AUD Student Project Interview

Hussein Architecture, Blog Posts

An interview about the role of a “designer”, by Mahetab Hassan, AUD student at the School of Interior Design.

 

  • Who inspired you to be a designer?
  • Two things. Firstly he read a book when he was at high school by Hassan Fathi – an Egyptian architect that was interested in environmental building and using local materials and developing the way of building – the book name was “Architecture for the poor”, that book was the first book that made him know about architecture and art and philosophy. Then he decided to enter architecture school. In Egypt they first need to enter engineer school learn everything related to engineering then they can choose which major they like the most. So in his first year he use to check out the majors so he can decide what he likes most and what he wants to continue doing for the rest of his life. He checked out the mechanical school, electrical etc. and eventually architecture. When he went to check out the architecture school he was amazed as he saw how the students are working and how the atmosphere they are working in is different. He other majors they just attend lectures while architecture major was different there is designing its more living. As the students are enjoying while designing playing music, sitting on the floor eating and enjoying what they are doing. They are eating, talking, making jokes, enjoying all at the same time while working. So he liked the atmosphere as is more fun and lively so he decide he wants to design and be an architect.

 

  • Your preparation and studies. What are the design software you use?
  • He studied engineering at Alexandra university majoring in architecture he graduate 1998. And when he started his university experience he was from the first generation to start using the software computer for designing. Before that it was all manual. He actually started with manual and he experienced the transition from manual to the automatic software’s. But their professors hated the idea of only using the software they wanted them to work parallel because they believed that if they only used the software then the skill of freehand drawing and human skills would be dead for them. He was also one of the first graduated student to graduate with the senior project computerized. He used to draw manually then started using AutoCAD, 3d max, Photoshop but mostly a software called Corel draw and he still uses it until now.

 

  • Being an Interior Designer what is your role and responsibilities?
  • In general he believes that an architect is lie the film director. In a movie there are a lot of people working in it for it to become an amazing movie as a result. Same for the building many people work hard to make sure to have a functional and well-designed building. For him the work of an architect is more about vision as he is the one who vision and decides how a building should be. So it all start when an owner bring a site that is an empty land. Then the architects with the seek holders sit together, the developer, the owner, the engineers ( structure, electrical, mechanical, interior designers) all these professional people sit together talk and decide take each other’s point of view but at the end the decision maker is the architect with the owner of course but regarding the technical is the architect. He even wrote an article that the architect is the master mind of the entire world. For instant when you wake up the window that you are going to open for fresh air or light the architect is the one who placed that window there and he is the one you design it to be there for the view that you will see from it. Also he design the circulation inside your house. The relationship between the kitchens to the bathroom to the door of your room to the main entrance door etc. also when you leave you building he decides which path you take to leave the building and where to start moving from etc. so your entire visual experience till you reach your destination was all kept by the master mind the architect. At the office they have architecture, structure and mechanical. They are working on a project hotel apartments in Jumeirah. They are the lead consulting. There are many other categories consultant for ID, consultant for mechanical, consultant or lighting interior and exterior. The job of lead consultant as an architect is to manage all these people and the coordination between them as they all don’t know each other but sometimes a clash happens between them so at the end the decision maker is the architect to they come back to him.

 

  • Describe your career trajectory. Where would you like to go next?
  • Like any normal person he wants to have his own business but when will that happen depends on the business model of the country you will open your business at and the person too. There is a person who is a leader and there is and employee. Some person like to stay and employee take his salary each month and live a stable normal life. Also another type is an adventure person who takes the risk to open his own business but sometimes it happens that at some point your company can stay with any work so no money entering. Some other time you might have a lot of projects and lot of money therefore it is a risk. So it depends on the person personality is he a risk taker or a typical person wants his salary at the end of the month. Also depends on the country, some countries encourage opening your business but other countries might be difficult to.

 

  • How did you discover your job role?
  • It all goes back to the person’s skills and personality. He prefers to work on the first stage of design the stage of the concept because it got creativity and achievement as you start it from scratch as it was an empty land on a piece of paper that the owner gets it to you and you change it to an idea although you didn’t reach to have the real building but still I did the idea. The role of the people after that is important but they are followers they follow what I already designed.

 

  • What are the skills required in this field?
  • That’s god gift we can’t do anything about it. But also by practice the skills develop. For instant when he compare his projects during uni time and now at work he fells two things. First, the projects he did during uni time it was without limit, he didn’t have limit to think, create and be creative so the result was fascinating maybe it wasn’t realistic, logic, profitable, doable but it was creative. What I do now is less beautiful, less creative but more professional and technically oriented. So practice always and forever makes the person to develop themselves. So being gifted, practice, professional development a person must always be updated always with what going on the world is read, attend conferences etc. because everyday something new takes place especially in the engineering filed everything something new happens. Always an update for materials, philosophy for example before no one cared or took in consideration green building at all the term sustainability I started hearing about it from around 10 years. Like when I was a student and I graduated I dint know about sustainability and green building but after you graduate that’s not it you keep learning and knowing more about your field.

 

  • What are the challenges you have to face?
  • The change that happens in the world for instant the circuses that happened in Dubai during 2008. It affected the entire world. So everyone in their career faces circumstances. As I mentioned before new terms tend to appear, new philosophy’s so the project requirements changes. Like the sustainability idea now they ask for requirements that didn’t exist 10 years ago. The challenge that a person remains up to date and how to mage between that work takes all your time and at the same time you have to know what’s happening outside work.

 

 

  • How would you describe your design style?
  • According to the project and environment that you design it in. when designing a project in Dubai it is different than in Egypt than in Africa than in America it’s according to the environment. I find the word modern is unspecific I make it contemporary I like to work for something contemporary. I design a contemporary design but I have the culture of the country that must be the reflect of the design. For example if am designing in Egypt I will go and check and ancient building by the ancient Egyptian people and design the same thing because then that’s wrong then we are not moving forward no we are moving behind 7000 years. So what I do is I go research about why they did that design that way during their time and I shall do the same idea but at my present time by the skills I got now.

 

  • What has been your least rewarding role/ project experience?
  • Hotel apartment at Jumeirah j+40. The experience am getting from that project is the working relation with a lot of sub consulters. When the scale of a project is small we do it her in our office from A-Z but when it’s a bigger one like an operator Starwood that have brands under it have its own regulations, standard, minimum requirements and dimensions so that put be into lot of details that we didn’t work with before it not like an apartment building we take the owners view and do it that’s it we do from A to Z unlike having another authority with its own requirements so we working sub consulters so that was the experience it was complicated little bit.

 

  • What percentage of the process do you think is creative, and how much is problem solving?
  • He finds that architecture is 50% engineering 50% art. So 50% technical and 50% creativity. When I face a problem at work I solve it depending on what it’s relating to. Also when I face a problem I make sure that that I have a solution to it also many options and I share it with the owner and we solve it by choosing the right solution choice.

 

  • How important do you think networking is in this field?
  • It’s extremely important to have good network with all the suppliers, manufactures etc. As that network becomes bigger your options increases. I sometimes get emails for conferences that I don’t know what it is about but I have to know. Even if it’s about something am not using now for example a new material that I don’t know its application I have to know it because maybe I won’t use it now but I might use it for my next project after 5 years so I recall that this material is suitable for this project.

 

  • How important do you think understanding financial structure of a project?
  • For the project we first we do visibility study that’s phase 1 it doesn’t have to be exact like I can’t say that this is the final profit for the project.

 

  • What are the strategies you use to sell your ideas to Clients?
  • As architects the language we use is the presentation. I present more than 1 option. It’s very important to give the feeling to the owner that he is the one who is choosing while am the one who is choosing because am more experienced than he is. So I can show him two options and am sure he will choose option so I tend to lead him to option 1 because I think it’s the better. So I show him more benefits in option 1 so he choose it. It’s very important that the owner feels the achievement that he is the one who choose and made the decisions it’s a little bit of a psychology thing.

 

  • How would you identify the ideal client?
  • It’s the story of our lives that we show the client and idea and after convening him he then goes home and think with himself and decides to change his mind. So we do the second option then he goes back to option one then he decides to crate his third option so that’s our daily routine. The ideal client is the one who understands the role of the architect that the architect has his own personality and that it must show in his design and that he have a point of view and that he is not just an artist draws a building coz it’s a huge difference between drawing and designing. So the ideal client must now the difference and understand and know what is design in the first place as a basic what is design and must trust and have confidence on the architect. As both the architect and owner share the same goal by having the perfect result.

 

  • Complete this thought: design is mainly about____.
  • Design is about creation.

 

  • What are your considerations on Sustainability?
  • Sustainability is important and also is forced to be taken in consideration by the authorize of Dubai Government. Sustainability is important by both law and because it’s the right path.

 

  • Describe the Market. Have you seen how design is practiced change over the years?
  • It’s complicated. Its open in a huge range comparing to the Middle East is U.A.E especially Dubai. A lot of the most important names of architects all over the world works here in Dubai so we are in competition with the big names in a very high level. The creativity in Dubai is very high than any other county for the Middle East.

 

  • GOOD AND BAD considerations on this profession.
  • Good as it gives you the feeling of achievement by driving your car and see the building that you designed is build and people and using it effective. Also it is not a boring career you always crate and discover something new always having new projects new challenges. It’s like a whole new world with every project who are working with different people, different mentalities with different challenge because very land plot is different than the other. Bad it is extremely time consuming as the person is always at work even outside he is thinking about work. The work life balance is bad. Not enough time for your personal life.

 

  • Is there anything you wish you had known about practicing design before you started?
  • I don’t think because honestly it’s like a package with its advantages and disadvantages. Maybe the personal skills but it’s not a danger point.

 

  • What advice would you give students about to embark on a career in the design field?
  • Must be open minded, open to all aspects, must know what happening everyday around the world and always be updated.

 

  • If a client kept rejecting all your designs, what would you do?
  • We would do meetings to understand why he is rejecting, is it because of technical reasons, financial reasons or a design reasons, he doesn’t like the design or the design is unrealistic or if he won’t make money out of it. According to that we solve it and do what is best and what is comfortable to the client.

 

  • What do you need to consider when designing?
  • First of all the rules and regulations and the building code, Secondly the basics of design, clients’ needs and clients expectations.

 

  • What do you know about sustainable design?
  • I hold the LEED certification, it’s important to me as a global citizen, as a human being I want the world to be sustainable not as an architect or a designer but a human being.

 

  • What are a couple of questions you’d ask to discover your client’s requirements?
  • Budget, first of all, and I ask if he has something in mind because every client have an ideal design in mind that he saw somewhere maybe. So it’s important to understand his expectations from what he has in mind.

 

244 Total Views 3 Views Today
HusseinAUD Student Project Interview