Words: José Berrocoso
“Little stories from different times; a selfless and ongoing collaboration with the world.”
Paola Sakr is a Beirut-based designer with a passion for photography and art. She started her studio after graduating with honors from l’Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts with a Product Design bachelor. In parallel, she worked as a product designer at PsLab before deciding to focus solely on her projects
‘There’s always the purpose of bringing a little something to the world, always trying to do a little good: whether it is environmental, social or simply something for the soul.’ Being very passionate about research and experimentation, she believes in constant innovation and simplicity. This shows in her recurrent approach to material experimentation and innovation in her projects; often turning the medium into the message.
In the past few years, her projects were exhibited around the Middle East and Europe. She was awarded in September 2018 the ‘Rising Talents Award’ alongside five other Lebanese designers by Maison & Objet.
‘The aim of this project was to create a meaningful composition formed by three indispensable elements that are each required for the object to exist. The purpose was to develop an art installation with the same principles we follow while designing a product: each element is essential and justified, giving no room for unnecessary added elements or aesthetics.’
Material description: Dismantled engine, reassembled using live ivy instead of the original screws. Three elements being: electrical wires, metal and ivy.
Morning Ritual, 2016 (and still ongoing)
Morning Ritual is a series of biodegradable containers made of coffee grounds and newspaper waste. Inspired by Paola’s childhood memories watching her father sip on Arabic coffee while reading the newspaper, this product draws our attention to the fact that we often generate waste before our day even begins.
After coffee ground waste is collected from local coffee shops, it is mixed with newspaper pulp and a natural binding agent. The mixture is delicately molded by hand, and the final colour and scent of each item are the result of the various types of coffee used.
Quantum is the fruit of Paola’s very first experimentations with pottery and the beginning of a larger collection. The idea was to explore the vast world of a very ambiguous and unpredictable material that offers infinite possibilities in terms of forms, functions and treatment. ‘My approach to clay was more architectural rather than traditional and organic. I found the combination of planned constructions with accidental reactions of the material to be very interesting. There is so much beauty in seeing a material behave and have a life of its own and most of all, accept it with all its imperfections.’
The constructions of the pieces were made progressively and in multiple steps; combining wheel turning and hand-building techniques. The repetitive modules and lines are inspired by brutalist architecture and the terracota’s raw and natural feel makes a pleasant tactile interaction with human skin.
Material: baked red and white clay.