We were honored and privileged to be commissioned by regional manager of UN Women, Mr Mohamed Naciri to design his office. Two marble tables were custom made to be a desk and a coffee table for guests. The declaration of human rights law were carved on both sides of the minimal desk to remind any visitor with the foundations of the United Nations. For the coffee table, Mr Naciri chose three words that motivate him and reflects his most appreciated values to be carved on the two sides of the table: Love, Freedom and Equality. The office was featured on the cover and inside story of El Best magazine.
Downtown Contemporary Arts Festivals” (D-caf) approached us with a challenging task and that is to furnish five rooms in 2 weeks with less than 1000 dollars. The mission was successfully done and we created custom-made pieces of furniture for a restaurant, cafeteria, media room, reception, and a working area. We researched working-class Egyptian families and found repetitive patterns in the way they decorate their homes or interact with the furniture. This was then translated into several pieces of furniture such as tables made of old washing machines, a media room that looks like grandma’s house or a bench that resembles ice-cream carts.
Bauhaus of The Orient
It can’t be denied that the 20th Century was the golden age of the modern chair. As there were several technological innovations that created iconic shapes making them museum pieces around the world. “Bauhaus of the Orient” collection is Paradoxia’s special limited edition, where we reissued five iconic modern pieces by great designers such as Josef Alber, Marcel Breuer, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and Isamu Noguchi. This time the masterpieces were recreated with an oriental twist by adding local craftsmanship details such as the arabesque, mother of pearl or patterned ornaments.
A look inside the homes of some of our favorite clients, as they share with us how they combined contemporary art, vibrant colors with our design pieces to make their personal spaces cozy and different.
Paradoxia was lucky to be chosen by special clients: Meet Mr Mohamed Nacri, a writer and an art collector who takes us into a tour inside his house that he meticulously furnished and decorated with artworks. He speaks to us about why he chose a Paradoxia piece in his house and the criteria that he followed in collecting artworks and design pieces from his visits to various countries around the world.
Reem Gamil the editor in chief of “What Women Want Magazine” was also one of our first clients and supporters. We are privileged that a woman like her who set the rules of fashion and trends would pick us, she shares with us why she chose Paradoxia and takes us inside her colorful casa making every corner Instagramable.
Thanks to Heba Refaat for choosing us to furnish the venue of “D-Caf” - Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival and allow us to go as crazy as we can. This is surely our favorite and most challenging project.
We discovered that people who knows how to create stories of their own spaces select us.
Paradoxia's Stories: Mohamed Naciri
Paradoxia's Stories: Dcaf Arts Festival
Paradoxia's Stories: Reem Gamil
Paradoxia created the smallest museum inside an artist's studio room.
In Paradoxia’s first collection “ Homemade Baroque & Spare time Rococo” we wish to rescue this dying art of embroidery by giving it a contemporary twist and save these discarded tapestries from oblivion.
Gobelin, for example, is used with new colors and designs to create a new aesthetic that is familiar to the coziness of our grandma’s house, but fit today’s lifestyle with our flat LCD plasmas.
Started in Rome, Italy, during the seventeenth century, the Baroque style was encouraged by the Roman Catholic Church as response to the protestant reformation to display greatness and communicate religious themes emotionally. However the Rococo, which is also referred to as “late Baroque”, developed in the early part of the 18th century in Paris, France as a reaction against the grandeur, symmetry and strict regulations of the Baroque, especially that of the Palace of Versailles. For that everything was lavish and exaggerated in these styles to display drama, tension, and exuberance in sculpture, drama, fashion, architecture, art and music.
Apart from that history, our grandma’s had a special affection to that era. Not only they owned replicas of famous paintings, were proud of their expensive Gobelin salon’s, hold handbags with embroidery of flowers or vegetables, but they also created their own master pieces with their needlework. Back then; they were moving factories, whose spare time was spent on producing masterpieces for their home, rather than chatting on Skype and Facebook.
Gobelin was named after a family of dyers from France, who established a factory of tapestry in the 16th Century to supply the royal houses. Most of the pieces have a still life of flowers & vegetables or scenery that tell a story of Romanticism and ideal happiness. It is surely worth reviving this vintage craft to counter our mass-produced IKEA furniture.
Note: If you still have your grandma’s needlework or Gobelin , don’t throw it!
Paradoxia had the chance to renovate Rojada's store in the Mohandsien district of Cairo. The place was spruced up with few changes and little budget such as changing the paint of the interior and exterior and adding few accessories. We have also studied that consumer movement pattern and their phycology within the retail space. Only by changing the position of the cashier desk we improved the circulation of the place and the direction of the traffic flow. This has allowed our clients to enjoy more privacy and has optimized the product placement of the store. To our no surprise, regular Rojada customers felt the difference and the sales were maximized for the period. Most importantly, we proved that re-positioning of elements alone can create drastic change within the place.
Shows & Exhibitions
We have toured around the city of Cairo to exhibit in unconventional venues such as VENT a music bar in downtown, Designopolis Mall and Cairo Fashion Week, allowing many to interact with our designs.
Fashion & Costumes
Fashion has always been the best canvas for re-appropriation, a method that Paradoxia has used in their furniture design. That is why, we consider the “Hairy Jacket” as Paradoxia’s zero item or our first piece that we created several years before initiating our brand. As a matter of fact, Martin Margiela, like many other designers started their career by deconstructing and repurposing skanky old flea market clothes. In the same manner, “Hairy Jacket” was an old piece that was transformed into a fashion statement by adding a hair wig to a boring corduroy blazer.
Also in our first collection, “Home-made Baroque” we turned regular upholstery classic fabrics to trendy pieces of clothing, proving that furniture and fashion will always intersect.
We have been also delegated to create the set and costume designs for “Skin Quartet”, a contemporary dance play that explores the relationship between the body and the urban landscape. Our costume designs were made to resemble architecture and its affect on the human body, creating clothes with sharp lines but also comfortable for the dancers.
The main focus in our fashion experimentations, is exploring the relationship between architecture, furniture and fashion to create a conversation between them.