A twenty-year-old Iranian student of American University Dubai has under the supervision of Professor Tala Vaziri - Assistant Professor of Interior Design at AUD, convinced an international heavy weight jury and was announced the winner of the competition at the first Dornbracht and APID workshop 'Performing Water - Shaping the Interfaces between Man and Space'.
Fatemeh Banizaman has been awarded for the best individual design in the final architectural competition. She will be travelling to Iserlohn/Germany where Dornbracht is headquartered on a personalized, tailor-made trip to see the famous architectural sites around German cities such as Essen, Dusseldorf and Cologne.
The workshop organized by Dornbracht, a leading manufacturer of high-end fittings for bathroom and kitchen in co-operation with APID, the Association of Professional Interior Designers in the Middle East has been created for architecture and interior design students of the five UAE universities in the APID network. It took place on the 22nd and 23rd of February 2009 at The Address Downtown Burj Dubai hotel.
The architectural theorist and philosopher Kurt C. Reinhardt, who created and conducted the workshop on behalf of Dornbracht, highlighted the sharpening of the awareness of architecture and interior design students for the principles of future bathroom design when asked for the goal of the workshop.
Day one started with a lecture about Ritual Architecture. The agenda aimed to transfer as much knowledge as possible, in order to enable the students to transcribe this information into individual design work on day two.
The students learned how architecture that is characterized by rituals will finally allow the bathroom to develop its full potential as a space for rest and self-examination. To become a place to take pause and reflect. Further content included the historic development of bathrooms, cultural differences and rituals in bathrooms and information about the work of the famous architect and interior designer Le Corbusier as an example, especially the Villa Savoye which most succinctly summed up his five points of architecture.
Based on what the students had learned the day before the mission of day two was to develop a conceptual design for a general layout of an apartment. The ground plan given was a perfect circle with a 30 meters diameter and a maximum height of 15 meters, limited to 3 floors. Biography and demographic data of a fictive family was described as well. Emphasis had to be made on different spots of human/ water interfaces. During the whole day the students were coached by Kurt Reinhardt and Mr. Markus Stebich, APID member and Director Development Spas & Interiors, Jumeirah Group.
After the workshop Kurt C. Reinhardt stated:
'This was my first seminar in the region and I am very impressed by the great enthusiasm of the students here. The many different cultural influences in this region have a great impact on the creativity of the students. This leads to outstanding designs, as we've seen during the workshop. It definitely wasn't easy to decide about just one winner. In the eyes of the jury Fatemeh Banizaman has delivered the best 'SPACE' which is translated as 'Shaping a Personal Architectural Cultivating Environment. She has scored the highest number of points from all judges. Due to her spatial layout of the apartment, the interaction of water with the inhabitants she has proven her understanding of the mission. Her formal consistency and level of innovation in cooperation with her approach towards the scenically qualities of water in a living surrounding were regarded as outstanding. She has solved the mission with impressive creativity and fantasy.'
Phil Payne, General Manager Dornbracht ME, said on the workshop, 'Dornbracht has been involved in student research projects for a couple of years and we're pleased to have been able to realize a similar project in the UAE now as well. Having seen the enthusiasm and astonishing creativity of the students during the workshop and after getting all the positive feedback, I can say it surely wasn't the last Dornbracht seminar in the region!'
Positive feedback came also from Prof. Nabyl Chenaf, Associate Professor & Chair Interior Design Department AUD, who said, 'I would like to thank APID and Dornbracht for giving students in the UAE a lifetime experience. I am sure, they will cherish for the rest of their lives. Both the workshop and the competition were organized in a very professional, transparent and enjoyable manner. I also salute the efforts deployed by Professor Tala Vaziri who showed dedication, talent and enthusiasm in supervising and guiding our interior design students and leading them to a well deserved first place; indeed, Fatemeh Benizaman and all the other participants from the American University in Dubai deserve a big applause.'
In order to participate in the workshop the students had to develop a conceptual design for a bathroom, located in a suite of 150 sqm of an international 5 star plus luxury hotel. Based on the design sketch entries a professional jury consisting of Kenneth Laidler, Chairman of KLD & Founding President of APID, Selina Denman, editor of CID, Markus Stebich, Director Development Spas & Interiors Jumeirah Group, Mr. Andreas Dornbracht, CEO of Aloys F. Dornbracht GmbH & Co. KG, Phil Payne, Managing Director Dornbracht Middle East and Kurt Reinhardt chose 26 final participants out of 65 valid applications from students of AUD, AUS, Zayed University, MaheManipal Dubai Campus and Ajman University. The same jury also evaluated the best individual design of the workshop.
Since 1997 Dornbracht has worked extensively with photographers, designers, architects and artists to develop free interpretations on the theme of 'Water, Cleansing and Ritual' within the context of the Dornbracht Culture Projects. In 2004 they initiated the Dornbracht Research Unit at the famous ETH Zurich, one of the leading institutions for architectural studies. For the first time, a cooperative project examined ritual architecture from the scientific point of view. Over the course of several months model design strategies were implemented with selected students, which based the architectural projects on aspects of human rituals of cleansing and body-care. In 2005 the findings were transformed into the first Dornbracht ritual bathroom - MEM.