Exploring the architecture of time 

At Saudi Design Week


Saudi Gazette

Ahmad Angawi is the architect of his own dreams and a role model that inspires Saudi youth within and outside the world of design.

Primarily an innovator, he is known to work with unique sculptures and textures. Fascinated by nature, intangible assets and even inanimate objects with history, his curiosity knows no bounds.

From carving out blocks of furniture to designing multifunctional Abayas that turn into jackets for women, his imagination makes it difficult to categorize him in any artistic category.

During Saudi Design Week in Riyadh last week, Angawi showcased and spoke about ‘’Shai’ (object) a series of multipurpose furniture designs.

This series of ‘twelve folds geometry’ is composed of three basic plywood units. The tessellation of these units can form many different shapes. They are fastened together in a way that allows endless arrangements of platforms, shelves, and seats.

Multi-plywood is a multipurpose furniture that has a reconfigurable element that provides freedom in its arrangement within the space.

Much like his other works, the design is inspired by Islamic geometry.

During his talk, he spoke about his experiences and journey into design.

Influenced by his father, Dr. Sami Angawi, one of the most respected and renown architects in the country, he recalled being fascinated by architecture as a young child.

His journey began at home, which is also known to many as a museum for its inimitable design and traditionally rich architecture. He said the house has been a part of stimulating cultural gatherings and added that it is also open to public for scheduled visits.

Originally from Makkah, he is intrigued by the diverse culture of Hejaz and proud of its heavy influence on architecture around him. While working with KAUST on Traditional Innovative Products, he said he looked to nature for inspiration and direction. After sharing and studying unusual patterns and findings with his research team, he described the mechanism in which he studied the free movement of bees along with the structure of hives and their influence on his designs.

Angawi is also the Program Director of the Jameel House of Traditional Arts, in Balad, the historical district of Jeddah. The school is an initiative by the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts in London and Art Jameel. As a teacher he shares his unrelenting love for Al Mangour particularly, along with geometry under the umbrella of Islamic art and design.

Instagram @ahmadangawi