Architect and interior design engineer Sherif Ali is known in Egypt as the “designer of celebrity villas.” Filming of some scenes.
In the following dialogue, the architect and designer talks about his first steps in the field, his inspirations and the role of technology in his residential projects.
Was there a specific reason that prompted you to choose the College of Fine Arts for your undergraduate studies?
In high school I was among the top in the Egyptian Republic. Therefore, my grades qualified me to enter any college, but I chose the Department of Architecture, at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Zamalek, knowing that the view of fine arts is less compared to other colleges, which surprised my immediate surroundings . The reason for choosing “Arts” is because since the first year of university I have become saturated with the study of architecture, unlike the case of affiliation with the College of Engineering, where I had to spend the first year (preparatory) to learn about various engineering. departments, before majoring in architecture. Moreover, the College of Art had the effect of making me mix between art and architecture, focusing on colors in my future projects, from which sculptures and paintings are not absent. My design is like a story that lets users live its small details. In addition, since my first year of university I have been working on a project to print large graduation projects for fellow students and engineers, which brought me closer to the world of design and spread my name. Then I replaced the design with my company’s activities of printing projects, in 2006 after graduation, with the expansion of business between Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia after that.
In addition to talking about your influence on color; Are any of your favorite combinations?
Delving into the world of colors is manifold, but the answer in this regard can be shortened by saying that my projects are known for their light and light colors, and the “pastel” color palette is my favorite, which is a suitable background for any elegant piece of luxury furniture and any desired artwork, and allows for contrast to achieve Desired decor when the colors of the latter are prominent.
Your projects are known for their “modern” or contemporary character, and some of them are industrial in style; Why do you prefer these styles over others?
The majority of my industrial style designs belong to the field of commercial projects (restaurants and cafes), but in the residential area, the industrial style is limited to the ground floor, because the style always requires maintenance, and gets dirty quickly. As for the residential projects, they carry the “modern” or contemporary style. These two styles represent my playground, which carries my brand, and they have become popular in Saudi villas, so my company’s business there is abundant. On the other hand, the classic style is far from me, and I do not accept similar projects.
In the field of interior design, we have succeeded in highlighting our names in the Arab region and even Europe
How about incorporating modern technology into interior design?
This aspect distinguishes my projects, because I do not consider technology as a view that limits it to the aspect of achieving well-being for the residents, but I raise the importance of this practical presence, i.e. the control of all household appliances , lighting and security over the telephone, as well as saving on electricity bills, while abandoning light buttons that distort the walls and being satisfied with a panel that controls the lighting of the house and its tools, facilitating the diaries (there is no need to returning home from a remote location just by forgetting to close the door or turn off the electrical system). At the beginning of home automation, it was expensive, and the majority of owners often abandoned the idea, although “Smart home” is essential these days.
How is the construction boom in Egypt reflected in the field of interior design? How does it benefit the consumer?
The volume of projects and contracting in both Egypt and Saudi Arabia has recently and continues to increase, and the percentage of ownership is increasing, making the resort to an interior design engineer inevitable, which is reflected positively on the field. In addition, home owners are more and more confident about the role of the design engineer who is responsible for preparing the interior of the house and coordinating its decoration, after being satisfied with the expertise of the carpenter or any other industrialist to complete the works. to copy previously seen in exhibitions and magazines, but the result was unsuccessful, with errors committed by hand cutting dimensions.
You are a fashion lover, and a follower of everything new in it. How does this affect your designs?
Influenced by the world of “fashion”; I think a person, whether male or female, cannot pay attention to the design and decoration of his home and highlight his taste in his abode, without paying attention to its care, colors and style. Clothing says a lot about personal taste, and it can allow the entrepreneur’s preferences to be discovered. In addition, the colors of fashion are influential in interior design and architecture.
Travel for inspiration
Any other sources for inspiration?
I am convinced that many trips are useful and inspiring for the designer and architect, regardless of the destination, the purpose of the visit and the means of transport. It is enough to look at certain lines that belong to a building, while walking, or at a color that needs to be affected, and then bring it out in a new way, in the project I am working on.
I am influenced by the world of “fashion” and Italy is a pioneer in the field of furniture design and manufacturing
Italian furniture is your favorite; And you make periodic visits to Italian fairs to keep up with what’s new. Tell us more…
Italy, especially the capital, Rome, is a symbol of design, architecture and furniture. This view is common among Arabs. Therefore, my visits to Italy are very much to keep up with everything that is new, especially in the context of furniture design and manufacturing; Their colors, materials and finishes. And if the budget of the owner of the project I undertook allowed to buy furniture (sofas, chairs, chandeliers…) from Italy, it would highlight my design work. When it comes to furniture, Italy is a pioneer, while I find that in the field of interior design, we have managed to highlight our names in the Arab region, and even Europe.
What are your projects for the latter part of 2022?
These are residential projects for the loft, and they are villas of different sizes in Egypt; Some of them extend up to 1,400 square meters (for residential spaces exclusively without external), and note that most of the projects undertaken by my company belong to well-known representatives in Egypt and the Arab world. In addition, there is a spa in Egypt. In Saudi Arabia, in addition to housing projects, there are also health resorts and hotels.