My National

My National

Rebuild your city, with Lego

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A rather smart attempt at DIY urban regeneration caught our eye this week; Dispatch Beirut is a project by two Beirut-based designers looking to give their city a spruce-up of the Lego kind

Beirut is one of the region's finest cities - cobble backstreets, an entrenched café culture and the ever-present blue of the Med visible between the high-rises.

But the city wears its history on its sleeve and the scars of recent war and inner-city wear-and-tear are a feature of the urban fabric.

Graphic designer Lea Tasso and landscape designer Pamela Haydamous have started infiltrating the more worn parts of Al Hamra, Gemmayze, Ashrafieh and Mar Mikael with hundreds of colourful plastic Lego bricks in a project called Dispatch Beirut. In the process of smoothing out cracks, rebuilding staircases and tidying up shattered walls, the duo have brought a spectrum of new colours to the otherwise grey concrete - much akin to the 2000s grafitti-tilest, Invader.

Tasso and Haydamous were inspired by the work of German artist Jan Vormann, who has been patching up walls around the world with Lego for the last four years. The two Beiruti designers got in touch with Vormann who gave them the green light to enact his idea and join the 25 other cities internationally part of the DispatchWork project.

The next stage in Dispatch Beirut is a large-scale public installation. According to the Daily Star, the newly opened LEGO Store in Beirut has offered up free bricks should the project get permission.

All images courtesy of Dispatch Beirut