How can we prove what design can do for early stage ideas? How can we make the role of design tangible and visible? 

The team: Martin Dudek, Johnny Yaacoub, Dima Boulad. 



is design a need? (beirut design week 2017 theme)

As a designer, my answer was clearly positive.

However, how would I prove that to a non-designer? How can I show the power that Design has to lift ideas OFF THE GROUND?

The idea of a Hackathon was born. I partnered with London based innovation studio Pollen8 to put together the two- day event as a response to Beirut Design Week's theme "Is Design a need?". 30 creatives from various disciplines came together to work on 5 social initiatives in their early stages in a high intensity weekend. As soon as we branded the event, we shipped it to the world and started getting applications in. 





the role of designers in early stage ventures

We kicked off the two-day event with a keynote and a panel discussion. We brought together five great minds to discuss the role of Design in early stage ventures. This was a great space for participants to start familiarising themselves with the Design Thinking mindset, getting exposed to the importance of Design Research to unlock insights, and getting helpful case studies on the crucial role of testing with users. 



the power of collaboration

Illustrators, photographers, researchers and designers worked together for 36 hours in teams. Led by skilled facilitators from Make Sense , they experimented with different ways to approach problem framing, and started preliminary research on their topic. Mentors were available in the space to assist in the different stages of the design process, also known as the frustrating design squiggle, before they presented their prototypes to a crowd of interested attendees. 

Damien Newman's viusalisation of the Design Process: the Design squiggle.

Damien Newman's viusalisation of the Design Process: the Design squiggle.


Organising a Hackathon is definitely one of the most underestimated projects I have ever done, but certainly one of the most rewarding. There is an incredible power getting people together to create in a short period of time. I've written a few tips about the experience.