Hakim El Amrani, an engineer who strives to introduce biophilic design to Morocco


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Hakim El Amrani, a Dutchman of Moroccan descent, is one of the few designers – and the only Moroccan in the Netherlands – to have proven himself in biophilic design.

His family, who hail from Marrakesh, arrived in the Netherlands in the 1970s, and unlike many Moroccans who chose to stay at home, Hakim El Amrani’s mother chose to enter the labor market. “I have been working in a restaurant for more than 12 years, the Royal Academy of Arts in Amsterdam,” he said during his conversation with Yabiladi. During the school holidays, Hakim would accompany her to her workplace. “It was as if you were in another world within this prestigious school, and to keep me busy, the painters gave me paint, or pencils, or cutting materials, or clay,” he says.

His contact with artists from an early age had a particular influence, which led him to choose Interior Architecture and Spatial Design at the Academy of Arts in Rotterdam. “When I finished my training, I joined architectural firms, but I noticed that they focus on the beauty of the final presentation and the use of many materials,” he said.

“Integration of nature in the built environment”

This is what prompted him to take an interest in new technologies that combine environmental protection with luxury. “I spent 8 years studying new genres, such as biophilic design, that integrate nature into the built environment,” he said, noting that the term “biophilia” was first coined by German-American psychoanalyst Erich Fromm, has been used, adding that this psychoanalyst “Notes that patients who are in rooms with windows overlooking trees or green spaces recover faster than others.”

This is how the young Dutch-Moroccan started to develop interior and exterior designs inspired by this concept. “In the Netherlands, I am asked to do exterior or interior design or something in between to include elements of nature,” he said.

After passing many tests, the Moroccan engineer decided to set up “Studio Nosnos” specializing in biophilic design, explaining: “The studio works on different levels, from interior design to exterior in the context of urban design and architecture … We encourage green growth in order to create a healthy and inclusive society.

“Our work is not static, but aims to include natural plants in the design, from the bedroom to the outdoor spaces. Our ambition is to create biophilic design cities, by implementing nature-based design in the built environment, in ‘ a time when cities are growing faster, which increases the severity of the suffering of our ecosystems. “

Hakim Al-Omrani

As this style of design became popular in the Netherlands, the Dutch-Moroccan began receiving offers to present his ideas in a range of schools and institutions. “Many of the people who come to my studio for advice want to know the prices, I regularly tell them about research done in hotels, which showed that 36% of customers sit a lot in the reception halls that are in these spaces, which include plants, ”he said. “I’m glad to see that my work helps people feel at home,” he said.

The introduction of biophilic design and biophilic cities to Morocco

The Moroccan engineer says he received a series of calls from Moroccans seeking advice, and he said: “I recently assisted a private clinic in Marrakesh, which also wanted biophilic design in the building’s courtyards and rooms. I also assisted a Belgian, who owns a well-known riad in Marrakech, by designing an institution’s balcony.

During his conversation with Yabiladi, Hakim El Amrani did not hide his desire to work on such designs in Morocco, noting that this method has not yet attracted interest in the Kingdom, as is the case in the Netherlands. She incorporates this style in her designs

Arab Berber and Islamic architecture was a pioneer. The ancient riads of Morocco have roofless patios, with a garden and trees around which rooms are built, and their decoration also includes drawings and glazes inspired by nature. ”

Hakim Al-Omrani

For this Moroccan engineer, “it is possible today to work from Holland to redesign any space, using biophilic design in any region of the world, including Morocco, thanks to the new technology,” referring to the work he did gathered with a friend. in Japan as well as with a Belgian resident in Marrakesh.

Hakim is also currently studying the possibility of holding conferences in Morocco, thanks to the partnership between Studio Nosnos and ClimateLaunchpad Morocco, noting that among the ambitions of these two institutions is the launch of biophilic design in Morocco. He concluded his speech by calling for the adoption of natural and environmental methods and materials in Morocco to protect people and the environment.

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