“We are on a journey to create something exceptional.”
From starting in a tiny room in a friend’s office with a desktop computer, a laptop, and no capital, to being one of Cairo’s most promising design studios today, we were curious to know, how did Studio PARADIGM come into fruition? Here’s what we found out.
Being born and raised in Cairo, a super vivid and active city full of challenges and obstacles, the team had the ambition to challenge conventions and fight the norms. The creation of Studio PARADIGM was driven by a mutual feeling that the design scene in Egypt needed a new perspective and fresh views, and for those reasons they were always looking to see and adopt the foundation of design through different lens. The founders are always looking for innovative ways to grow their knowledge within the design field. They don’t just look to scratch the surface of their understanding of what a quality design consists of. They want to dig deeper towards a core that they wholeheartedly believe undergoes continuous growth and changes, and this is how the name “Paradigm” came to life. The name of the company extends to a paradigm shift, a shift in the underlying beliefs and approaches towards a certain discipline. And this is exactly what Nour, Ammer and Zeyad continue to aim for.
It all started when three partners, Zeyad Fayrouz, Ammer Harb & Nour El-Kadi came together and made their dreams about art and design into a reality. The founders were determined to create something unconventional, something that went beyond the typical design studio structure. To do this, they put forth a creativity driven design studio covering different design disciplines. Studio PARADIGM’s credibility can be accredited to the intensive amounts of research that goes into the design process. But what really makes this studio distinctive from the rest, and what makes it a place that clients are excited to explore? It’s the way they engage clients as if they’re part of the design team through a Human Centered Design approach. What exactly does that mean? It means regarding the client as part of the design process, so that the production of something that tailors to the client is on an authentic basis.
Through our discussion with the Studio PARADIGM team, we came to realize that when it comes to their personal and professional growth, there are no limits. The founders constantly sought opportunities, such as going to numerous international events, and collaborating with a variety of designers to feed their thoughts and nurture their skills in the field. And with their skills and unique vision, we can confidently claim that their success in this field is inevitable.
The founders’ professional experience is quite notable. Ammer, the Director of Design R&D at PARADIGM, holds a position of Research Fellow in Design at Politecnico di Milano in Milan, Italy, which is continuously nurturing his capabilities and intellectual skills in design. Having mastered Human Centered Design at Brunel University London, along with his experience working closely with leading design institutions such as GIZ(Germany), AHO (Norway), UAL (UK) and ELISAVA (Spain), definitely makes him a perfect match for a client looking to extend the conceptual and creative boundaries of their projects.
Zeyad is undoubtedly the Design Director expert. He kicked-off his career very early on, creating a portfolio of more than 80 successful implantations in different industrial areas, set designs, and high-profile projects such as Mashrooi and GITEX exhibitions in Dubai, Voedsel exhibition in Amsterdam, CI Capital and CIB events. Zeyad’s artistic taste combined with his vast experience in making design real makes him a design guru who takes an idea from a drawing on paper into tangible reality. Through his considerable intellectual and creative thinking skills, he is able to mesh his experience in executing projects with Ammer’s thorough and varied experience in the field, to create something that is not only top notch, but hits the nail when it comes to satisfying the client. Now, what about Nour?
Nour is a hustler. He handles the business side of the studio and ensures client servicing, as it is considered one of the Studio Paradigm’s main pillars. As the Business Strategy Director, Nour continuously challenges the understanding of design management and applies it to various departments and business unity. This is in order to develop an appropriate design management approach that ensures their designs not only encompasses the clients’ needs and desires, but maintains a high level of quality and continuous innovation.
The driving force behind Studio PARADIGM’s grounded establishment is based on two main pillars. The first being that each founder contributes with different resources and skills to strengthen the company’s reliability. The second is by making Studio PARADIGM a place where every client can wholeheartedly know this is the place that will accomplish their dream space. Each founder started their own exploration and experience, ranging from interior architecture and academia to art direction and branding. Through Ammer’s international exposure during his diverse educational journey abroad, he was able to bring to the table a level of creativity, driven by a variety of exposures. As for Zeyad, his natural talent to execute concepts, deliver projects successfully and turn concepts into something tangible, goes back to his art direction background, which has enabled this very talent into becoming a main driver of Studio PARADIGM’s vision. As for Nour, let’s say he’s the mastermind of the business side for the company. He channels his business development expertise to develop Studio PARADIGM’s market position through ensuring an established research-based understanding for the needs of the clients. This ensures their ultimate satisfaction from first contact until project delivery, challenging the market with a new benchmark of customer service.
To the three brains behind Studio PARADIGM, adopting a systematic design research process by which they shift analysis from (Research for Design) to (Research through Design). Through conducting observation sessions, interviews, and questionnaires with their clients, they ensure original and detailed insights, creating the perfect mix that moves them into the actual design phases. Another main element that Studio PARADIGM adopts is the “Fictional Narrative” approach that they develop for each project, giving each project a story and a journey that helps them in creating experiences and making each design outcome different. And that is what they stand for – a “Total Brand Experience.”
If we have learned anything at all from our discussion with the founders, it is that they have exceeded the sufficient requirements in creating designs considered to be the epitome of perfection. Except for the founders, there is no such thing as that. From their warranted credibility to their persistence and commitment to deliver, the client is always satisfied. But most importantly, what makes Studio PARADIGM a promising brand, is that it doesn’t operate within the conventional borders of the design practice. In a nutshell, what makes it distinctive is the magical mixture between many ingredients. These ingredients vary from fine arts and philosophy, to business concept creation and branding. They are the forces behind enabling the brand’s edge, and it is this very mindset of embracing growth, stepping outside of their comfort zone and challenging the norms, that guarantees the very shift only to those who value design will take on with open arms. “Change hurts,” they say, but for Nour, Ammer, and Zeyad, change is the only way to go, the only force behind shifting their dream to “create something exceptional” indeed a reality.