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Nada Debs celebrates heritage, culture and sustainability at Design Miami/ 2022
Nada Debs presentation at Design Miami 2022
Image: Courtesy of Nada Debs and Kohler

Nada Debs celebrates heritage, culture and sustainability at Design Miami/ 2022

In collaboration with Kohler, the Lebanese designer creates a custom hammam using handcrafted sustainable tiles from Kohler WasteLAB.

by Anushka Sharma
Published on : Dec 02, 2022

Ensconced in modern design are often subdued cultural identities that are veiled in innovation and evolution, often concealed within a uniformity that almost borders monotony and proliferates in the contemporary world. Amidst amplifying torrents of the new era-driven aesthetic, the singular voices of cultures seem to dwindle, with only a few responding to the call. At the 18th edition of Design Miami/—a symbol of growing cultural and creative richness of the metropolis—Lebanese designer and artist Nada Debs unveils her collaboration with Kohler. The partnership catalyses the creation of a custom hammam—a Turkish bath, the Middle Eastern variant of a steam bath—that is on view at Design Miami/ 2022 taking place from November 30 to December 4, 2022. Dubbed Transcendence, the presentation by Nada Debs, along with various onsite and digital activations, is an ode to cultural inclusivity, environmental sustainability, and heritage through design and innovation. “Having the opportunity to design a modern hammam at Design Miami/ truly embodies the sentiment that well-being transcends all culture,” says Nada Debs. “I am excited to offer such a unique experience to the industry,” she adds.

The hammam highlights Debs’ ability to distil culture and craftsmanship; the ability to create emotional resonance, married with design, material expertise, and commitment to environmental sustainability. This soothing and serene ambience crafted with innovative sustainable tiles from WasteLAB, handcrafted exclusively for Design Miami/ 2022 conforms to the enveloping theme of Design Miami/, The Golden Age: Looking to the Future, and realises a peaceful oasis within the bustling design event.

Debs and Laura Kohler, chief sustainability and DEI officer at Kohler Co. participated in a discussion on December 1, 2022, moderated by Design Miami/ 2022 curatorial director MC Didero examining how partner collaborations can address societal shifts and result in more sustainable designs. “Partnering with Nada helps to bring critical conversations about sustainability, cultural inclusion, and well-being to the forefront of the Design Miami/ audience and community at large, while also showcasing what we can achieve with sustainable design,” says Laura Kohler.

The design of the WasteLAB tile employed in the hammam mirrors the arch aesthetic of traditional hammams—drawing visual parallels between the revival of waste material and the spiritual and emotional rejuvenation that hammam guests experience. Visitors to the exhibition space will be invited to explore how Debs translates a traditional hammam journey and expresses it through a three-room immersive experience within the design fair. “We have a great passion for exploring the nexus between design and environmental sustainability, a passion that is shared by Nada and translated into the hammam and the tiles themselves,” says Kohler.

The presentation carries the objective of reimagining the approach to waste by acknowledging and reinstating the value in materials destined for landfills, and engaging in a manufacturing process where nothing is wasted. Transcendence epitomises Debs’s global perspective on design, storytelling, and handcrafted art—a reflection of cultures and tradition through the lens of innovation, and a reminder that wellbeing transcends all cultures.

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