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Ammar is a London-based Syrian refugee from Damascus. In 2019, his story of escaping war and overcoming great adversity was featured in the Guardian. Ammar graduated from BA Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding in July 2020, and self-describes as a Retail Spatial Designer.
Well, Covid19 completely flipped the table on a lot of us. My chances of getting a decent creative job have shrunk down, since all design studios are closed due to the continued lockdowns. However, I utilized the time spent at home to re-do most of my university projects to add another level of detail and make them industry worthy. I am also taking the time to develop my skillset and learn new 3D modelling and rendering software such as Cinema 4D and Octane Render. And finally, I decided to experiment with videography and content creation, so I started a YouTube channel called RedlineINT. It aims to educate viewers on (Art, Fashion, Trends and Design) in a creative manner. Entering this field was very entertaining, as it allowed me to shape my visual knowledge into a different form. It usually involved set design, script writing, filming, editing and applying engaging strategies to retain viewers’ attention throughout the episodes.
I am setting myself up with a personal project that revolves around producing a pop-up space design every week, for brands of my choice. The aim is to keep my creativity alive and to adapt to as many brand images/identities as possible.
I am interested in organisations that place emphasis on designing a memorable/immersive customer experience, rather than traditional commercial spaces. I would love to earn my stripes in that genre by working for either a retail design studio or an interior design office and work my way up to management rolls.
You know funny enough, before getting into LCF, I had completed two years studying accounting in Damascus University while working as a visual merchandiser for fashion brands. Accounting was definitely not for me. Meanwhile, I was receiving compliments on my work as a visual merchandiser at the age of 18, which soon highlighted my key strengths in this field. I was told I have a good eye for colours and carry a decent level of attention to details. Therefore, this was my breaking point where I realised, I am more of a creative person and that I would love to back up my skills with an academic knowledge by studying at LCF.
It is Europe’s largest specialist art and design university. The school’s reputation runs ahead of it. It is ranked 2nd in the world for Art and Design according to the 2020 QS World University Rankings®, for the second year in a row.
First, I would like to clear up one thing. There has been an ongoing misconception about the term ‘visual merchandising’. It is often conceived as a product re-arrangement roll in the fashion industry, which is the furthest thing of what the course offers.
I chose this course because it carries a perfect balance between creative spatial design, offline/online campaign design, display design and visual & marketing strategies. Therefore, it allows for various career paths instead of being limited with one area.
Being able to turn random ideas into creative concept store designs, through mindmaps, moodboards, 2D sketches, physical mockups, digital 3D modelling and rendering.
My favourite piece of work has to be my Final Major Project. A concept store design catered for the brand Demobaza.
The project is called ‘A Wind From The Future’. It aims at contributing to the creation of an immersive experience for the brand Demobaza, through spatial design and soundscaping that would ultimately affect customers visual memory with a long-term emotional attachment.
The concept revolves around recreating the future of retail environments inspired by the narrative direction of Demobaza. It is an interactive multi-sensory experience, which imagined the post-apocalyptic interiors of abandoned facilities invaded by digitalisation – to raise awareness about the passing time and evolution as the world shifts to the next dimension. Rather than focusing on the gory details of how the world might end in a post-apocalyptic scenario, this concept casts its gaze upon the reality of the world that follows catastrophe and persists without human beings, as nature gradually reasserts itself over the architectural remnants of society.
Watch the 3D Model Walkthrough (password: FMP2020).
“Do not work backwards. Always make sure you follow the natural design process, instead of having a final result in mind to then try to justify it with research” Edward Stammers
“If you get stuck, then you are not doing enough research” Jonathan Baker