In conversation with Amjad Hourieh, managing partner and project director at 4SPACE Design, on how technology is changing the world of design and shares a few of his favourite

Tell us something about your professional journey so far?
With over 20 years of experience in the industry, I am a fully accredited SBID (Society of British and International Design) professional. In 2012, I co-founded 4SPACE Design with my partner Firas Alsahin, where we usually work with property developers, corporates, and end-user clients. I supervise the projects from start to finish. I am very interested in technology and doing innovative things. I aim to create a unified seamless experience between clients and their vision.

Your projects cover a wide range of areas, what typology gives you the most pleasure to design?
For me, to be able to design appropriately and suitably, I have to fall in love with every project. We are doing a variety of projects and each project has a very different skill-set but generally, we love to work with design passionate people that live and breathe design and love the journey from beginning to the end. Interior design captures many art forms. Space comes in different shapes and I don’t want to set limits for myself because it’s a wonderful journey to create space.

Amjad Hourieh

What kind of challenges do you face in this field?
Every day is a new challenge and every day is a new learning. Passion for me is a necessity. As long we work as a team with the same vision, the challenges get easier.

Are you seeing any particular style requests trending amongst your clients?
Most of our clients have bare vision on how they want their restaurants/residences/retail shops would look like. Some would tend to look at social media websites and collect photos. But recently, we noticed that clients want to play with lights. They want to incorporate the technology of future into the overall look of the design. The concept is minimalist but the sophisticated lighting will definitely create a story. It is where the design and technology meets. Same with Visual Reality (VR), clients would prefer to see their visions of the space on the VR than the printed 3D images that are normally presented.

What kind of changes and trends you would like to see more in this region?
Like any other trend, interior design trends evolve organically and tend to follow patterns. I love a lot of design movements. But art deco with its curves, geometry, and unexpected drama is one of my favourites.

Hourieh’s interest in innovation and technology has helped in the success of his latest projects—VR Park and Atmosfire restaurant. Here’s how Hourieh along with his team executed these award-winning ventures.

Hourieh shares exciting details about his most-loved projects:

VR PARK, Dubai Mall
What: The VR Park at Dubai Mall is a 6,100sqm area designed to challenge the reality and let visitors experience an extreme level of VR. Emaar Entertainment wanted to build a new attraction that was never implemented in Dubai before. 4SPACE Design designed the whole interior as an upside-down city with reflective blue epoxy flooring that plicates the Dubai night sky. The infrastructure of Dubai Downtown is projected as a video mapping on the ceiling by covering the entire ceiling structure with a special canvas.
Design: The design concept is very challenging, yet we believed that this would be the seed for the upcoming trend. The Facade is the most important area of any theme park, thus, we were prudent designing the entrance façade. We wanted to surprise the visitors and make them curious at the same time by just looking at the entrance. So, a huge 90° curved LED display screen panel along with complete cityscape buildings of Dubai downtown bent upside down was designed to tell the people about the magnificent experience they will go through once inside. The giant LED screen is showcasing the day and night of Dubai downtown with interesting animations. The entrance is inspired by the portals tubes that can be seen sci-fi movies. The focal point of the entire theme park interior is the giant model of Burj Khalifa hanging upside down from the top ceiling till the floor. We started the initial concept sketch with the upside down Burj Khalifa and this was the most thought-provoking part of the entire project. We collaborated with the theming company to get the proper proportion, finishes, look, and feel of actual Burj Khalifa.

Atmosfire, Jumeirah Beach Road

What: Atmosfire is a 5,500sqft restaurant with an innovative barbeque and open fire pit concept where everything is done in front of the customer. Guests can experience the finest meats butchered and aged onsite and then grilled and roasted to perfection.
Design: As you enter, you will be stunned by the massive brick hood in the centre that serves as the focal point of the entire space. With its striking open fire pit, guests will feel that they are as much a part of the action as the chef creates a spectacle for the eyes and a feast for the taste buds. Terrazzo was used on most of the spaces —floor, walls, tables, and countertops. On the mezzanine floor, you will be surprised by the details of the upholstery, joinery, and finishes that are punctuated by perfect lightings. Materials were used in a creative way with curative viewpoints at every turn. In the central pit area, a rotating chair was designed to provide a superb comfort while adoring a diverse theatrical display of meats and grills from around the world.