Lectures & Performance: Sound and Silence

Gulbenkian Theater, Beirut campus

The Foundation Program at the School of Architecture and Design is hosting a lecture by Lydia Hunn on “Playing with Time-Based Design”, a lecture and performance by Kamal Helou on “Shakuhachi - Breath and Sound in Zen Music and Meditation”, and a lecture and workshop by Niloufar Afnan on “Komuso, Ritual and Tradition”.

Lydia Hunn currently teaches four-dimensional design at the Westphal College of Media Arts and Design at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Her work, ranging from books to sculpture, is in public collection in the United States, the Middle East, and Europe. She recently created a sound installation for the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia and a bilingual, site-specific installation at the Central Academy Fine Art Museum in Beijing, China. Most of her work is ephemeral or temporary. Hunn will speak about the genesis, in the late 1960s, of “upper level” Foundation courses called “Mix Media” and their transformation to what is currently taught at Drexel University as “Multimedia Performance” and “Multimedia Space”, as well as the Bauhaus influence (“use/uselessness, sense/non sense”) on the connection between creativity and play.

Kamal Helou is a graduate of Villanova University, Pennsylvania, class of 1993, with a B.A. in Philosophy. He focused his studies on the Far Eastern philosophy of Zen, the essence of harmony, solidarity, and peace. In 2000, he moved to Tokyo, Japan, where he apprenticed for 10 years and received his masters in both Shotokan Karate-Do and Shakuhachi, two very different Japanese traditional arts. Although differing in content, both arts emphasize the same methodology in learning the essential values for building a harmonious human character. He returned to Beirut in 2009, where he currently teaches both arts as a method for attaining inner peace. Area of Shakuhachi expertise: Kinko-ryu style and Watazumido Honkyoku style.

Currently based in Beirut, Niloufar Afnan works across different disciplines. She designs jewelry, furniture, and installations. She holds an M.A. in Furniture Design (2011) Central Saint Martins, London and a BFA in Sculpture (2008) Concordia University, Montreal. Her work flirts between Design and Arts, challenging function and form through medium and context. She is also a faculty member since 2013 at the LAU, Beirut. Her furniture and jewelry have been exhibited at the London Design Festival, the Santorini Biennale and Tokyo Rooms, among others.