Bilingual stools in DenmarkMay 25, 2022
Meet the ten Egyptian furniture designers selected to take part in Bilingual: Design for Circularity this autumn.
After four successful rounds of Bilingual Design – bringing Egyptian and Danish designers together to design and produce furniture, this year the project is taking on a new challenge which is to focus on Design for Circularity.
The program will include ten Egyptian designers, in teams of two, who will be taking part in a study trip at the Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen in September and the study trip and workshop in Cairo and Egypt in November to produce their furniture pieces following the principles of circular design and under professional supervision at Pinocchio Furniture Factory. The program will also include twenty Danish design students enrolled at the Royal Danish Academy.
Circular design is a design strategy aiming at minimizing or ending waste in furniture throughout all its process from design to manufacturing to use to discard. How can we “close the loop” and build furniture from either biological materials that can safely return to the natural world or biodegrade naturally over time? If non-natural materials are used, how can we ensure that they can be reused or repurposed once their use in the design is finished? From that also comes the question of durability – How can we design products that can last but also have mechanisms for repair, repurpose and remanufacture?
The program is carried out in collaboration with the Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen, DESiGNDUSTRY and Pinocchio Furniture Factory in Egypt. The results of the workshop will be shown in Cairo and later in Copenhagen in public exhibitions where the designers will get the opportunity to receive feedback from the public.
Heba Mahfouz is a Cairo based freelance designer. She is an architect with a passion for furniture design. In 2022, she obtained a diploma in furniture design and visualization, and ever since, she has participated in numerous competitions and with every bump that came up in her way, she became more stubborn and resilient to challenge herself more, until she won her first competition, knowing that it won’t be her last one. Heba’s newfound goal is to create a brand that uses sustainable local materials to reflect the Egyptian identity.
Hazem El-Zeky is a furniture designer and visualizer, from Damietta, an established city in the furniture industry in Egypt. He graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering, then he shifted careers to follow his passion for furniture design and manufacturing. He started his career with working for a local cabinets company. After that, he worked for an Italian kitchen brand as a technical and installation engineer in Moustafa El Sallab establishment. He also worked as an R&D engineer for La Roche furniture company. In addition to that, he works as an instructor in Information Technology Institute. He finally started up his own brand KITZOOM, where he designs and fabricates his own designs, with local materials and an Egyptian identity.
Heba Al Saiedy
Heba Al Saiedy is a well-established creative product designer based in Cairo, Egypt with over ten years of experience. She graduated from the German University in Cairo. As the founder and lead designer of Layers design studio, Heba is driven by her passion to design and create Egyptian products with a global essence. Her goal is to make these designs become a lifestyle for everyone, making a mark on the international stage. Throughout her career, Heba has been dedicated to elevating the craft of product design, ensuring that her work is always fresh and innovative. Her dedication to her craft has earned her a loyal following of clients and collaborators, who value her expertise and creative vision. Heba Al Saiedy’s work is a testament to her commitment to excellence and her ability to seamlessly blend traditional Egyptian craftsmanship with contemporary design principles.
Mohamed El Haddad
Mohamed Mamdouh El-Haddad is an architect and furniture designer with more than ten years of experience in the field of design. He worked in the largest consulting offices in the field of architecture until he established his own studio in 2021 to specialize in designing furniture and home accessories. El-Haddad’s products are based on original designs and are completely locally manufactured, and the pieces are inspired by the heritage found in Egypt which adds something special. Al-Haddad won many awards in the field of design, the last of which is the CAIRO DESIGN AWARD, which is considered the most important award in the field of design in Egypt. Mohamed El-Haddad seeks to make products that he would be proud to export outside the country and be designed and manufactured in Egypt.
Ahmed Essam is an architect with nine years of experience. He’s worked on several projects of various scales and scopes. Essam has been passionate about product and furniture design and has participated in the design of multiple furniture lines for furniture manufacturers in Egypt. Essam is also passionate about product design & 3D printing. He founded Studio Point O in 2020 where he 3D prints products and helps designers design and develop their ideas into products & print them.
Bassem Ashraf is a polymathic designer, who is interested in various design fields, his main occupation is in Architecture, but works also as a graphic designer, on branding and as a product designer. Bassem has won some national and international awards, and has been a member of the egyptian delegation in the UIA congress in 2018 in Seoul, South Korea and won a special mention award in the ceremony. He also co-founded Master Crafter, which works with sustainable materials and design products that is enclosed in a sustainable life cycle, from design to execution.
Nisreen Ezzeldeen studied furniture design at Faculty of Applied Arts and then started her journey to discover her passion for the design process through her work. She joined different furniture workshops and won several local awards. With every experience she had, she experimented to add to her design knowledge. She is interested in researching and learning new methods of furniture design. She loves art, music and is inspired by nature.
Zhraa Alshafeei is a furniture designer. Zhraa has been passionate about design since childhood, after graduating from the Faculty of Applied Arts, she started focusing on furniture and product design. Her work unifies functionality with aesthetic. Zhraa loves design in all fields, and she never stops searching for new styles and new forms of self-expression to improve her skills.
Omar Altawansy is an architect, an urban researcher and the co-founder of rnkl, an eco friendly furniture brand. He has participated in several urban development projects in Egypt, including the urban upgrading of informal and historic areas as well as heritage management projects. He has also worked as a public space expert. His key interest is research and applied projects focused on deprived urbanism and marginalized communities. His designs are always based on urban data analysis, in-depth interviews with local authorities, planning firms and NGOs. His artistic identity is driven by the incentive of finding an expressive representation of ideas and visions of different users while maximizing achieving the targeted objectives. My approach to on-ground design challenges involves bridging multiple disciplines to reach optimized solutions. When he created rnkl, he wanted to merge his technical approach with his sustainability vision to produce a smart eco-friendly furiture brand, selling products with outstanding function that look minimalistic and trendy.
Mazen Moussa is an interior architect and furniture designer, he started a company called ProjectSpace three years ago in the field of interior design. After the market facing some problems regarding exported materials in addition to pollution increase, he started to collect wood and steel waste from different channels like factories, workshops and construction sites, to up-cycle them into functional up cycled eco friendly products and interior elements. A year ago he started rnkl as a co-founder. It’s an Egyptian-based brand focused on developing smart, elegant hand-crafted products, using recycled paper, wood and steel waste and other up-cycled materials, to raise awareness of our rich nature which provides us with a great environment that needs to be looked after and appreciated.