We had the good fortune of connecting with Richard Yasmine and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Richard, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I’m Lebanese interior architect and product designer… inspired of my city, life, emotions, and social matters, but also focusing on internal chaos combined with a certain innate sensitivity, extreme and provocative or even not expected by others but always minimal, bold, and straightforward without disguising or hiding true reality.Well I remember since I was actually so young, my paternal family were in the industry of couture, therefore I was so attracted by shapes, colors, fabrics and materials.. Besides the interior of the family house was filled with multiple objects and furniture from the 20thies, some art deco pieces and vintage ones… My single hobby was drawing dresses and houses on any paper I find around, I’ve been told I’m a talented little boy… These were my very first memories and a solid base in the structure of my personality. Not to mention my love for art, architecture and History of art…mixed to my chaotic imagination, therefore I studied interior architecture and product design. Since it was the start of my career. The philosophy behind each of my work is divided into 2 different sections: First highlighting on problems or actions in the society by raising various awareness through my design concepts to urge communities to connect with each other, interact, and try to know the other without prejudgment. The second section; spread the marriage between tradition and new technologies by revealing the oriental feel through an extravagant aspect , while keeping my signature identity of commotion mixing craziness to sobriety with a dash of fantasy.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
To Start with my art, you can say I’m a narrator or a storyteller that’s why I seek always to integrate different philosophies in my concepts, while focusing on a story or a social matter and try to raise diverse awareness…
I am proud to be Lebanese, yet as a Middle Eastern I am really concerned to reflect a dynamic and positive representation of my region but specifically my city and country therefore I Include continuously an additional methodology related to my culture and rituals in each of my project, by choosing the lines, shapes, materials also by collaborating with skilled craftsmen.
My ultimate concern is to keep integrating this Middle Eastern / Lebanese soul in the procedure of each of my products which I define sober, geometric, ornamented, rhythmic, poetic and nostalgic.
I believe that one of my duties is to provide to our local talented craftsmen the opportunities to preserve their existence and the only way is by collaborating and incorporating their knowhow in our contemporary daily objects, design projects or even bigger scale monuments …that’s also a way to reflect and emphasize on our culture and civilization to make it known worldwide and that’s definitely essential to the future of design.
I overcome the challenges by setting new goals planning ahead and keep on focusing on whats next with a positive mindset.
I have learned that when we really love what we do we should not have any specific expectation, you know everyone wants to be successful, but sometimes failure leads to an alternative success, even mistakes help us learning by rethinking and reconsidering to find new strategies to achieve our goals. I always expect to get deeper experience and better knowledge that widens my vision.
I will continue dreaming, imagining, sketching, prototyping and producing, since each project or collection I work on is a dream until they see the lights.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well too many beautiful sites to visit when in Lebanon, its not easy but ill try to make a very brief itinerary and take you on a one week trip to my country, starting from the Heart of Beirut, definitely Ashrafieh, Gemmayzeh, Mar Mikhael, Saifi village, Basta, Downtown etc… Have a walk and check the hidden architectural gems or some of the remaining ones, take photos of the windows, doors, balconies, metal work, balustrades and lots of ornamental details, use the stairs connecting the different levels of the city, smell the Jasmine scent while sipping coffee in the various hidden patios and authentic coffee shops.. Visit the Sursock museum, the national museum, Beit Beirut and the Roman bath/ruins, walk in the authentic Hamra Street besides the cornice of Beirut until the Pigeon rock (Rawche) for a beautiful sunset. Go a walk to Zaytouna bay furthermore for sunsets and check out the new Beirut skyline.. Moving outside the capital Jeita Grotto is a must see, after move right away to old Jounieh … then to BYBLOS to visit the famous Phoenician ruins, eat at the old port, walk and buy souvenirs from the old souk ..Visit Batroun old town and contemplate the natural Phoenician wall in the sea with a wonderful sunset..
Now let’s move a little deeper to the north, to TRIPOLI and Its Old Souks, Khans, Hammams etc…, Visit the Citadel of Raymond de Saint-Gilles.. eat authentic Lebanese sweets. Another day must be in KADISHA VALLEY, to visit our emblematic Cedars of God reserve.. KHALIL JEBRAN museum and some authentic villages such as Hassroun and Ehden. We can move now to Bekaa Valley, BAALBEK home of the famous Roman ruins, also visit ANJAR, back to ZAHLE to explore Ksara winery caves , Al Shouf reserve, Deir el Qamar, walk in the village, visit BEIT EL DINE PALACE, last but not least lets have our way to the south SIDON and its castle ruins inside the water, not to mention TYRE make a tour and visit the ruins make sure not to miss the golden sandy beaches ..
You will recognize the generosity and welcoming of Lebanese citizen, try the Lebanese mezze, man’ouche, kunafa, baklawa, typical ice cream drink some Araks and party ..
Enjoy my city Beirut a city that will never dies but will always rise from the ashes just like a Phoenix.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Definitely a lot of factors or convergence came together and shaped the person that I am today, starting with my dreams to my personal efforts, motivation and perseverance to always reach a new step in my career, but also the emotional support of the family, my partner, my sister and genuine people who actually believed in what I can achieve.. Hard to mention names but i would love to dedicate the shootout to all of them including my teachers, friends, editors, journalist, blogs and magazines who are always supporting.