Memory in folded paper for Beirut Design Week 2019
beirut, lebanon

nabil gholam architects (ngª) and Built by Associative Data (BAD.) have teamed up for Beirut Design Week 2019 edition ‘’Design and Nostalgia’’
Memory in folded paper is an attempt to capture quick snapshots of Beirut’s transformation over the last century through a series of nine synoptic folding paper cut-outs. The memory of the past and a glimpse of the future are thus revealed through the fragility of what is there, what isn’t, and what only just remains.
In our fast-moving digital world, these cut-tout abstractions are a candid reflection on the essential paradox of memory versus the future through a medium most usually associated with children.

The installation was comprised in 3 parts:
1-Cut-outs of the nine buildings. Each one was assembled into an individual pop-up card, inviting the viewer to unfold some of our city’s recent urban memory via a playful and tactile invitation to remember, think and act, reviving each viewer’ s own childhood memories.  
2- Lightboxes installation with the buildings’ cut-outs, a play of Ombres chinoises (Chinese theater play) reflecting on the fragility and ephemeral notion of passing time. The nine square lightboxes of 70cm side were laid in a circular manner, with the lit size oriented toward the center, in almost a mystical display. A peep hole, on the back of the lightboxes, reveals to the viewer the materiality of the cards and immateriality of the projected shadow in a theatrical ceremonial.
3- Postcards of the buildings with Augmented Reality, hinting at the unfolding of our near future, a digital twin of the cut-out building, fusing past, present and future with our current reality. The buildings, some still existing, some a long-time memory, literally pop out from the postcards and can be virtually revived and explored.
With these three different representations of the same objects, the viewer slides back and forth from nostalgic past (paper medium), to light shadow (intangible medium) to augmented reality representation (technological medium). Reflecting upon the materiality and immateriality of the produced display/exhibition, we question with the viewer the fate of our urban memories.   

The augmented reality app was developed in collaboration with SPORPH and Cleer Studio.


nabil gholam architects
Built by Associative Data