Exhibiting a calm and quiet demeanour, Eman Hussein, like her art, is subtle but loud in depth and individuality. Hussein is a multitalented architect and artist, who stands out in the industry with her ability to merge visual art, architecture and design in all her projects. eniGma’s Marwa Sabah spoke to Hussein to find out all about Alchemy Architecture and how it came about.
Egyptian born and raised, Hussein completed her Bachelor’s Degree in architecture, before being granted a post-graduate scholarship at the University of Greenwich, London. Following her outstanding academic achievements, she joined Alchemy Design Studio in 2010 as one of its internal architects. Not long after, her work earned her a spot as Alchemy’s third art director, next to renowned designers, Karim Mekhtigian and Mohamed Fares.
By the end of 2015, Hussein, along with her partners, established Alchemy Architecture, a sub-brand of Alchemy, in addition to launching her own design studio. As a co-founder, she took part in designing major development projects such as Seashell in the North Coast, The G Hotel, Playa, KAI for Misr Italia, City View Compounds and Hyde Park. While she left her founding imprint on Architecture, Hussein, in parallel, designed residential and retail projects such as Blend Furniture. She also designed commercial projects, some which of were iconic in the Egyptian nightlife. These include Apertivo, Chicha, Sip, Bocca, Numa and Topaz.
Recently, Eman Hussein partnered up with Karim Mekhtigian and Mohamed Fares in Alchemy and inaugurated her brand Else Lab, one of Alchemy’s sub-brands. Her studio approaches design and art as a tool to disentangle the established codes of today, focusing on the points of intersection between architecture, art and spatial analysis.
As an art director and visual artist, Hussein flourishes in her ability to demonstrate authenticity and rawness in her contemporary designs. By juxtaposing fluid lines and details with raw and bare walls, Hussein holds the ability to connect the trueness and authenticity of the past with the layers and newness of the present. “I like to expose the structures of some walls; strip them down to their essence.” Her designs are storytellers, aimed to integrate the relationship of the human with the space by purposely leaving areas free of any design element and open for the human imprint. “I believe that a design is completed only when life is injected in the space because my main interest is to observe how design changes over time by internal and external factors.”
Alongside her career as an architect, Hussein studied art with the respectable artist Magd El Sagini. She also studied in Accademia D’Arte in Florence, and in 2015, she took part in Metafora’s International Workshop in Barcelona, Spain. Her work in art and architecture is related to questioning the idea of form and exploring the dimension beyond the material; that which she calls the “formless.” Hussein uses her personal journey of self-reflection and growth in relation to Ether as her conceptual point of departure in her artistic expressions.
Diverse, sensual, soulful and raw, Hussein’s truth shines through her subtly, in her art, and in her path as an architect. Her work in art and architecture is related to questioning the idea of form and exploring the dimension beyond the material; that which she calls the “formless.” Hussein, uses her personal journey of self-reflection and growth as her conceptual point of departure in her artistic expressions. “Art allows me to grasp life in bits and pieces, and later put the pieces together to see the picture in its entirety. It’s a lens through which I grasp the world and a gateway to my foreign intimate self,” says Hussein.