Inspired by life, objects and emotions, Beirut-based architect and furniture designer Richard Yasmine conceptualises his inner world as a springboard to try out his designs and ideas.
Born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, Yasmine is known for his approach which incorporates his culture, while still produces a precise and polished result. In every piece he collaborates with skilled craftsmen, also from Lebanon, showing his strong links with local artisanal traditions and affirming his aim of revealing an oriental feel through often extravagant details. Through these craftsmen, he includes an aspect in each project which relates to his heritage, nodding to his roots as he works with them to choose the shapes and materials for the intended effect.
In the realm of interior design, his product range spans across furniture and chairs, lighting, hand-blown light bulbs and mirrors. Materials used are just as varied as his methods; as he often uses marble, brass, wood and leather, reflecting the contracts between minimalism and futurism in his works.
In 2016, Yasmine showcased a series of jugs and table lamps from his “Plugged” collection at Dubai Design Week 2016, made of solid brushed brass and a very thin hand-blown borosilicate glass mixed together to form a single dramatically enchanting unit. Inspired by taboos in society, Richard Yasmine’s aim with this collection was to encourage users to interact without prejudgment.
2018 saw Yasmine showcase two collections during Milan Design Week, both aiming to bring about awareness about heritage about the natural environment. The first being “Hawa Beirut”, meaning the “light of Beirut” which is inspired by Lebanese architecture and the arches that are often important architectural elements across the Middle East. The second collection, “Wake Up Call”, was composed of limited edition table lamps from a brass structure, decorated with various types of semi-precious stones.
In early 2019, he revealed an animated and vibrant collection titled “O-CULT” shedding light on the importance of water conservation, commissioned for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy curated by La Triennale di Milano design museum for an exhibition titled “The Shapes of Water”. His pieces were made from stainless steel, covered with terracotta and blackened brass handles, creating a totem-like structure. The collection was inspired by traditional water fountains still found in Lebanese villages, as well as the occult phenomena of rainwater collecting in mystic societies.
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