getting degrees from one of the worst prisons of the world.

With this in mind, what I particularly appreciated in Kirstenbosch (besides the incredible beauty of it) was the fact that every opportunity was taken to teach the visitors about plants, animals, and their surroundings.

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Architecture – Design 
Cape Town was the world capital of design in 2014 and for good reason too. The city is full of emerging designers with great ideas and design is a part of everything. Any little restaurant in the center will have a gorgeous brand identity and a really cool interior decoration. To celebrate Kirstenbosch’s centenary, they built a walkway over the trees called “Tree Canopy”. It is a great walk for the visitors and it enables them to see the surrounding nature from a different point of view. The structure was designed to be non-intrusive and low maintenance, it blends in with the vegetation and allows most trees to grow around it (always that respect I was talking about)

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Sports – Hiking
Cape Town is one of the best places I’ve seen for outdoor sports. And obviously, when you live in a town where it is completely normal to run, hike, swim, climb, kayak, paraglide, dive, horse ride… well, everyone is super fit and beautiful. So when you’re just wandering in a park and see a nice little pond with a beautiful trail, it might just be a 1h hiking trail and if you decide to follow it, you’ve done your workout for the day (and that’s what happened to us)!

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Culture – Concerts
What’s also great about Kirstenbosch, is that they have their own festival that they call the “Summer Sunset Concerts”. The lineup mixes local bands and international acts, and the atmosphere is super peaceful and chilled out. They don’t sell any food or drinks, so people come with their picnic gear, sleeping bags and of course, they take their trash with them once the concert is over. We saw Paolo Nutini (a-m-a-z-i-n-g) and we were lucky enough to catch him running in the park earlier that day (but then he saw the look in our eyes, and decided to run faster).
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Here it is. Cape Town rocks, Kirstenbosch rocks in a very fancy way, and I would say it would be great to apply all of the points stated above to Beirut, we have the nature, we have the culture, the beauty, the sports, I guess the only thing missing to our equation is respect for nature and community work, but it can be done…actually it has to be done.

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. Cape Town, South Africa
by Talia Souki.

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#1month1park is Beirut Green Project’s latest blog section, where we will be featuring one park a month from across the globe. These blog posts are written by residents of cities around the world who enjoy using their parks and are eager to share their experiences with us.
The purpose of this activity is to showcase some of beautiful parks from around the globe, to get inspired by some of their unique features and solutions, and to highlight the significance and vital need for these spaces for a healthy city life.

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#1month1park: Barsha park. Dubai, UAE.

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Your backyard garden in the city

Al Barsha Pond Park is the closest park to where I live and is my favorite park to go to during the “Dubai winter” months (period stretching from mid November to end of February)

Even though it’s as grandiose as every other structure in Dubai, once you’re inside it feels as cozy as your backyard garden. Inside, you’ll find tennis courts, basketball courts, a volleyball court and a few ping-pong tables scattered here and there; and for the less adventurous ones there are a few fitness machines right before the start line of the running track. It’s almost like an outdoors gym!

 

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Over the weekend (Fridays and Saturdays here) the park becomes a place for families and friends to come together around a picnic lunch which often lasts until dusk. During that time, the park is overcrowded and not as pleasant to be in if you’re not part of the picnic mania. However, after 7 PM it’s a little calmer and, with the park’s lights turned on until 11 pm, you can go back to enjoy a quiet and relaxing evening on a bench overlooking the pond.

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Recently Al Barsha Pond Park initiated a night market concept called the Ripe Night Market. Vendors of organic fruits and veggies, raw foods, baked goods, new food concepts and artists and craftspeople all gather under an array of colorful lights to introduce and sell their products. The food selection is very wide so you are guaranteed to find something that satisfies your craving, from sushi to paella and burgers to parathas…picnic tables are set all over the grass area to use freely while savoring your dinner at the park.

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Who would have thought you could ever come across a lush green space like this, which is maintained and always green, right in the middle of these arid lands!

 

Al Barsha park. Dubai, UAE.

By Eva Badr

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#1month1park is Beirut Green Project’s latest blog section, where we will be featuring one park a month from across the globe. These blog posts are written by residents of cities around the world who enjoy using their parks and are eager to share their experiences with us.
The purpose of this activity is to showcase some of beautiful parks from around the globe, to get inspired by some of their unique features and solutions, and to highlight the significance and vital need for these spaces for a healthy city life.

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#1month1park: Parque Guápulo. Quito, Ecuador.

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A jungle in the city

Covering  almost 19.57 hectares of untouched green spaces, Parque Guápulo lies at about 30 minutes away  from the center of Quito.

It is  accessed from an entrance on a very narrow street, and, before you know it, a big jungle opens before your eyes and blows you away by its magnitude!

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Upon entering, you notice that the spaces inside are not really defined: no lines are drawn, no major human interventions are made. Apart from the sign posts which guide park  visitors, nature was left intact.

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There are very few benches, and most of the space is left to grow freely on its own. Wide undefined green areas give you the freedom to occupy the space as it pleases you, making the park very flexible and alive.

What we most like about it is how virgin it still is.

Parque Guapulo also has an observation deck where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the city carved between the mountains. Its location under the cityscape of Quito,spread down below you , gives it a jungle-like feel in the middle of the city.

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The park also offers many activities like the observation deck, horse back riding, basketball courts, and children play areas.

Parque Guápulo. Quito, Ecuador.
By Elena Habre.

 

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#1month1park is Beirut Green Project’s latest blog section, where we will be featuring one park a month from across the globe. These blog posts are written by residents of cities around the world who enjoy using their parks and are eager to share their experiences with us.
The purpose of this activity is to showcase some of beautiful parks from around the globe, to get inspired by some of their unique features and solutions, and to highlight the significance and vital need for these spaces for a healthy city life.

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#1month1park

PrintCheck this space monthly as Beirut Green Project will be featuring one park a month from across the globe!
These blog posts are written by residents of cities around the world who enjoy using their parks and are eager to share their experiences with us.
The purpose of this activity is to showcase some of beautiful parks from around the globe, to get inspired by some of their unique features and solutions, and to highlight the significance and vital need for these spaces for a healthy city life.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Let’s start the year on a positive page

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This is how we want to wish Beirut Green Project family, friends and supporters a happy new year. With a positive first page, and other hundreds like them. Positive Lebanon is a campaign created by Tamyras to celebrate all people who see the cup half full in Lebanon.
The project materialised with the launch of the Positive Lebanon book in December. It’s a guide to all positive initiatives happening around the country.

Let 2015 be the year where we get to know about all these change makers, these initiators, these daring souls who find the strength to look to the positive side even when it’s not always possible. Let’s embrace this positive way of life. It’s believing that only together we can build a positive Lebanon.

So grab the book, read it from cover to cover. Get to know the people featured. Let’s celebrate them, let’s talk about them whenever we have the chance, let’s give them a hand whenever we can and let’s support them whenever it’s possible.

We are honoured to be featured in this book. Find us between the inspiring pages!

Positive Lebanon is available in all bookstores around Lebanon, and for every copy sold, one copy will be donated to a public school or library across the country.

To follow Positive Lebanon: https://www.facebook.com/positivelebanon

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