Our readers can expect a new contributor to our lifestyle page: Ms. Dalia Sadany. Sadany is an architect and now a contractor and designer. She is Egypt’s first certified female designer-builder and whose career started at a very young age: “I started when I was just 18 years old.”
Today, Sadany runs three companies and takes a hands-on approach to her work: “I still draw and sketch with my own hands. I think when you stop doing this, it’s the beginning of your downfall. Designers are dreamers; they don’t often have their feet on the ground so they need to be executing with their own hands.”
In addition to her companies, Sadany writes articles on various issues, including those that some would say do not pertain directly to her field. She could not disagree more, and believes that “everything is design. The moment you open your eyes and put clothes on, you are designing. Designing is planning and structure so it pertains to everything.”
Sadany writes educational articles on design as well as articles on social issues that cover a wide range of topics. Her educational articles include discussing different styles of design, such as Baroque and Gothic and areas like colour psychology: “There is a problem in Egypt that people classify anything as either classic or modern. They do not know the different schools and movements in the field. Colour psychology is similarly poorly understood. For example, red in a bedroom will make people neurotic,” she said.
Sadany is also concerned with having what she calls an architectural character for Egypt. “Part of the problem here is that we are not used to seeing beauty because Cairo has no defined architectural traits; it is chaotic. We need to have a character in architecture,” she said.
Sadany advocates that designers execute their own work: “Historically, it has been that there is a master builder who designs and executes. In the 1920s, there became an attitude of looking down on execution and the two became separated. This was reflected in academia as institutions separated disciplines and created divides like those between civil engineering and architecture. Finally, there are now many who question this divide and just last year, Alexandria University, my alma mater, began teaching a curriculum that fuses both,” she said.
A very busy woman, Sadany has a forthcoming book and TV show where she discusses relevant issues and gives style tips for people who can’t afford to go to a designer. Her tips have her characteristically intricate approach.
“When you design somebody’s house, it has to look like them. You psychoanalyse them because if you design their house to look like you, you have failed,” she said.
Readers can expect to see more of Ms. Sadany before the end of this month.