Nahla Hamida, a young Moroccan interior designer and interior designer, is influenced by handicrafts, which she combines with her modern, strict look that expresses the concept of “less is more”. Whether in the stylist’s furniture collections, or in the spaces she decorates, things seem to create a way of communicating with the viewer. In the following dialogue, designer Nahla talks to “Madam” about her origins, the effects of the latter on her innovations and the stages that designs go through before they become tangible …
Introduce the readers of “Madam” to yourself …
I worked as an interior designer and furniture designer and lived in Marrakesh, Morocco, where I grew up. Afterwards, I studied and worked between France and Spain, started my studies in architecture in Paris and later wanted to deepen my studies by attending interior design courses in Spain.
I have always been fascinated by art, design, music and space since I was little and still while curiosity has guided my life since childhood.
The experiences of Moroccan craftsmen
The combination of traditional crafts in Morocco and a contemporary character distinguishes some of your projects; How did you come up with this design philosophy?
I come from parents of two different nationalities (Moroccan and Egyptian); With direct contact with Eastern culture, as well as with modernity, I formed my own philosophy. I grew up in Morocco, where Western culture is clearly present.
Therefore, I wanted to re-incorporate design elements from Moroccan heritage in particular, and oriental heritage in general, with the interiors of modern homes, using the expertise of local craftsmen (Moroccans), as I thought this method was preferable for the purpose of creating “minimalist” spaces that remind people of their roots and history.
Creating patterns that reflect our diverse culture is one of my goals
In Morocco, crafts, including: gypsum works and zeal tiles, are still visible in buildings and structures; Is your design philosophy trying to break free from the past and send greetings to ancestors?
exactly! I think we are rapidly moving into a virtual world where handmade items are scarce. In my designs, I really like to mix the past with the future to create unique and harmonious spaces.
What is your relationship with Moroccan craftsmen?
Local design and production has been a beautiful journey in my career, it is so exciting to witness the enthusiasm of the craftsman to learn every day. I learn from artisans, on the other hand, and I like to face these humble and sentimental people.
Work with new materials
Are there specific materials you want to use in your projects and firm furniture collections?
I always try to work with natural materials, while using them on a large scale in my projects. Natural wood and stone (marble, in particular) are my favorite materials.
In the new collection at work, new materials, such as: glass and ceramics, will enter the finishes. As for fabrics, I rely on handmade ones, especially by Moroccan women.
Handmade fabrics by Moroccan women tempt me to work with them in my designs
Do you experiment a lot before submitting a project or designing a piece of furniture?
Of course; The next step in product design and product design is creating a prototype. This step seems probably the most difficult and important part of the process. As for the design of the architectural space, it is necessary to prepare a three-dimensional image or a clear drawing, to build on it. Of course, there are always adjustments and changes, depending on the desire of the client and the desired character of the space.
Therefore, I make sure to build the initial projects, as well as to manipulate them, to meet the requirements of the clients, in cooperation with the craftsmen. After all, I aim to design a space or create a product that reflects as much as possible our diverse culture, inspires creativity and looks harmonious.
Brazilian music bossa nova
Are you inspired by stylists and artists of all fields?
I love art, music and design; I’m inspired by modern art as well as oriental paintings, and Brazilian bossa nova music. Traveling is also one of the best ways for me to find inspiration.
What are your projects for next year?
For now, with the team, I am focused on opening my own “studio” in Marrakech, while working on a new collection of furniture, using durable materials. With that in mind, I’m very focused on finding a balance between the positions of designer and entrepreneur in the process, so my decision this year is to take things step by step, away from undertaking multiple projects at once.