“After completing my studies at IE School of Architecture and Design, I’ve become a well-rounded designer and been exposed to a myriad of cultures that have undoubtedly widened my horizons.”
Kareem Asfahani, Beirut, Lebanon
Co-founder of Creatives x Beirut
- Program studied
Kareem developed Creatives x Beirut in the IE Venture Lab with two of his friends, Jessica Schmid and Maïla Wyssmüller. The initiative aims to support the Lebanese creative scene by connecting it with creatives from around the world. It has already held its first major event, hosting the Basel x Beirut fundraiser in Switzerland in the wake of the August 4 explosion in Beirut. Basel x Beirut showcased work from 30 different Lebanese and Swiss creatives and attracted over 150 visitors. Through the funds raised from the event, Creatives x Beirut was able to support artists who had been directly affected by the explosion, as well as organizations that strive to strengthen the Lebanese creative scene.
Prior to joining the program, Kareem studied his Bachelor in Interior Design at the American University of Science and Technology in Beirut while working as an interior and graphic designer. His professional life has since transitioned from interior design to workspace design and consultancy, where he principally focuses on developing human-centered design solutions. During the Master in Strategic Design of Spaces, he learned that he enjoys designing aesthetically pleasing spaces that are also functionally efficient.
While at IE, Kareem also learned to step out of his comfort zone and seek job opportunities wherever he can find them. Admitting that it was only after he graduated from the program that he realized “the world is truly my oyster,” he has become a digital nomad, prepared to work remotely from any part of the world.
Kareem’s advice to incoming students is to connect with as many people as possible, not only with colleagues from your own program, but also with students and professors from other programs as well.
“It’s mind boggling how beneficial networking can be, and the IE community is a great place to start building lasting connections.”
Had he not made such connections, he wouldn’t have met Jessica and Maïla, and Creatives x Beirut may not have come to life.