Doreen Toutikian is a cultural entrepreneur, an interdisciplinary designer, researcher, educator, and a consultant . She is founder and former executive director of Beirut Design Week (beirutdesignweek.org), co-founder & president of the board of MENA Design Research Center (menadrc.org), and co-founder of loop (looporg.eu). She is also an educator on design research methodology and design theory to MA students, as well as a member of the pedagogical committee of the Academie Libanaise des Beaux Arts (alba.edu.lb). She is a researcher and consultant on human-centered design to non-profit organizations such as UNRWA (unrwa.org) for Palestinian refugee camps development and IOM (iom.int) for economic development in Kurdistan. Often she serves as a mentor and juror for student examinations and start-up competitions, and a regular public speaker at various conferences around the world.
Doreen holds an MA from Koeln International School of Design in European Design Studies (Germany), a Product & Service Design degree from The Glasgow School of Art (Scotland), and a bachelor in Communication Design from Notre Dame University (Lebanon).
Her book, 'Design Education in the Middle East', which was awarded the Cologne Design Prize in 2010, marked the beginning of her career in Beirut where she set out to build a collective design community and enhance the understanding of design and research in the region. She believes that collaboration is the key to good design. This belief has inspired her to initiate various projects in order to encourage multidisciplinary teamwork for social innovation. Such projects include ‘Public Design Intervention: Beirut’ (2010), 'Desmeem: Rethinking Design though Cross-Cultural Collaboration (2012)', 'Disrupt!/Design!' (2015/16) and 'Beirut Design Week' (annual event since 2012). In 2013, Beirut Design Week was awarded the Lebanese Social Economic Award.
Doreen is an advisor to various global networks including the ‘International Gender Design Network’, the 'Board of International Research in Design/BIRD', a fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar, and a member of the Young Cultural Innovators of the British Council. She is also an avid traveller, speaks six languages English, Arabic, French, German, Armenian and Greek, and lives between Beirut and Athens.
Andreas Nassos is a multidisciplinary designer with a Master’s degree in landscape architecture and a Bachelor's degree in agriculture and ecology from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. He was the General Secretary of the Panhellenic Association of Landscape Architects (2016-2019), an official member of the International Federation of Landscape Architects, and co-founder of LOOP.
His professional experience over the past decade ranges from small to medium scale landscape design and construction for residences, corporations and hotels as well as landscape preservation and reclamation. Andreas is simultaneously engaged in various initiatives that involve more social interventions such as workshops, conferences and competitions; which were often missing in client-based projects. His main interests include sustainability, ecology, preservation and reclamation of natural habitats, urban green interventions, co-working space enhancements through green common spaces, and innovative green solutions.
He has been a workshop leader twice in the international architectural festival Ecoweek (Ecoweek Thessaloniki 2012 and Ecoweek Belgrade 2012). He was also member of the organizational team behind Behance Portfolio Reviews Thessaloniki for the period of 2014 and 2015. He was invited as guest lecturer for the “Toolkit Designers’ Meeting” in Thessaloniki in 2016 and selected among workshop participants for “Design in the Middle” in Rome in 2017.
Andreas is active in various arts and culture initiatives in Athens focused on reviving spaces and developing local arts collectives. In his free time he plays the bass and guitar with local bands, enjoys drawing and lettering, industrial and furniture design, and customizing classic motorcycles. He is currently based in Athens, Greece.