We’re back with another Feature Friday interview! We hope that it’s been a positive start to the year for all of our members, and are glad to have you with us again.
Our guest this week is the wonderful May Fawzy, Interior Architecture Director at MF Design Studio.
WOD: Thanks for joining us. Why don’t we start with your background and what drove you towards a career in workspace design?
MF: “My passion about design started when I was 8, my brother used to build beautiful houses out of Lego and I used to break them open and start building partitions and adding furniture to create little spaces. I knew back then that I wanted to become an Interior Designer. I did a 5-year degree in Interior Architecture in Cairo, Egypt. And straight after graduation in 2004 I started my career working in one of the largest architectural firms in the Middle East – Dar Al-Handasah, developing designs for global projects in various sectors ranging from aviation, hospitality, commercial and mixed-use to high-end residential.
When I moved to England in 2006 I joined a firm where I started focusing on workplace delivering some really exciting projects which I was very passionate about. At that time my passion for workplace design grew specially the collaboration and human aspect of workplace. I worked for various firms over the years observing the two different models in the commercial sector; the traditional and the design and build, until I founded my own practice; MF Design Studio in 2015.”
WOD: How exciting. And could you tell us more about your role at MF Design Studio?
MF: “Well, where do I start! Since starting, my role has been pretty much doing everything from design, business development, marketing to accounts and HR. I am much luckier now having a great team of lovely people within the studio that I consider my family who are very passionate and supportive, they enable me to focus on the things I enjoy doing the most.
My main role / roles within the studio are creative design and design management, putting business strategies together for the studio and doing some business development too.”
WOD: It sounds like you have your hands full with a varied role! What does a typical working day for you look like?
MF: “Vibrant and dynamic to say the least, no two days are the same. My days do vary hugely based upon what day of the week it is, what meetings are in the diary and which city I need to commute to whether in the UK or in Europe where we had a couple of projects completed recently. I usually start my day with a cup of coffee catch up with my team in our office and then head out for client meetings and site visits.”
WOD: What advice would you give to somebody wanting to succeed in a role that is similar to your own?
MF: “Styles come and go. Good design is a language, not a style.” I love this quote as it reminds me of the value we bring as designers to any project. It also helps me maintain my vision and identity as a designer which can be challenging at times. Stay true to who you are as a designer and trust your judgements and instincts. Creating a beautiful design language takes a lot more than a trend or a style; it is art merged with science.”