Practice Makes Process.
For Sana Asseh, the means are more interesting than the ends. She finds the way one arrives at a solution just as interesting as the end result. You could say that for her, it’s all about the process.
Take her most recent project at STARCH, for example. Selected to take part in a yearlong programme with the Beirut-based collective, which provides creatives a platform to produce their debut collections, she used the residency to continue her exploration of method.
Her first collection was released in Summer 2016. Entitled 1/18, it examined two commonplace items; the notebook and the picture frame. 1/18 Binding resulted in the creation of 18 different notepads, each the same size and made of the same paper but bound differently. None opened or folded in the same way, shaping the experience of writing in them. 1/18 Framing resulted in the creation of 18 different frames for a photograph shot by Sana that played on the way photographs are perceived and subverted the primacy of the image.
The form of each object in the collection was dictated by the method used in its creation, a neat inversion of the famous dictum that form follows function. Beyond exploration of the possible, Sana’s aim was to create a palette of methods, a kind of Pantone of Making, that can serve as a reference, a guide to the assorted book binding and framing techniques that exist in Lebanon.
“I’ve listed the technique used on the notebooks and on the back of the frames, so if anyone wants to do something the same way, they know what to ask for,” she says, turning one of her notebooks over to reveal an embossed label on one side. “It›s a useful tool for designers because nothing like this exists anywhere.”