- Article by Natalie Mortimer
In the lead up to IDEA 2019, ADR is running a series of Q&As and profiles with this year’s esteemed jury. In the first instalment, we catch up with Yasmine Ghoniem, one half of interior design practice Amber Road.
ADR: What’s the biggest misconception that people have about life in a design practice?
Yasmine Ghoniem: It’s not all colour, fabrics and sketching; that part roughly equates to about 20 percent, the remaining 80 percent is ensuring your paper dreams are realized. However, the average day is incredibly diverse. Our profession lets us into the worlds of so many other creative industries which is perhaps what I love most about interior design.
How do you keep challenging yourself individually and as a practice?
Our clients continually challenge our design ideals, what we originally considered to be good or bad in the beginning, is so often swapped around by the time the project is finished; they’re taste morphs into ours and vice versa. Mixing things up and doing both resi and hospitality keeps the studio fresh and engaged.
Cross-pollination of these sectors really makes for a richer and more interesting narrative with every new project we take on.
What has remained evergreen in your creative approach and what continues to evolve?
During those really early concept days, it’s so hard not to unconsciously absorb, so I find one way to remain fresh is by minimizing exposure to what other practices are up too, so no magazines, no social media, no hunting. It’s really hard to do.
What’s one design rule that you like to break?
Rules aren’t part of our studio’s vocabulary.
As a judge of IDEA 2019, what will you be looking for in the entries?
Originality of thought. I’m always really fascinated how studios treat budgets, do they become an inhibitor or the creative drive?
What are your favourite kind of spaces to design?
It’s not what kind of spaces, but for which kind of people. We love designing for clients who really see the value in what we do. Their appreciation makes such a difference to the outcome.