Coming from a family of architects, interior designers and engineers, art, design and architecture is second nature to Abeer Aaudeh, founder of Studio A Design. She shares with Yasmeen Maqbool her innate passion of creating an idea and see it form into reality
How would you describe your passion for design?
I have been raised in the UAE though I am a Palestinian, born in Jerusalem. Design, art and architecture is in my blood and so it was inevitable that I opted to graduate with a degree in Architecture from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and a Planning degree from Harvard. I am vehemently passionate about design, art, art history, especially, the Islamic Arts and Architecture. I have put together a book on Medieval Jerusalem, wherein the urban evolution of the city of Jerusalem from 600 to 1200 A.D. has been documented using computer aided design.
What is Studio A Design?
Three years ago, I founded my company Studio A Design. It’s an international boutique design company based in Dubai where large, medium and small-scale projects are selectively chosen and designed. Most projects are either in the Gulf or the African region. Studio A’s portfolio ranges from master planning, architectural design and interior design, and projects ranging from residential, commercial to retail malls and aviation.
What part of design intrigues you?
What intrigues me is the idea of creating an idea! Whether it is a high-rise, a master plan for a plot or a city, a piece of furniture or a landscaped open space, the process of creation is in itself a reflection and synthesis of my artistic expression. Moreover, architecture design is especially intriguing as it is the midpoint between the Arts and Sciences.
What inspires you when working on a design and space?
The client that I am designing for is my muse. Usually the first encounter with my client opens up the doors to their inner needs and requirements.
With D3 coming to Dubai, how do you foresee the ‘design’ sense getting a boost in the region?
The region has been undergoing design for several years now. The addition of D3 to the mix will only enhance the design through a concentrated mass. This in itself will provide a closer network for designers to cross fertilize, transfer information and help create business opportunities to each other.
What has been your most challenging project?
The project that has been most challenging for me, is the one that is closest to my heart too. The project was designing the airport terminal in Mwanza, Tanzania – an African country where I had never worked before. The site of the terminal was within three kilometers from Victoria Falls and few hours driving distance to Serengeti Park and Ngoro Goro. This was my first airport terminal that I had to design. The challenge to achieve it meant putting in long hours along with extensive, meticulous detailed design, all the way from concept stage to construction documents. The research that was conducted was extensive and quite detailed. The challenges ranged from several environmental and cultural elements that had to be taken into consideration to getting the design requirements for an international airport right. The design was carried out here in Dubai with Dubai building standards and codes. This was a challenge in terms of transfer and application of design standards to Africa. The project saw completion last July 2014.
What is the way forward for Studio A Design?
I would love to take Studio A Design global. Extending my arms in newer regions will bring with it more challenges and exposure to my sense of art and design.