Interview with designer Mona Hussein (MH), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Positive and Negative Paravent.

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Interview with Mona Hussein at Monday 29th of April 2013: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
MH : To create an adjustable and mobile barrier for privacy that does not protrude or disrupt a space. The Islamic motif gave me this lace-like effect as well as reversing the solid areas on each side carries out exactly the feel i want and expect from as the function of a paravant.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
MH : A product that serves as function and beauty simultaneously, spiced with a hint of culture and roots.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
MH : I want to explore more products and designs that follow the story of my vision. The concoction consists of a hint of heritage brewed with a pinch of modernity and melted into contemporary material.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
MH : It came quite spontaneously, I have always been in love with this pattern but i wanted to give it a more contemporary figure.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
MH : This specific paravant is dear to me, because it came so easily and was produced like it was meant to be. I was fiddling around with the pattern until it turned into what it is today. Kind of like a mild serendipity.

DI: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
MH : It is only sold at our store, and we have full production rights over it.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
MH : My whole shop called Mahally, meaning 'local' and 'my shop' in Arabic, is based on traditional motifs modernized.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
MH : Old Islamic architecture.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
MH : Anyone who appreciates good long lasting design. I do not like things that are not timeless.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
MH : My story. Every product i design has a story and has an idea behind it that shapes and defines what it is. Like people, if they're full of life it makes them more admirable. Always have a story behind your concept.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
MH : The pattern is used twice on the paravant, once where the pattern is emptied and the other where it is filled, 'Positive and Negative'. Similar to the yin yang, always a little good in the bad and always a little bad in the good.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
MH : Corian and laser cutter.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
MH : The mixture between the patterns and the material- they have so much chemistry.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
MH : Yes of course, the manufacturers.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
MH : The corian is a modern material, a durable one which is my favorite thing, you can place it indoors and outdoors and no harm would be done to it as it is a non-porous material.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
MH : Islamic architecture is a hobby of mine.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
MH : Surprisingly, none, it was one of the smoothest projects i have worked on. Especially as it was designed and produced during the time of our revolution in Egypt, so i felt like it was a blessing that we won an award.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
MH : I always wanted to submit my design to A' Design Award but did not ever follow through, but this award gave me a push and i am encouraging my designers to do the same.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
MH : That i have a passion for product design.