Engineer Shad Askari: My goal is to print the design work with a specific identity

The dialogue with the interior design engineer, Shad Askari, is not without depth. The latter carries historical and philosophical charge about design, and strives to be one of the pioneers of design in the world in the near future. Between Sweden, Italy and the UAE, a military man of Kurdish origin moved and took projects around the world, which was reflected in a vision that does not go beyond the past, without losing sight of the future.
More on Askari’s design philosophy, in the following dialogue.

Interior Design Engineer Shad Askari

You were born and raised in Sweden, where you built your first design studio. How did growing up influence interest in the Scandinavian style?
Scandinavian design has always been a part of me; The inspiring architect Ludwig Mies van de Rohe described this contemporary style and said: “less is more”, meaning that the ability to create must be shown through the minimum, in terms of form, noting that form is one some of the hardest to design. . The characteristics of Scandinavian design include the use of minimal materials, but the result is richness, especially since the materials come from the earth, which increases the value of any room. Contrary to popular belief, applying minimalist design is not easy. It is worth noting that important engineers have provided important forms and structures that show how to build in a smooth way. It is a strong asset of Scandinavian design.

A rich history

Engineer Shad Askari: Scandinavian design has always been a part of me

Tell us about incorporating the Scandinavian and Mediterranean styles in your projects?
Each of the two styles mentioned in your question has a long history. Therefore, the fusion of the two styles brings a combination that I find most beautiful, whether in terms of materials extracted from the Mediterranean countries, such as: stone and richer furniture design, or spreading a sense of calm, zen and simplicity of the Scandinavian countries through the artwork. It is worth noting that architecture and design were born in these geographical areas (Mediterranean and Scandinavian countries), so it is important to understand the basis of this integration. I had the privilege to know and work with some of the best architects in the world, and they were my mentors, taught me how to create the foundation of any structure, drawing inspiration from the calm and stability of Scandinavia, and then the design with history, with inspiration from Italy to offer the best combination.

A residential design project with the signature of Engineer Shad Askari

What do you remember about lessons from your university years, in Italy?
I had the privilege of studying at one of the top universities, and then working with big names, in the field of design and architecture. However, it is extremely rare to learn from people who are pioneers in these fields, despite my personal friendship with the majority of architects and furniture designers. On the other hand, however, it facilitates the creation of a subjective design and architectural vision.

refugee shelter

She was previously honored in Egypt for designing houses to house refugees in crisis areas; What are the unique features of these homes?
In 2016 I traveled to Iraq and contributed to the refugee crisis; Consequently, I decided to do what could benefit those people living in tents and facing dire conditions. I set out to design a cost-effective shelter that meets the needs of its occupants, after a team interviewed many refugees to understand their needs. Then I built the house, in a way that it can be installed and packed in a box, so that the refugee can assemble it himself, similar to “Lego” cubes, and without using screws, and note that this house also useful to house a school or hospital. The refugee is given the “house” upon arrival in the camp, and he builds it, with the possibility of adding parts to it, if he finds it necessary to do so. The design protects against cold and heat. I was honored for this design by the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, in the framework of the first edition of the World Youth Forum in 2017, which was held in Egypt. It is worth noting that my design “studio” created the project from the ground up, and that part of the proceeds of the projects I undertake are due to the development of shelter houses.

What are the most challenging tasks in your projects?

Every designer has a philosophy behind his creativity, according to engineer Shad Askari

The challenge is to educate the user about the history and power of each part in any business. Every designer has a philosophy behind his creativity, and the latter is not only about creating attractive furniture, to name but a few. It seems to me a privilege to share this philosophy, although not everyone appreciates it. So, I do not formulate any work quickly, but rather take the time for each project to meet the client’s expectations.

GCC culture

From the work of engineer Shad Askari

What is the effect of contact with the worlds of East and West, as a result of moving and living between Eastern and Western countries, on your style?
I hope that the West and the East, without excluding the culture of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, will inspire me. In the projects I undertake, it is not always a matter of simply adding what can be imported, but of imbuing the work with a design identity, drawing inspiration from other parts of the world, and building new designs.

How do you see the future of design in the Middle East?
This region is developing at a faster rate than anywhere else. I see that designers try to adapt parts drawn from regions of the world to their design work in the region, but I hope and work to create a history and philosophy of design and creativity. Architecture and design have a history, and developments over time, and we must not forget that. It is true that we are not the fathers and mothers of architecture and design, but we can show the world that we are the pioneers of the future, in these fields.

What are your future plans?
I intend to expand the business by opening more “studios” abroad, and I think Italy and the United States are candidates for that. Within Dubai, I aim to coordinate with commercial real estate developers, because I see a gap in the luxury high-rise building market between exterior architecture and interiors of apartments, so I want to bridge this gap, and pay attention to interior design.

in lines…

Engineer Shad Askari

Shad Askari, a Swedish-Kurdish interior design engineer currently residing in Dubai; He founded SA Interior Design Studio in Stockholm in 2017, before opening a new branch in Dubai. A military man, he worked as a hotel manager and served as a commander in the Swedish army, before moving to Rome to study interior design at the Istituto Europeo di Design.
The designer is fluent in six languages, which helps him while traveling, and he works on a series of projects across Europe. He considers travel as a source of great strength and passion, and attaches to this hobby the role of renewing the vision, which makes it possible to read reality in a different way, as well as inspiration in design.

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