Reviving ancient beauty, Designing for humanity and spreading light wherever she goes is what to say to describe Shosha Kamal. Shosha Kamal is an award-winning designer. She is a woman with success accomplished and a million dreams yet to accomplish. We were delighted to interview the creator of Shosha Kamal Design House and the founder of Annure and showcase her incomparable work.
Mariez Hany: Tell us about yourself?
Shosha Kamal: I studied strategic management and international business and worked as a marketer in Unilever. I was pretty much successful in my job and thought that my passion was there. I actually loved what I was doing -or that what I used to think- until the light hit me through a magical incident…
MH: What happened to lead to this career shifting?
SK: The incident was that while I was on a trip to Italy, I saw this banner of the architect Zaha Hadid (which I didn’t know was an architect back then). The banner was telling everyone that she was designing the center of Milano, but it was telling me something different. It told me to rethink my whole career. It told me that being content in what I’m doing doesn’t guarantee that it is my call in life. I listened to the banner, looked deep within myself and then started walking my own way towards design.
MH: How did you professionally start your career in the Interior design world?
SK: From the land of beauty, I began my journey. Right after seeing the banner, I directly went and applied for interior design in Florence Design Academy in Italy. I kept on questioning, exploring and learning about everything that is related to art and design. After the light had filled my heart and mind, I came back to Egypt to launch my own company.
MH: Tell us something that had an impact on shaping the creative and courageous personality of Shosha Kamal we see now?
SK: I would give my family and the way they raised me all the credit for this. I was treated with full respect and was always supported and cheered in every situation. My family has always provided a warm and encouraging atmosphere. They have always created a room for me to be myself. They embraced all of who I am.
MH: When did you notice your unstoppable passion for the ancient Egyptian civilization?
SK: It all began in my furniture design class. My professor was explaining how the ancient Egyptians were the pioneers in furniture creation and design. I immediately felt a bittersweet feeling. The good part was that I belong to the ones who enlightened the world with their creations. However, the bad part was that we’re not there anymore! It was from this moment that I fell in love with the ancient Egyptian designs. It was from this moment that I decided to bring it back to light and life.
MH: What inspires you, Shosha Kamal, to start a project?
SK: I believe that design is to spread beauty, to change lives and make the world a better place. This goal is what truly inspires and pushes me forward to design.
Let’s take the “reviving humanity memorial project” as an example. The project was to design a memorial for the victims of the terrorist attacks in Egypt. I felt that these sorrowful and gloomy events had to be confronted with the light of humanity. This was done by giving everybody a chance to represent the anatomy of the heart in their own way and to showcase them all together. The goal of the memorial design is to revive humanity and let the light of compassion and connection towards each other flourish. The project was presented in the World Youth Forum 2018 as a symphony of a diverse yet connected humanity.
MH: Can you tell us about your different types of designs in Shosha Kamal Design House?
SK: My very first design was product design. It was an extraordinary incident. It was when I won the International product design award for the wing sofa. The design was inspired by Nekhbet, the vulture Egyptian goddess is the inspiration of the design. I didn’t entirely create the design. However, I only collaborated with the designer who put the wings of the goddess on the walls of the temples. I re-used those wings in modern sofa design.
I also designed El Sheikh Zayed memorial which is a fundraising design. The concept of design was to honor El Sheikh Zayed for his cooperation in building the hospital in an Egyptian way. When an ancient Egyptian wanted to honor someone, they would connect his existence with the sun. That’s why the memorial works its magic when the sun rises.
MH: What’s your favorite creation or design of all time?
SK: Well, I don’t have a favorite design, but I do have favorite scenes of light. One is metamorphic and the other is factual. For instance, the memorial of Sheikh Zayed in the cancer hospital. The scene of seeing the children enjoying the memorial and forgetting about their pain was priceless. This proved how the light and power of design can change lives. The other scene is a practical implementation of light through the project of “Annure”. The scene of seeing dark areas in poor countries in Africa lit is incomparable! Lit homes allowed men to work till late, women to perform duties at night and children to study after dusk. The scene of witnessing my designs positively changing lives is indescribable!
MH: As Shosha Kamal, What inspired you to found “Annure” and what are you aiming this initiative would accomplish?
SK: One time I was checking my email and I received a stimulating study. The research said that the number of people living in darkness in the world is 1.6 billion! Most of these people actually lived in Africa. My heart ached, and I felt that I had to do something to spread light! As a result, Annure came to life. At Annure, we design and sell lighting units and the earned money goes to illuminate a house in Africa. We have already started in Zambia and we lit 100 houses there. Our objective is to let light decrease the 1.6 billion to zero.
MH: What are your dreams as a designer?
SK: I have many dreams! Some had already happened as installing our sunshades “When the Sun Talks” in front of the great Philae Temple. It was a collaboration of the Ministry of Antiquities and the UNESCO. Other dreams are yet to pursue, some of which include “Annure” hoping it would illuminate the whole world.
We believe that because of her fondness of the ancient Egyptian civilization, the Pharaohs granted her the absolute honor. Shosha Kamal is a true inspiration. So, We also urge you to see the documentary that will soon be launched via Annure to get inspired by their work.