Dalia Sadany Doing it All


Published on

This article by Enigma talks about Dalia Sadany - Egypt's first woman designer contractor. She has been a lifelong advocate of the master builder approach to construction where the architect was responsible for the entire project from conceptual design through to construction and handover.

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Dalia Sadany Doing it All

  1. 1. Enigma Interiors Dalia Sadany DOING IT ALL She’s a one woman whirlwind who constructs and cre- ates. An architect, designer and a driven perfectionist, Dalia Sadany tells eniGma’s Hassan Hassan how she’s always been determined to do it all... I t’s a Saturday afternoon and I would much her new-found magic designing rather be in a swimsuit on the beach than houses in Alexandria and the running across town on my way to an in- North Coast. Despite her rela- terview. I have resigned myself to work- tive success, she remained unsat- ing weekends and have developed the isfied. “I still wanted to conquer perfect formula to interviews – a wham- construction. It was starting to bam-thank-you-ma’am mode of getting annoy me that I wasn’t in con- the information. It doesn’t occur to me that I trol of my projects from A-Z will actually like Dalia Sadany and end up spend- and in hindsight I shouldn’t ing the better part of the afternoon nestled in have opened a company at such the corner of her office talking about art, design, a young age. I needed experi- architecture and even The Jazz Club. ence and I needed to learn.” Dezines, Sadany’s company, is nestled in the heart And learn she did, setting out to Vero- of Mohandessin and it’s all simple lines and sun- na, Italy to learn the tricks of the trade. light. There is a wall molded into plaster waves at There she did four courses, worked on the entrance and contemporary pieces accent the a Masters Degree and finally started “I love all the different elements of it, playing tough man with the workers and then being girly with the interiors” space with just a little bit of sparkle. Sadany is on properly building the foundations of her skills as the phone when I walk in and she motions me an architect. She also dabbled in jewellery and to sit down, gesturing with her Barbara Streisand furniture design, saying simply, “If you’re an art- nails and a huge smile. She’s one of those boister- ist, you’re an artist regardless of your canvas.” ous independent women, who don’t take no for an answer. She’s as comfortable giving orders to Upon her return to the homeland she de- construction workers as she is wearing diamond cided to conquer her fears of construction and earrings. And I’m officially in love. worked with the Talaat Mostafa Group. “It was a great experience. I got to work on commer- “I grew up in Abu Dhabi and I moved down to cial projects, hotels, residential properties and Cairo when I finished school at 15. I originally I completely got over my inhibitions. It didn’t went to the American University in Cairo for make sense to me that the architect draws, the one semester and then had to move to Alexan- construction happens and then the interior de- dria for personal reasons,” she says as she bran- sign takes place. I wanted to do it all.” import and export company, all under the um- dishes her first cigarette of the afternoon. “I was brella of Dezines. She is currently also working studying computer science at the time until I ran So in 2005 she set up two companies, Devine on a project to help fix the façade of Egypt by into an old family friend who was a professor at Consultancies, which handles the construction joining an initiative with the government “I want my University. We talked about architecture and and Dezines for interiors and architecture. She to set up rules and regulations that people have I told him I didn’t think Egypt had an identity has now essentially become a one stop shop for to follow; for example, no air conditioning on when it came to buildings. He suggested I take all architecture and interior needs. “I wanted to the front of buildings. We also need to regulate the entrance exam and I drew a sketch and so be the master architect and be in charge from the painting, look and style of buildings. No one began my career as an architect.” beginning to end of the project. I love all the dif- cares about beauty here; nobody understands ferent elements of it, playing tough man with the what a difference it makes to life.” Straight out of university, Sadany’s father gave workers and then being girly with the interiors.” her a plot of land to work with, in which she built Dezines, 7 Wadi El Nil St., 1st floor, Mohandessin , the family home in the North Coast. She soon And that’s not all. She also designs furniture in Giza, Egypt, Tel: +(202) 3303 6753 opened up her own company where she worked Egypt and ships it to Verona and also owns an www.de-zines.com xx www.enigma-mag.com