Micro Living: Interview with Yasmine Mahmoudieh
With her studio in London, Yasmine Mahmoudieh is one of the world's most renowned architects and interior designers. Her work includes projects for well-known international hotels and companies as well as design for the Airbus A380. At the upcoming interzum, she will give a lecture about future-oriented micro apartments. We talked with her about the importance of materials and challenges for the living spaces of tomorrow.
Yasmine Mahmoudieh, where do you see the biggest challenges in terms of the living spaces of the future?
Talking about future living, materials have with the current developments in design and architecture even more meaning and necessity today. In the past many office spaces or hotels looked the same, it was all very predictable. Today the requirements are more complex – designs have to be unique and authentic. Therefore there is a growing need to research unusual and also sustainable materials.
Five + Sensotel by Yasmine Mahmoudieh
What do you currently see as the dominating trends regarding materials?
In general I think materials have more functions than just the beauty of the look. I always had interest in materials that either be natural or recycable. In the world we live today it is very important to look at our ecological footprint. There are so many exciting materials from banana leafs, resins, old bottles or other residues that we used. I think that such materials have a big future. It’s a little bit like the organic food. In the beginning it was very expensive and nobody really was consuming it and now it’s everywhere in the supermarkets. With materials it is the same – once the melt is growing there will be more ecological materials used for design or architecture. Interzum is a great fair to showcase that and to help planers to find and source such materials and hopefully use them.
Micro Apartment 26 sqm, © Yasmine Mahmoudieh
At the upcoming interzum, you will give a lecture about a micro apartment. What is the concept behind it?
In the future the majority of human beings will live in cities. So there is a big challenge in the way we build them. That’s why we talk about things such as micro apartments today. Spaces will have more quality of life but at the same time will get smaller. It’s a trade of quantity and quality. You can have big spaces if you don’t live in the city centre, only if you live outside. But if you have to work or you want to meet people you have to live in the city. Therefore living spaces will get smaller, but smarter and better designed. Developer have to think about how to attract people by looking on what is happening in a building, how to live and work there. The requirements are totally changing.
What are the main requirements today?
The rapidly growing of mini apartments woldwide has also another reason than to offer small spaces in city centres that are affordable. They address the issue of ‘loneliness’ of our digital society. People are thirsty for human interaction, in a world dominated by social media and technology. People trade bigger private spaces off to smaller spaces with shared common facilities as lounges, Coworking spaces, restaurants, gyms, libraries, cinema rooms etc. Community managers are making sure that people Interact and connect.
„Digital Detox“, Sleep & Eat London 2018, © Yasmine Mahmoudieh
Which functions and furniture are gaining importance for smaller living spaces?
I worked with Airbus and by designing the interior of a plane you have to discuss about millimetres. In the living sector it’s becoming a bit like this. We have to find clever furniture that is multifunctional, that use the space in a much better way. Obviously materials are in micro apartments even more important, because you are very close to anything. You see everything in vicinity. I think we also have to change the mood of spaces. There are digital tools that you can use for it, but there is also lighting that can change from day to evening. I want to integrate lighting and sound into living spaces. Can you replicate nice natural sounds in a city apartment? How can you filter clean air? You have to think more about the wellbeing of the inhabitants.
What do you expect from the upcoming interzum?
We are in a time where progress, development, innovation and new ideas are accelerating. So I’m really looking forward to interzum this year, because I’m always searching for new materials. It’s a great opportunity to have a trade fair that will show innovative products and solutions across the world and at the same time will look at future-oriented topics like digitalization, sustainability or urbanization.