Azza Fahmy and Paradoxi Furniture and Object Design Platform Workshop at GIU

Date: Saturday, May 8, 2021

In the context of the Design Theory course taught by Bianca Koczan and Kegham Djeghalian for the first year Industrial and Fashion Design students, Djeghalian invited Amina Ghali, Head Designer of the Egyptian seminal jewelry brand Azza Fahmy Jewellery and Mariam Elias, founder and designer of furniture and object design platform Paradoxi to GIU Cairo for an intervention consisting of an insightful lecture and a lively conversation with our Design students.


Ghali started the talk by presenting the history and aesthetic universe of the half-century-old brand while sharing her own journey at Azza Fahmy to be appointed head designer. Among the highlights of Ghali’s talk was her stress on the importance of the elaborate and in-depth research that backs each major collection at Azza Fahmy so that the pieces produced take on a different function than just aesthetic jewelry and act as emblems for education and cultural heritage awareness. Ghali also addressed the topics of craft versus design, authenticity in cultural referencing, versus the mere use of ethnic marketing as a commercial tool.


Mariam Elias started her talk by defining intangible cultural heritage and how it is the intellectual basis for her brand Paradoxia. Elias addressed how the research for her designs engages with local sociology, the Egyptian every day, humor, and collective nostalgia. She expressed how most of her designs are based on the creative strategy of up-cycling, reuse, appropriation and hybrid structures.


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