Ayah Maklad says, “Some people might think that Interior Design is merely about the decor.” Honestly, it’s so much more than that! It’s about shaping a space and sending a message through design; it’s to tell a story, emphasize a concept and translate it into the space. Interior Design is about helping the user feel exactly how they want a space to make them feel, through the design.”
Maklad is a Nibras alumni from the class of 2016. She went on to study Interior Design at the American University Dubai with a scholarship through NIS. Recently, she graduated at the top of her class with a ‘Summa Cum Laude’ honor roll. It is common for an excellent student to use reason and some of that gray matter to build a brilliant project. However, Maklad’s project outmatches even that as she managed to fill her project with logic, skills and emotion.
Ayah Maklad’s project was all about creating a home from a small space. She was inspired to carry out this project after she was influenced by her uncle who is an inter-state lorry driver. Ayah’s uncle, along with his colleagues, find respite at lorry rest-stops along the highways as they have no fixed homes and, in a way, live under their parked lorries. To make the best out of their meals, naps and card games with friends, they convert a large metal trunk attached to the side of the lorry into a home.
These trunks are filled with jars of spices, canned food, clothes, shoes, blankets, toiletries and other bric-a-brac. She joined her uncle on one of his work trips and observed the drivers’ drastic conditions. After interviewing them, she understood what their needs were and was able to design a perfect home for them. “The challenge was to create a space from space itself,” Maklad explains. She goes on to describe her conversations with her uncle about what the value of such a space was to him. Ayah shared her uncle’s explanation that, “Home can be a lot of things, but it is not about being exhausted and finding that the space you have gives you no rest, comfort or happiness.”
It is because of these words that Ayah decided to create and design a residential building made of shipping containers for her project and an underground self-expressive museum. Her designs are not only ergonomical, abstruse and practical but also have an emotional connection as it is designed with her uncle and people like him in mind.
Maklad participated in multiple contests while she was at Nibras and at University. She participated in a contest to design for ‘Bvlgari’ and the ‘Expo’ and even worked with ‘Apple’.
Ayah had won first place with ‘Routed’ for her senior project, first place at the ‘Rotana F & B’ competition and second place with ‘Interiors Furniture’.
She recalls how ‘Amazing Learning,’ in her favorite subjects like Math and Art, inspired her to excel in this field. Furthermore, she expressed how the opportunities that Nibras gave her, helped boost her confidence in taking up such challenges and allowed her to exceed her perceived potential at every stage.
It is such accomplishments and, most importantly, stories like these that make us unequivocally proud of our NIS students. We wish Ayah Maklad, a successful future and hope that she is as fond of her alma mater as we are of her.