Fatemeh Banizaman, a 4th semester interior design student at American University of Dubai (AUD), has been treated to an individual high profile tour of some famous architectural sites of Europe by Dornbracht, the German manufacturer of high-quality fittings and accessories for bathrooms and kitchens. “This has been one of the most thrilling experiences of my life”, said the 21-year-old at a meet and greet with representatives of Dornbracht.
The invitation was the prize for Fatmeh Banizaman’s outstanding performance in the Dornbracht-APID workshop “Performing Water – Shaping the Interfaces between Man and Space”, which had been created and organized in spring this year by Dornbracht in co-operation with APID, the Association of Professional Interior Designers in the Middle East for students of the five UAE universities in the APID network. The goal of the workshop was to sharpen the awareness of the architecture and interior design students for the principles of future bathroom design. The students learned how architecture that is characterized by personal rituals will finally allow the bathroom to develop its full potential as a space for rest and self-examination. This subject of Ritual Architecture in the bathroom was shaped consistently by Dornbracht in many years of confrontation with bathing rituals.
In the eyes of the international heavy weight jury, of all the 25 participants Fatemeh Banizaman created the most convincing work and had such been awarded for the best individual design in the final architectural competition of the workshop. The challenge had been to develop a conceptual design for a general layout of a family apartment following guide lines and specifics given by the organizers.
Leaving Dubai on September 10th Fatemeh Banizaman took a dazzling three day trip through the western part of Germany with stops at numerous cities and their architectural landmarks. The schedule started off with a visit of the Cologne cathedral, followed by an excursion to the architectural UNESCO world heritage “Zollverein” in Essen which features architecture from the Werkbund, Rem Koolhaas, SANAA, Norman Foster, Christoph Mäckler, Fritz Schupp and Martin Kremmer. It is as well home of the “reddot design museum”. Ms. Banizaman also toured the “Media Harbour” in Düsseldorf with architectural contributions of Frank O Gehry, Claude Vasconi, David Chipperfield, Fuminiko Maki, Joe Coenen, and last but not least the “Inner Harbour” in Duisburg with masterplan and buildings created by Norman Foster, Herzog DeMeuron, Nicolas Grimshaw to name just a few stops of the three day long excursion.
Banizaman was accompanied by her lecturer, Tala Vaziri, assistant professor in the interior design department of AUD. The agenda for the visit was drafted by the architectural theorist and philosopher Kurt C. Reinhardt, who created and conducted the Ritual Architecture workshop on behalf of Dornbracht. He also served as the personal tour guide throughout the trip and said afterwards: “It was an inspirational pleasure to show these sites, where I am home, to this talented and gifted student and her teacher. The structural change in the third largest conurbation of Europe, a former pure mechanical industrial region, into a metropolis of culture and creativity is similar to what is happening to the bathroom in small scale: the transformation from a functional volume into a space for living.”
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