We are pleased to announce the Young Interior Designer of the Year shortlist for the Commercial Interior Design Awards 2020.
Despite a uniquely challenging year, we've received nearly 300 submissions across 17 categories for this year's event.We've already introduced our judges and over the coming week, we will be releasing the names of the finalists in all the categories.
First up are the six designers aged 30 and under vying for the title of Young Interior Designer of the year.
Fatma Elfeki, Roar
Pallavi Dean, founder and creative director of Roar, says: "Fatma started with Roar as an intern and is now an intermediate level designer. It’s been amazing to watch Fatma find her design voice over the past four years.
"She spent a year away from Roar to complete her masters in Arts & Design History. We’ve stayed in touch throughout – with her helping us with our London studio during that time. Fatma is a well-rounded designer with an eye for detail– importantly she also contributes to the Roar’s social media channels- with animations and videos and contributes to thought leadership pieces – she is eager to learn and has a lovely can-do attitude to every task."
Fatma adds: "Ever since I started working with Pallavi Dean, I was encouraged to expand my design skillset. I have learned from her that being a talented designer is not only limited to designing spaces. A talented designer must expand their tool kit.
"From this advice, I volunteered to create content for the company’s Instagram page. This includes creating animated videos of our interior projects & developing graphic content of the studio’s work."
Ilsiiar Timirova, Settle
Ilsi completed her Bachelor's degree in Interior Design from Moscow. She started her career in Moscow and moved to Dubai to enrich her design experience.
She joined Settle design studio in 2017, two weeks after completing my architectural degree in Moscow. In her own words, she was immediately “thrown into the deep end” of the design “ocean."
Within a year she was handling multiple projects simultaneously. Her favourite one was a six-bedroom villa in Dubai Hills. Ideally, the project of this size would have taken six months to complete, but Illsi did it in seven weeks.
Nominator Fayree Benedicto says: "Ilsi has great design skills. She is also a diligent and truthful team member. Her interpersonal and technical skills are outstanding and are highly appraised by the managers. She has proved herself to be a valuable member of our team through her dedication and hard work."
The 2020 edition of the CID Awards will take place on November 25 at JW Marriott Marquis in Business Bay, Dubai.
Laura Lee, Swiss Bureau Interior Design
Laura Lee’s journey in design is marked by a life well-travelled. Her Latin American roots and architectural studies in Europe forged the foundation upon which she built her career in interior design here in the Middle East.
Laura Lee joined Swiss Bureau Interior Design in 2019 as an interior designer working alongside hospitality design Director, Vaida Buchrotaite. She has great autonomy to lead projects, develop concepts, and push boundaries with clients and for the firm. Notably, because her first project – a bespoke superyacht for a private client – was delivered flawlessly, says her nominators.
“Since the first day Laura joined us, I have been consistently impressed by her creativity, taste, determination, and dedication toward her work. Through her passion and love for design, she has demonstrated sound critical thinking skills, technical capabilities, systematic planning, and a keen eye for detail,“ says Joakim de Rham, Swiss Bureau CEO & co-founder.
Mandy Oeni, Eight Inc
Mandy obtained a masters degree in architecture from the prestigious National University of Singapore in 2014. As part of her commitment to using architecture to improve society, Mandy developed sustainable masterplans and built homes for impoverished communities in Cambodia.Upon graduation, Mandy joined award-winning boutique architectural practice Arc Studio Architecture + Urbanism. Eight Inc - the brainchild behind Apple’s original, iconic flagship store - came calling in 2017. As the firm looked to expand globally to the Middle East by opening a local office, Mandy joined the creative collective in its formative years as part of the pioneering Dubai-based design team.
She also delivered the completion of Aviation X-Lab, an innovation lab for the future of aviation, which saw HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai inaugurated the opening of the space.
Shabbar Sagarwala, principal at Eight Inc, says: "Mandy Oeni is curious and adventurous. She doesn't mind the discomfort of not knowing the answer and is willing to make the effort to find it. She is generous with her time and takes genuine steps to get to know her colleagues."
Nicola Fahy, Studio EM
Nicola Fahy, 30, began work at Studio EM as an intern in 2012 and since then she has risen to be head of F&B in the design firm.
Here's what Emma Stinson, owner of Studio EM has to say about her: “It’s hard to avoid rhetoric when describing Nicola and her contribution to the studio, the highest praise I can give her, is that without her, the studio simply wouldn’t be where it is today, for someone who started as an intern to now being my right-hand woman, we would struggle to achieve what we have without her."
An interior architecture and design graduate with a BA (Hons) from Nottingham Trent University in the UK, her sharp rise in the firm, from being a shy intern to being Emma’s right-hand woman in heading up the F&B design division of the Studio is testament to her hard work, talent and sheer tenacity.
During her tenure as a young designer, the Dubai born-expat has completed over 75 projects, most noticeably for clients such as Namshi, Danone, Skydive Dubai, Wagamama’s, Candylicious, Five Guys, Alchemy, Pascal Tepper, One Life and Mighty Quinns.
In an effort to develop her knowledge of products and design skills, Nicola constantly hosts 'supplier Wednesdays' where she invites suppliers from 9-1 to come in a present their latest products.
Rosha Ehsan, Gastronomica Middle EastAs the senior interior designer of Gastronomica Middle East, Rosha Ehsan is currently developing multiple upscale dining concepts for leading restaurant operator along with managing key hospitality developments in the GCC region.
As the former lead interior designer at Creneau International Middle East, she managed hospitality, F&B, corporate & residential projects from inception to handover.Some of her key projects include a 4+ star beachfront hotel by Rotana at the lush and prominent mangroves of Ras Al Khaimah, the redesign of a franchise French bakery ‘Pascal Tepper’ that has recently been opened at Four Points by Sheraton, the refurbishment of Abudhabi Power Corporation Offices located in Abudhabi Global Market, the design of Fitzroy European Bistro operating at the Pointe Palm Jumeirah, and more.
Her award-winning work and design approach is informed by sustainability, flexibility, innovation, futuristic design and research, says her colleagues.
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