Engineer Fatima Al Asaad: My designs in metaverse reflect peace and tranquility

The young Saudi woman, Fatima Al-Assaad, known as “SATTOM” was sent to study architecture in the United States of America. She completed her university studies in 2017, with a bachelor’s degree in engineering, and settled in Los Angeles. , where she worked, and is still in the framework of an engineering company that undertakes projects specifically for hospitalization and research centers. Since the epidemic hit the world, Stom, the descendant of the eastern region, in addition to his work, has undertaken the interior design of commercial, entertainment and artistic projects in the virtual world (metaverse and other virtual world platforms), where he spends his knowledge in the field of engineering, in the preparation of spaces that ensure For users to rest while playing, shopping or even relaxation … About the differences between design for our world, virtual reality, its style, how architecture shaped has his way of thinking, and future projects, engineer “Stupid” talks to “Madam”.

Saudi engineer Fatima Al-Assad, better known as ‘Dumb’ (Photo: Christina Marie Rivera)

Tell us about your first steps in design in the virtual world …
Through my studies and work, in the field of architecture, I have developed my interest in electronic design and virtual architecture; Initially, it was limited to the preparation of three-dimensional designs, within the framework of artistic expression (Digital Art), and the design of various things from spaces to pieces of furniture in a virtual image. After a while of sharing my work online, however, I started collaborating with artists and companies in different fields to create virtual experiences for users. The media in which my design works appeared in the virtual world were advertisements for products, short lyrical “video clips” or electronic exhibitions of works of art, etc …

Is the design process of any project for the virtual world limited to 3D graphics?
In terms of how to work, whether in reality or in the virtual world, the starting point is to look for an idea to solve a specific problem. In fact, for example, the client may need a home to live in, and in the virtual world, the client may request the design of a space to host a digital conference … From the idea, whatever it is is, I draw the design plan first, and then build the 3D model in both cases; In actual construction I have to work with contractors and engineers to bring my plans to reality, but in the virtual world it is possible to collaborate in some way with programmers or specialists in 3D programs, in accordance with the metaverse platform that will receive the project.

Women’s art creations

What kind of projects have you designed in the virtual world?

From the Japanese-style virtual exhibition hall project
  • A virtual exhibition hall, the decor of which is inspired by the Japanese style of design; It used abundant wood in the aforementioned project, and used the material on part of the floors outside the doors, which mimicked the “engawa” in traditional Japanese rooms … The aim of the project was to create a display window create for home accessories from different companies, with the aim of selling “online”. The pieces included: a lamp designed by an artist based in Philadelphia, a mirror of a company in New York, and a mural drawn by a Dutch artist; Within the design, she created a space for the said lighting unit in the living room, and also used the crystal accessories in the bedroom, in addition to installing the artwork on one of the walls …
  • a (real) company that sells household goods, on the occasion of the launch of its first product in the virtual world; After discussions with the client, I decided to use the white color in the project with a simple design, and materials such as glass and concrete, with the absence of separations between the internal and external spaces through the use of elements of nature , such as water, rocks and plants inside, in order to evoke a comfortable feeling among the ranks of the visitors to the place in the world.
    Designed by a company that sells household goods
  • A virtual exhibition of women’s art creations; My design idea was to arrange the works of the artists on a series of wavy figures, arranged in the shape of a flower and in the presence of a reflective pool, thus increasing the contributions of women in society in general, and in the artistic community in particular, in an abstract way.
    Designed through the virtual exhibition of women’s art creations

The foregoing represents a part of the virtual spaces I have been working on, in the virtual world.

Does design in the virtual world care for the psychology of users, and for example, take into account the effect of colors on them?
My goal with the design of virtual spaces has been to transport viewers to places that evoke feelings of peace and tranquility within them, since I focused on this field in 2020, when the world population was concerned about the dire health situation due to the epidemic. To achieve this goal, I often follow the rules of the “minimalism” school, with its straight lines and “clean” curved shapes, and away from exaggerated decoration, with the rationing in the use of materials and colors to the extent of three of them.

plaster and concrete

What are your favorite design materials and colors?
As for materials, I am attracted to plaster and concrete (raw), and the warmth of the space is added by wood. In terms of colors, I like to work with white, gray, earthy colors and monochrome in general. Of course, it is necessary to take into account the client’s taste, the identity of the project he designed and the heritage of the brand. Another important factor in the context of creating a quiet design is to eliminate the margins between the interior and exterior spaces and strengthen the visual connection with nature, by looking inside and out, and green touches to add to the interior.

Do you follow the trends in the (realistic) design world, in terms of decorations, furniture and accessories, when designing for the virtual world?
Not necessarily, each project is unique in terms of the sources of inspiration that move me while I work, and therefore the use of any element to fill the architectural space, as well as the furniture if any, is due to the story that I want to tell through the whole place. For example, in the above-mentioned Japanese-inspired virtual exhibition hall, the seats were low, similar to traditional Saudi seats, in the main living area. In the bedroom there was a mail-bed, a few inches off the floor, and extending to the walls, in the form of planks covering the bare concrete. At other times, design may follow the prevailing trend, although this factor is not a major design factor.

human experience

How did your studies at the College of Architecture help you design for the virtual world?
Architecture has developed my interest in design, and my understanding of interior architecture and its impact on human experience, knowing that the user experience plays an important part in design, even in virtual worlds. In addition, architecture has taught me to carefully research any project, study precedents, and perform quite a few design iterations before I arrive at the final solution. I am currently following this path of design in the virtual world. I also had to learn how to use a lot of 3D software, both in university and in the field of work, and note that I use many of these tools currently in the production of my virtual worlds.

What are your future projects, in the real and virtual world?

I did not announce it before this interview with “Madam”; I’m working on a series of new virtual projects, gathering and healing spaces, the designs of which are inspired by the historic bathrooms of the Middle East, North Africa and Andalusia. Footage will be released regularly through the summer; The footage will be available for purchase in the form of non-swingable digital assets (NFTs) or physical prints. As for actual projects, I’m very excited, since building the new Salk Institute for Biological Sciences and Technology Center (based in La Jolla, California), I’ve been involved in the design with a small team of architects within the HDR. company I work for. It is noteworthy that the building of the main institute, located near the new building under construction, was designed by the famous American architect Louis Kahn in the 1960s, and is considered one of the most famous buildings of the twentieth century. . My dream of being part of the design team for this landmark project has come true!

I often follow the rules of the “minimalist” school in the design of spaces in the metaphysical world

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