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

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Interview with Mona Hussein at Sunday 13th of April 2014: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
MH : The ripple applique was inspired by raindrops when steadily observed and how they propagate and contrive a sequence of circular forms from the moment they fall from the sky down to when they marry with water. This pluvial process is the substructure of the design concept formation for the ripple applique.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
MH : Combine function with art, to disperse light in an artistic and visually appealing way.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
MH : I am grateful for having a design that got appreciated from a global perspective and I will work hard to promote the design as much as I can.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
MH : A week.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
MH : The project started in 2008 in Egypt and was specially designed for the Italian restaurant at The Cove –Rotana Resort & spa, Ras Al Khaimah –UAE, as I like to design all the elements in my interiors. Later in 2011 it was reintroduced in Mahally.

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 already available with full production rights over it at my store Mahally with Mona Hussein; Mahally is a homegrown Egyptian furniture store with a success rooted in the artful historic conceptions of sweet Arabia coalesced with contemporary design.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
MH : I just got inspired then got the urge to produce it locally, as we are known for the handmade brass work.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
MH : No, however I am very thankful for the master craftsmen in Egypt who helped to bring my product to life.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
MH : Anyone who appreciates lighting and especially the indirect dimming light that generates warmth, intimacy and harmony making it a pleasant addition to a mood.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
MH : The inspiration concept behind it, Most of the times, I get inspirations from nature and our culture, and then turn them into something valuable.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
MH : From the inspiration concept behind it, the ripple effect that appears around any drops or rain or water.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
MH : Hand sketches, CAD, and hammer

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
MH : The flexibility it offers to a space. It could be hung on either a ceiling or a wall, in clusters or independently to suit the mood and style of the room. The shape could also be half of the ripple or a quarter of the ripple. The metal ripple could also be sprayed using any color from electrostatic paints that one desires.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
MH : I collaborated with master craftsmen in Egypt using simple tools and it was produced in medium sized workshops.

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 : No.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
MH : When creating a design, the challenge is divided into parts. Firstly, it must serve its main purpose, so in this case the lighting effect was the main concern. Secondly, its function is important which is its flexibility in any space it is placed. Thirdly, the quality of the production must be flawless in its context.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
MH : It was a great honor that my positive and negative paravent won a golden A’design Award in the furniture, decorative items and homeware design category, 2012 – 2013. I wanted this ripple applique to be recognized internationally as well. Getting a design award is a bonus and I am grateful for that!

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
MH : I learned to challenge myself to come up with original designs.