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BAC Student Profile: Aya Kamel

The BAC welcomes students from all over the world to study architecture and design. Each month, we'll introduce you to a BAC student to learn more about their BAC experience, how their interest in design began, which architects and designers inspire them, and more. This month, we introduce you to Aya Kamel.

Name: Aya Kamel

Hometown: Cairo, Egypt

Program/Expected Graduation Date: Master of Interior Architecture; Dec 2019

How did your interest in architecture/design begin?

I graduated in 2012 with a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from Ain Shams University in Egypt and then worked as an engineer for a year, specifically on mechanical design. I realized my passion for design and creating meaningful objects from scratch, all to make others' lives easier and to make them HAPPY! I met someone who had talked to me about interior design and what to expect in the field. I loved the idea and felt the urge to give it a try.

I received a one year diploma in 2015 in interior design from American University in Cairo to expose myself academically to the field. I then found a job at a wood manufacturing company where I decided to shift my career focus to Interior Architecture. I worked at the company for two and a half years, designing kitchens, dressing rooms, closets, laundry rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms. I experienced what it was like to deal with a variety of different people and how to communicate effectively with them, understanding their needs and desires to design spaces that appropriately satisfied these conditions. I loved the outcome and wanted to continue this path.

What made you want to study at the BAC?

Following my first year in the field, I felt that I needed to learn more and further explore the elements that would aid me to succeed. I believe that the BAC is the perfect place for me to follow this passion to become a professional interior architect!

What has your BAC experience been like?

I just completed my first semester in the spring of 2017. I have learned a tremendous amount thus far. I now view interior architecture differently than I had in the past. I am excited to learn more and continue to develop the skills that I have gained in only one semester. This place is slowly changing my life!

What is your favorite thing about studying architecture and design in Boston?

Before coming to Boston, I had never traveled outside of Egypt, or traveled alone. I love Boston, its diverse cultures and the integration of old and new. Its incredible skyscrapers alone are a motivator to expand one's architectural knowledge and appreciate the spaces that the buildings form. This drew me to want to study design in such a city.

Who is your favorite architect/designer and why?

Charles and Ray Eames.

They were an American couple and passionate designers who made huge historical contributions to the development of modern architecture and furniture. They had a vision of life made better through design and technology. Their belief in the crucial role of technology never wavered and this is highly apparent in their work. The Eameses played a pivotal role in making modernism acceptable to the non-elite Americans in the post war years. Their work reveals a dynamic fusion of aesthetic, technical and, at times, intellectual concerns. Their workshop could be best described as the Renaissance workshop also known as a designer's heaven. I love their work, their products, and how they are still used today.

They built their own famous home together in Pacific Palisades, California - a part of the ‘case study' program sponsored by Arts and Architecture magazine. Called the Eames house, it was "hand constructed" using pre-fabricated steel members meant for industrial construction and is considered the most important post-war residence ever constructed. I wish I could visit this house one day. They were also movie makers who produced a short film, Traveling Boy, to document their interests. The film showcases the methodology involved in furniture production. They also released Powers of 10, a film that gives a dramatic demonstration of the orders of magnitude by visually zooming away from the Earth to the edge of the universe, and then microscopically zooming into the nucleus of a carbon atom. They produced many other films that I am very eager to watch. They are inspiring in many ways, proving that "impossible" is simply a word. You can do anything you want if you put your mind to it!

What are your architectural/design dreams and goals?

My goal is to become an architectural professor! I want to teach others what I have learned and further discover with them. While interacting with others in a learning environment, you are exposed to so much collective knowledge, an opportunity to expand your own. I believe in the power of communication. I believe that we are all connected and ought to find the links that link us back to one another to complete a great and holistic picture, similar to the pieces of a puzzle. As Charles Eames said, "Eventually everything connects - people, ideas, objects. The quality of the connections is the key to quality per se."