“ I BELIEVE THAT THE HIGH STANDARD SET BY OUR ANCESTORS SHOULD BE SEEN AS A CHALLENGE TO MOTIVATE US AND REACH THE QUALITY OF WORK ONCE AGAIN.“
Quickly after graduating from Addis Ababa University (EiABC), I joined and have been working for one the biggest Architectural firms in Addis Ababa. Throughout my experience, I have been associating myself in the creative architectural design and construction sector which, I believe, has enhanced my motivation to pursue my carrier in this sector. I have always been interested in architecture and construction and always had a dream to leave my mark on the field. I believe that I have built a strong knowledge base around it.
INSPIRATION AND CREATIVITY
Inspiration = right time + right place + notepad
creativity = inspiration + perspiration
From our history, we have learnt that the hard working society during the periods 1st-4th century BC, 8th, 10th, 11th , 12th, 15th , 16th and 17th century BC already set very high standards in the architectural design and the creative world. Despite all this wonderful and extremely different monumental structures we tend to forget, we are not even sure of what is expected of us. I believe that the high standard set by our ancestors should be seen as a challenge to motivate us and reach the quality of work once again.
The personal challenges I faced during my 2 years architectural profession would be adapting to the professional practice right after being graduated. The Professional practice in our country is somehow old fashioned and seeks unnecessarily high level of effort by studio staff. Although this day’s most Design studios are trying to follow a more organized project delivery system which could really pave a bright future.
I own a company called TOB finishing Plc, which is highly associated in the architectural design and finishing works of a building. I handle projects by taking sub-contracts for the finishing phase including interior designs. In addition to this, I take short courses related to my business which I believe can enhance the quality of production we deliver. On the other hand, me and two close friends own a company called DSD design plc, working as a main distributor of Electronic Voucher Distribution (EVD) for Ethio-Telecommunication. We basically install a digital payment system including airtime (mobile card) for Institutions, sub-distributors and retailers.
PROJECT(A NEW MERCATO)
If you’re a market lover, one place you can’t miss when you visit Addis Ababa is Mercato. It’s considered Africa’s biggest market, an open air sprawl of vendors that goes on for kilometers. It’s one of those markets that weaves in all directions and you never know what you’re going to stumble into or what you’re going to find. At the market there’s a section for just about anything you can imagine.
NOTHING CAN TEACH YOU BETTER THAN ACTUAL WORK. GETTING OUR HANDS DIRTY IS OFTEN THE BEST WAY TO LEARN, THE PROCESS HELPS US UNDERSTAND AND DEFINE OUR SKILLSET.
We are Blackline, an architectural design rm. We studied Architecture at Addis Ababa University, EiABC. We’re current- ly working on projects in collaboration with Entrepreneurs, NGOs, and Startup companies; the experiences gradually in- crease our awareness and widen our per- ception towards life. We learned the gen- eral principles and standards of design at the school of Architecture. But in art, we think consistency and passion are more important than education. We always nd joy in creating designs that help improve on people’s lives. That’s our common theme. It is fun to design projects that are creative and also add value to our fel- low humans. A building could look great but too complex to use and doesn’t add value to the intended audience… what’s the point? We want to show that life can be sustainable and productive with a well-designed space.
We always do a series of experiments before creating a design, and the gener- al concept of space has always been our best inspiration. We believe we should al- ways study and analyze the things around us. As Barry H. said, “Life is a spiral, and we continually come back to things we thought we understood and see deep- er truths.” We usually start with an idea, like any other creative, and connect that idea with a given set of data. Then slow- ly snowball it into a mature concept. We also like to look back to previous back- logs of ideas and incorporate what works to nally bring out something we can implement. We are still trying to nd our voice but because we are a rm, our de- signs are usually characterized by the cli- ents we take on. It’s a bit early for us to develop an imprint but we’ll get there.
HOPES AND DREAMS
We want to develop a better reality by continuously discovering and bettering our solutions to make life sustainable and improve people’s quality of life.
Our ideal city would be a meticulously de- signed city that meets all the sustainable goals with orchestrated art. A city that has a human-made ecosystem; it generates its own energy and manages the food, water and waste system in a giant network of in- frastructure.
The best ideas don’t just happen. You need the time and space to truly come up with great ideas that are then turned to great designs. But clients, don’t often re- spect that, it is very hard to get recognition for the hard work involved in the process, this also further plays into devaluing the creative process in the digital and physi- cal world. Architecture can be very stress- ful when clients are constantly uncertain about their needs and when the design input and payment are late or ‘delayed’, or when there are too many rigid rules and regulations set by the city administration.