Eng. Muhammad Taher… A Distinct young Egyptian Architect and interior designer, and one of the most Distinguished Arch-viz stars all over the world… He enriches the fields of Architecture, Interior Design, and Arch-Viz with his Designs and visualizations especially Luxurious Residential Projects for more than 10 years from the capital of art and beauty… Alexandria, Egypt.
We had the chance to do the following interview with him, so we tried not to make it long, and asked him and he answered as follows:
Engineer Muhammad Taher…in the beginning our best regards for you and your fans inside the field and outside it… everyone in the filed knows very well that what mentioned in the introduction was very short (to not make it long), however we want to know
How did you start your career… did you start with freelancing?
In the beginning I’d like to thank you all who’s working on the website. My start was a bit different because photography was my hobby during studying Architectural Engineering. I decided to be a Professional photographer after graduation. Refined my skills by studying and working for almost 2 years. After that I decided to go back to Design again by working in an Engineering consulting office in KSA for 3 years. Then I decided to come back to Egypt and freelanced for 3 years. Until I started to run my own office about 2 years ago.
What are the most important features and pros during these 10 years?
My beginnings with photography refined my skills even as an architect, and it was my way through which I discovered my passion for Design, and became more intensively familiar with forms and spaces, in addition to colors and different design elements functionality. That was also significantly reflected on my skills in Architectural Visualization. I also gained many experiences while working in the Gulf market back then, actually it is the main factor in the formation of my personality as an Architect right now.
What are the most important things you’ve learned or instructions given to you through this period of you career? And what would you like to advise beginners with?
I learned a lot during the first five years of my career, I will put it in the form of tips, the most important of which:
-Architecture has many specialties and within every specialty there are many other specialties. look for what you are good at and only specialize in it.
- Do not start your career with freelancing. Because there is a big gap between study and real-world Market. So, you will lose a lot of time if you do not start involving and gaining experiences through good consulting or engineering offices in the Market
- The Arts of Business Management and Marketing are two of the most important factors of success for any successful Architect or Designer.
- An Architect should by challenging, intellectual, acquainted, and developing consistently… Read, study a lot and keep a camera with you all the time to record any moment that might inspire you.
- There is a big difference between inspiration and imitation … Do not imitate anyone’s work. Always retain your personal identity in all of your works.
My final and most important advice… when working on Oriental projects, Classic or Traditional… Emphasize the spirit of the age or era… but try working on its evolution by studying the elements of design and the determinants of the era.
How do you manage to start working on a project and what are the most important sources of your inspiration?
Any Design; Architectural or Interior, starts with an idea or a concept. And gets determined certainly through the demands and tastes of clients in addition to costs. And after that comes my role as an Architect to develop the concept through the available data; So that I achieve a functional solution in a scientific approach and an aesthetic look. Then I translate that into 2D plans (floor plans-elevations-sections-ceilings-flooring-lighting-landscape)..then we get to the next step and that is choosing materials and furniture, then working in 3D programs; in this step we may do a lot of edits in 2D plans till i get to the final image of the design and finally i go for the Preparation of workshop drawings of the project.
“Skills Refinement and Development by learning new stuff, and passing knowledge are the most important keys to success” It is no secret that you are keen on the second part of the saying, but do you have time to do the first part, “Refining and developing skills”? and How do you do that?
For sure the first part is so important and without it you can’t continue. I still see myself as a beginner somehow; need to continue with development and that’s what give me the motivation to continue and keep learning every day. Sure, getting older; responsibility gets big too but the key here is in team working and assigning tasks to others under your supervision and training… And as i said before; developing skills comes with reading and wondering about what surrounds you, traveling if possible, contacting with experiences and participating in competitions and things like that.
Who are the designers that you follow their work in general? Do you prefer one of them? What is the most thing that makes him or her special?
In general, there are many both worldwide and in the Arab world in different Architectural Fields, but in particular I am a big fan of Alberto Pinto and Perla Lichi distinguished with a strong identity and a different style which is clear in their work. And of course, at the level of friends or the current generation of youth in Egypt i love the work of Karim Moussa and Mahmoud Qeshta.
Most of beginners have a slow rate of development, poor quality in their works and gives credit to limited potentials… do you agree with them? What are your early memories about this?
It maybe a lateness to the speed of production but not a cause of weakness… I have made projects on a normal home computer in my early years and it is one of my most famous works till now. It’s all about how you get the most of your tools and possibilities that are available. Any software has its way to work with your potentials like Xrefs or Proxy and others. in the beginning get the most of what you have and develop yourself and with time you can invest in your potentials and develop it to make your production much faster in the future.
What is your comment or advice to a beginner designer that complains about the narrowness of knowledge of his clients and puts the reason for his inability to innovate and do his role is on; “the client” want it like this! What is your advice to beginner designers in general or what message would you like to send to them through us?
This is a problem that any Architect or Designer have, not just beginners; so, if the intervention of the owner caused damage to the design, the designer would be the only person blamed. The intervention of the owner must be within the scope of the designer’s permission or he may leave the project if he wishes; because this is the designer’s work and will be in his name. Usually this is a bigger problem for beginners than professionals, but with time they’ll gain experiences in dealing with clients and managing their businesses. Our profession is like any other profession; you may be very good, but if you fail convincing the client with your work then you have a big problem where the main reason is that you couldn’t process the data you had from the client’s requests correctly.
Finally, we’d like to thank you for your patience and wish you more success and progress to keep making your fans and followers pleased with your work.
An exclusive design is presented for the first time to Eng. Muhammad Taher
See some of Eng.Muhammad Taher designs and for more .. Click here
Prepared by: Eng. Mahmoud Hegazy
Translated by: Eng. Moataz Bellah
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