The Beirut-based architecture and design studio responded to this year’s theme - learning - with an interactive wall portraying the socio-political barriers in our society through a psychological and physiological journey for its visitors.

WAL(L)TZ focused on transforming a wall into an activator of connection, sociability, and awareness. Lebanon is highly congested with (physical) walls, from security barriers and barbed wires embedded in the urban infrastructure, to fenced public spaces and privatized coast and green spaces. More subtly, Lebanon, as in most places, is dominated with (psychological) walls imposed by social-political norms and misinterpretations of religious and cultural values.

From nations’ borders to socio-economic-political apartheid and vestiges of war, the wall itself has been used throughout history; as a weapon to control, segregating communities, cities, countries. Yet, despite its inherently negative connotation in modern times, the wall is ‘inescapably’ the main element for architectural endeavors.

The pavilion was a linear configuration dominated by an omnipresent wall, bursting with life and energy, through cracks, ‘loopholes’ and happenings to overcome barriers, and to stimulate connection and interaction. There are glaring paradoxes between the rigid nature of a wall and the animation of WAL(L)TZ, crafted in recycled foam, hinting to the resilience of the Lebanese society in the face of adversity.

The visitors -turned performers- found themselves in a choreographed protest against oppression, in this tragicomedy that is life.


Based in Beirut and Milan, T SAKHI is a multidisciplinary architecture and design studio cofounded in 2016 by Lebanese-Polish sisters Tessa Sakhi and Tara Sakhi. The studio places human interaction at the core of their practice, drawing from the emotional and psychological experience of space. The sisters often incorporate memory and human senses to heighten the emotional activity within a space and question our contemporary understanding of identity, home, and ways of living.

Their synergetic projects are both permanent and ephemeral, and range from architecture, product design, art objects, installations, and most recently, films. In the sister’s films, creatives are invited to explore their spaces, allowing for fashion, cinematography, and music to merge. Learn more about T Sakhi.

About Abwab

Abwab translates as ‘doors’ in Arabic and is an annually remodeled exhibition dedicated to commissioning work from across the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia with a purpose to promote design talent and stimulate information exchange, uniquely experienced at Dubai Design Week.