by Ayesha Shaikh
  • 2 minute read
  • July 24, 2019
Inside The Creative Universe Of Emirati Interior And Product Designer Roudha Alshamsi

It is hard to miss the aesthetic allure of Roudha Alshamsi, who extends her creative spell across interior and product design, imbuing each creation with a futuristic mood and a reverence for local heritage. She is a storyteller – her large-scale sculptural chandelier ‘Kallis’ (2016) takes a cue from the hymenocallis flower found in the region, and her ‘Spindle’ (2018) pendant lighting pays homage to the eponymous tool that Emirati women use for hand-weaving.


“As a professional interior designer, I have seen how people fall in love with the story behind every proposal. It is only then that every element makes sense,” says Alshamsi.

Concept lies at the core of her practice and her decision on colors, circulation space and implementing other design principles. “Having a strong foundation is essential for creating distinctive design.”

Equal parts innovative and functional, Alshamsi’s designs deeply draw on her background as a visual artist. She ventured into interior design in 2011 after pursuing a degree in the field at Zayed University. “My artistic beginnings made me more confident to pursue a career in interior design,” she shares. She also works closely with clients on commercial interior design projects, including concept studios, and exhibition and public spaces.

Detail of ‘The Mesh’ shelter

But her penchant for furniture design has pushed her to focus on creating what she refers to as ‘art furniture’. Among her most striking works is the limited-edition sculptural piece ‘Moonlight’ (2017), which she created in collaboration with Dubai-based multidisciplinary design studio Apical Reform. “I recently moved from interior designing to creating furniture and bespoke products. I am currently working on a number of collaborations for the year ahead,” she shares.

Details of sculptural pieces from the ‘Acacia Surface Series’ (2017)

Among her most recent works is the Acacia Surface Series of sculptural pieces, which she showcased at Downtown Design 2017. Remarkably designed using fractals of adjacent wooden pentagons, the collection takes its name from the local Samr tree, which features pods perfectly positioned on a sphere of pentagon cones, offering a lesson in intricacy and engineering. “Nature is the perfect gateway to seek inspiration. It is what forms the base of the arts. I am fascinated by both the perfections and imperfections of nature, which is why most of my work is inspired by it.”

At just 30, Alshamsi has quickly earned her spurs in the design world. “Designers based in the UAE are equipped with resources and a strong foundation that allows them to promote their work commercially and globally, especially as the UAE has become the design center of the Middle East.”

With her eyes set on continuing to meld her love of art and design, Alshamsi is sure to remain the spotlight.

Images Courtesy of Roudha Alshamsi

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