We took Egypt’s first Design Showcase, Cairo Design Award (CDA), as an opportunity to ask CDA’s Founder and Mahdy Group’s CEO, Hesham Mahdy about his designs, the design field in Egypt in general and of course, CDA.
Hesham Mahdy always describes his designs as a mixture of art and logic, so we also explored how he defines art and logic in the way that allows him to create designs that excel in the present and define the future as well. He told Identity that the design field in Egypt needs a platform that connects both the designer and the community.
Your designs mix between “art and logic”, what is your personal definition for art and logic?
Art is everything which is beautiful and interesting; art is never boring. Logic is practicality, functionality and durability. I believe a successful design must be a mix of both.
How far did the design field change in Egypt in the past 10 years?
There is a change from two perspectives. One, the need of design by the customer has shifted from looking for a practical design to understanding good design due to greater exposure through cinema, media and exhibitions. People are now more exposed to good designs, causing the bar of expectations to be raised.
The second perspective is the designer’s perspective. The market is now more demanding, so designers have become more exposed and more able to deliver successful projects from new buildings, to restaurants, to homes and projects.
Is there a gap between the design community and the suppliers? How can this gap be filled?
The gap is there because there isn’t a platform to connect both sides, and design is becoming like the fashion industry, so you can’t overcome the need of design by in-house designers. You now need to collaborate with famous design offices/designers. We can overcome this by better communication through exhibitions, shows, seminars and a platform like CDA. This is our main aim for the Design Showcase at CDA.
CDA is an annual event that looks to create a forum where different industry stakeholders are able to explore new opportunities, providing a milestone for design excellence that future generations of designers can build on to support the growth of the design industry and Egypt in the international design field. CDA featured its 2nd edition from the 11th to the 13th at the Nile Ritz Carlton as Egypt’s first Design Showcase.
The showcase, which will introduce a new concept to Egypt, as the field will witness suppliers and leading designers collaborating for the first time to create entire design concepts for each unique product showcased. The three days will include 40 unique design spaces showcased through the design showcase, in addition to the Cairo Design Award which took place on the 13th.