Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Lama Ajeenah (LA) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Lama Ajeenah by clicking here.
Interview with Lama Ajeenah at Tuesday 15th of April 2014
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
LA: I was interested in art and design since I was a teenager. However, I have always been an attentive student as I got high grades in high school. I graduated with a 98% score, hence I was expected me to get into medicine but I was interested in design instead.
FS: What is "design" for you?
LA: Design is a means to communicate honest messages to clarify, educate, and benefit the audience as well as the client without harming society and the environment.
FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
LA: I like designing for social, environmental and political issues to raise awareness. I also like to experiment in typography and design branding, typefaces and publications. As self initiated projects, I like designing projects that have a social, environmental and political impact. If it was a client base project, I like to design publication design, branding, and advertising.
FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
LA: My favorite design is nature.
FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
LA: It was a competition for Mercedes Benz ad.
FS: When do you feel the most creative?
LA: when I design for something that has to do with ethical design and a cause that I care about.
FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
LA: I focus on concept and paying attention to details in execution.
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
FS: What makes a design successful?
LA: strong concept and attractive visual
FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
LA: a graphic designer is an author who is aware about the social, political and environmental context he or she is living in, and seek for a better change that will serve the client as well as society and the environment.
FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
LA: there is a split among designers between designing something that looks appealing visually that will attract attention and sell more regardless of the product’s value. On the other hand, there is design that is based on ethical issues that discuss and question culture, consumerism, and politics. I think good design is the one that serves the human without harming the society, environment or culture.
FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
LA: In London at London College of Communication, as for my future exhibition I would like to hold it in Turkey, Istanbul.
FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
LA: it comes from daily incidents, politics, religion, and culture.
FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
LA: My designs are based on concepts that relate to issues inspired from culture. The designer Jonathan Barnbrook influenced me, when I was studying my bachelor degree at the university; I was fascinated by his designs and way of thinking. It encouraged me further to continue working in the same approach and polish my designs in typography and ethical design. He was my role model in design, then I took internship at his studio in London which taught me a lot during that period. I learned skills in typography, paying attention to details in design as well as working with issues that discuss politics and society.
FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
LA: I live in Saudi Arabia. The fact that I am half Palestinian and half Syrian living in Saudi Arabia and studied in London enriched my vision in design. My style was influenced by the rich mixture of culture and Islamic identity in the Middle East as well as the contemporary design of the west.
FS: How do you work with companies?
LA: I work as a lecturer at Dar Al Hekma University. I am also working as a free-lance designer on the side. It comforts me as I tend to be selective of the type of projects I’m working on.
FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
LA: chooses a designer who is eager to learn and also has a strong base in typography.
FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
LA: once I get the brief from a client, I brainstorm, research, sketch and then proceed working on the computer.
FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
LA: I wake up in the morning, get my coffee to work, teach at Dar Al- Hekema University, which I love to do. Then I go home, spend some time with family. And then work on my free-lance jobs. Usually it takes 3 hours a day. I prepare for my lectures the next day and sleep.
FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
LA: work hard, connect with issues happening in the world, be passionate about what you design and try to learn everyday till the last day of your life.
FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
LA: always be honest, work with passion and work for designs that will not harm the environment, or society.
FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
LA: be nice and honest, enjoy learning and have emotional intelligence.
FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
LA: I try to manage my time by prioritizing my jobs according to importance and urgency.
FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
LA: It depends on the size of the project.
FS: Who are some of your clients?
LA: Victoria and Albert Museum, Emaar Contracting Company, Sawani Department store, Dar Al-Hekma University, and TED conference.
FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
LA: take my PhD.
FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
LA: I work with a team but I prefer to work by my self
FS: How can people contact you?
LA: through email: email@example.com
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