Beirut – The Speculative Needs XOXO exhibition explores the purpose that design will serve in the future.
Led by the non-profit-making MENA Design Research Centre, the Beirut Design Week exhibition brought together the works of 150 design and architecture students who have explored how advances in technology will affect people’s future design needs.
The result of 11 speculative hackathon sessions in which students from all of Lebanon’s principal universities participated, the designs explored topics ranging from genetics to social media. DNA Weddings imagined a future in which wedding guests provide DNA as their gift to the couple, allowing them to later design a baby with optimum genes.
Another of the works, Beauty Currency, considered the effect that social media is having on perceptions of beauty. The beauty detector eliminates the subjective nature of beauty by ranking users’ looks in comparison to a perfect specimen. In a Black Mirror-like twist, people are then classed as first-, second- or third-class citizens, and their quality of life is tailored accordingly.