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People, Places & Events

Heba El-Dessouky – The human factor in design

Heba El-Dessouky believes a generational change is happening in architecture. She sees a philosophy of community values and awareness emerging at WAF 2022, driven by a growing realisation thatsustainability and manging resources must be the foundation of successful design. She shares her impressions with Karl Lennon.

In her practice and in her work as an educator, interiors architect Heba El-Dessouky detects a new enthusiasm for spaces that respect the environment while enhancing the wellbeing and happiness of the people who use them. She talks to Karl Lennon at the World Architecture Festival in Lisbon.

As an interiors architect and an Egyptian, Heba El-Dessouky is keenly aware of the need to preserve resources. Her nation has the same challenges as any other when it comes to energy, plus its own in terms of the careful use of water. But she chooses to focus on the ultimate wellbeing and happiness of those who will occupy her spaces. Her design work is about creating a comfortable, beautiful ambience – that is also sustainable. 

In her role as an educator, she is also aware of what she calls a social revolution in process. Young people are interested in the quality of life as a goal of architecture and design. They are looking to the current crop of creators to take account of their futures, and to push themselves and the available technology to find sustainable solutions in their buildings. But Heba is also aware that young people need to be heard and have their ideas enacted. She knows from her work, and from observing the youth response to events like COP27 at Sharm El-Sheikh, that there is a world of brilliant ideas waiting to emerge, which we should be drawing out and encouraging now.

As she visits the World Architecture Festival in Lisbon, Heba is aware of a shift in emphasis to the values of community and togetherness. Perhaps because the events of recent years have kept us apart, we have a renewed enthusiasm for social life. Heba welcomes this new philosophy, as she enjoys the chance once again to observe her peers at close hand. The interaction can only help her focus on the human dimensions of her work. Enjoy Heba’s conversation with Karl Lennon. 

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