Portrait of a humanist designer


Name: Beatrice of Damascus. Occupation: ideator. Meeting with an extraordinary woman, heiress of a lineage of famous ancestors throughout the world and the centuries, but above all with an acute sense of the human and a high culture for a poetic and innovative creation.

"The word that best qualifies me is ideatrice, an old legal term in the classical age to mean the creator author and owner of the related rights. I am a designer in the speciality of design thinking, also called in France "innovative design". Let's go straight to the heart of the matter.

Beatrice of Damascus exhibits for the first time in Paris, on the occasion of the salon 1.618His project "URHARP THERAPY", a modular system of Art Therapy. An R & D design research allowed the creator to reconstruct the translation by analogy between the nautical world and the lyrical world. The design of the therapy harp is a great creative leap, breaking with the academic instrument. But also an unusual innovation to help sick children, especially in hospitals.

What does this modular system consist of?

"It's a set with a base made up of a comforting support boat, like a hut, and an activity mast. From an educational point of view, the boat for moon and harp, like an "indoor" hut, offers the child a place - time - conducive to the development of his creative interiority.

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The system combines three simple, immediate, archetypal symbolic forms: the moon, the boat and the harp. This allows the child to embark on a journey towards the imaginary, towards "his" imaginary. Going out of oneself when one is ill can bring conditions of re-enchantment.

beatricededamas2Re-enchantment, first by the magic of the right sound of the harp, from the first string pulled. The child experiences the sounds, and the soft resonance of the harp body on his own body, in echo. A hollow delta/nabla where the child can dream, do nothing, a haptonomy chamber surmounted by a light therapy moon, which reminds him of the uterine chamber where daylight creates a halo through the mother's wall.

The little child, coiled up in the haptonomic room, in the heart of the boat, can find a bath of light. The child in awakening, can sit astride the central deck, grasp the harp to stand up, and strum the strings of the harp to discover sounds. He can tilt the harp towards his shoulder and thus receive the vibrations of the strings in his nervous column. As an option, strings of different colours can trigger coloured rays on the boat. Thus, the child can play with a chromatic scale.

barquebeatrice2As I explained, one of the poles is a lumino-therapy moon and the other is the therapy harp. These poles are removable. Other masts are in the process of being designed:

- A long kaleidoscope and multimedia view

- A bagpipe horn, called a "horn-moon,"

- A haptonomic plaid, haptonomy being the science of affectivity.

The whole system is ordered in creativity to re-enchant the child's creativity, whether the child is sick due to an accidental trauma, or born with a lasting difference, or suffering from a serious illness.

This pure system, a product of R&D sensory design, allows therapists to develop multi-sensory activities and this kynesthesia of the senses creates cathartic opportunities. This boat does not float; it is a boat of light where the child is immersed in a bath of light. As homeopathy in high dilution touches the psychological sphere. »

Why such a creation?

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harper"This creation began with a symbolic search for the new state of Iraq. I discovered the oldest wonder of the world, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the harp of Urin the shape of a boat, with a ram's head, found in the royal tombs of Ur.

I wanted to make a limited edition, a humanitarian diplomatic gift for the children of Iraq who have suffered so much. And what is good for the children of Iraq is good for all the children of the world. This humanitarian limited edition has become this system of Art Therapy for all children.

I initiated humanitarian design in France, twenty years ago, for the children of Lebanon and it was a Lebanese client who proposed my humanitarian approach for the Iraqi state and the autonomous region of Kurdistan. »

You have deep ties to the history of these countries.

"Yes, in the course of my research on the archaeology of the harp object, I was surprised to discover the speech at the opening of the exhibition. Khorsabad of the Great Louvre made to François Mitterrand, in which the Curator recounts that it was my great-great-great-good father, Maxence of Damascus, then Minister of Foreign Affairs, who ordered the first archaeological expedition to find the city of Abraham, Ur, on the Euphrates.

I felt so moved, between this contemporary call for a humanitarian emergency for the children of Iraq and my forefather's diplomatic vision of honouring the memory of Abraham.

What was my ancestor, who, like me, was named after a city three times holy in the East? I discovered my Semitic roots during this project, and the oldest patronymic of my family: Semur! »

Were you not inspired in your creation of the boat by the tutelary deity of the city of Ur, the famous God-Moon, in your creation of the boat? Nanna, in the time of Mesopotamia?

nanna"Of course, this is one of the most important deities in the pantheons of the ancient Near East. The Sumerians named him among others Nanna or Zu-en. Under its various names, it was soon adored in most major Mesopotamian urban centres. In the period when the country of Sumer and the whole Euphrates valley were under the domination of the city of Ur, between 2600 and 2400 BC, Nanna came to be regarded as the head of the Sumerian pantheon. He was revered as the "Father of the gods" or the "Creator of all things. One more symbol..."

You were originally trained as a poet, a contemporary poet, how did you get into the boat?

"Nice question! Indeed, I have succeeded in achieving a synthesis from decade to decade between my poetic function and my creation of images and forms. In fact, the poet is the first designer: the Greek root poi means the art of iron and the definition Plato gives of this poi, this artefact, is exactly the contemporary definition of design thinking.

All my design activity is to compose 3D, multidimensional, multimedia poems. »

portraitbeatrice2What are your immediate plans?

"Today, I'm preparing a global scenography of the Imagination Room for " Expo Hospital The "International Conference on the Environment", organised by UBM, will be held from 22 to 24 May 2012 in Paris. To do this, I need to complete my event financing and launch the production of a larger model for older children, on a medical trolley the size of a hospital bed that can, for example, circulate in a sterile environment.

I am beginning to gather the first orders from major accounts - Equipment, Building, Healthcare - wishing to offer this new art therapy equipment to children's hospital departments. »

To contact Beatrice from Damascus :

To go further: 

- Book " Khorsabad, the palace of Sargon II, king of Assyria " by Annie Caubet :

Photo credits : Delphine Vanneuville-Vernier

{Jacuzzi on}

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