CatalyticAction 2023 Design Workshop

The CatalyticAction 2023 Design Workshop will focus on the theme of gender inequalities and how they manifest in the built environment. Together we will reflect on this topic and aim to develop possible spatial solutions that can be implemented in public spaces. Lebanon is a context of deep and structural gender inequalities, with one of the highest overall gender gaps in the world, ranking 119 out of 146 countries in the World Economic Forum Gender Gap report 2022. In many Arab communities, urban space is by default, male space. Through design as a medium, we will seek to reflect on gender inequalities within the built environment, and in particular in public spaces – a very relevant topic in the current international debate.

The workshop’s field activities will be happening in the format of site visits to give you the opportunity to experience different contexts of Lebanon; from the charming neighbourhood of Mar Mikhael in Beirut, to the vibrant sea promenade in the city of El Mina in North Lebanon, to the busy towns within agricultural plains of the Bekaa valley.

The workshop’s desktop activities will be an opportunity to work closely with our team on co-designing interventions that are context specific. These will be conducted in the community centre that we rehabilitated in the neighbourhood of Karantina in response to the 2020 Beirut port explosion. The design workshop aims to contribute to advancing spatial justice in the neighbourhood through public space interventions. Participants will learn how co-designing public spaces has the potential to promote inclusion and equality. Participants will also get the chance to work with residents from different ages, genders and backgrounds, to ensure that their design solutions are rooted in community participation.