Student Interviews #1: Mennah Othman Tells Us About The Early Beginnings In Architecture


Architecture has always been a difficult journey for most people. The process is long and takes a strong person to truly find their way in an industry that offers the world. Whether you are just starting out or finishing up your masters, the road to the top can be full of pain and sleepless nights. 

So how can provide solutions for students who have to endure this process? 

Well for me, I’ve found it helpful to listen to students who are currently in the process of creating a life for themselves in the industry. 

This is why I’ve decided to make this post about a quick interview I had with a student named Mennah who is in the process of completing her masters in landscape architecture. 

In this short interview, Mennah gives us a clear view of her journey which isn’t typical by any stretch. She is a student from Egypt who has decided to move to Milan to do her masters in sustainable architecture. This means she has come from one historic city to the next and speaks about her journey throughout it all. 

More About The Interview

So what did we speak about in this interview? 

Well as you will hear from the interview below, Mennah has been able to truly have a great journey so far living in some of the most historic places on earth. We were able to cover a lot about her career and some of the biggest problems facing students within architecture.

One of these problems is the lack of tools from schools that can help educate students further. Technical advancements within the education system such as how teachers conduct lectures and allowing students to self learn. Just like most industries, the education sector for architects can be a real game changer. 

As noted in the interview, 2020 was a absolute disaster for those who where not equipped to deal with the push toward virtual and remote work. Architects and everyone else out there were forced to truly change the way they did there jobs from a design perspective and a knowledge perspective. 

One of the big eye openers for those who have not visited the Middle East, is the big push toward more “commercial” building styles and less on a authentic or culture styles. We discuss a few examples of this within our student interview to provide you with a better understanding of what this might look like in the Middle East. 

For me being in Dubai, this is truly evident as we see more new and shiny buildings daily that are less culturally relevant and more commercial. What do I mean by commercial? Well commercial could mean the idea of neglecting climate and cultural values for architecture that appeals to a wider audience (or tourist). I’m constantly seeing more examples of this throughout my travels and as we move further into the future this might become the norm. 


As we close, Mennah is a young mind who is looking to not only provide more architecture but also provide solutions through sustainable architectural projects. As she will say in the interview, Egypt is a beautiful place but just like other cities there are places that could use some improvement. She is looking to assist her home country by changing the way we think through her architectural journey. She has a bright future in the industry and definitely someone to watch as we continue to interview more students. 

Lastly, one of the topics that was left out of the interview was the role of women inside the Middle East. Women should be empowered to truly reach new heights and thankfully some progress is being seen across multiple countries and cities. 

Take a listen to the interview below to learn more about how we can find solutions for up and coming architects. 

Thank you to Mennah Othman for the time and looking forward to hearing more about her architecture journey! 

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