SPECIAL EDITION: Design Miami & Adrère Amellal

June 20, 2017

We would like to present you with a Special Edition of our weekly newsletter to honor the incredible work being done within the design industry by Rodman Primack, India Mahdavi and Mounir Neamatalla. Our Principal, Maria Sepulveda, had the pleasure of meeting these three visionaries in Siwa, Egypt at Adrère Amellal. The preservation of this desert oasis was the topic of discussion at Design Miami in Basel, Switzerland this past week.

After a successful Milan design week in April, Maria ventured to an elusive corner of Egypt. She had accepted an invitation to discover an ancient oasis isolated in the most western edge of the Egypt desert: Siwa, Egypt. This is a place where the addiction of checking your cell phone seems obsolete or “small” in the scope of the majestic surroundings of endless beauty and the blanket of stars in the night sky. In Siwa, you are making a memorable connection with the natural environment on so many levels that you want to make the experience last as long as possible. These photos, taken by Maria herself, just barely capture the true beauty of the environment.

Maria met Rodman Primack, the CCO of Design Miami/Basel, in a jeep while traveling from the private airport in Siwa to the incredible Adrère Amellal desert eco lodge. They were joined by a group of 40 guests destined to experience this very special place, cultivated by Mounir Neamatalla and India Mahdavi. In Siwa, the primitive surroundings are perfectly balanced by the exquisite attention to detail. Furthermore, the authentic hospitality extended by both Mounir and India made the experience unforgettable for Maria and her travel companions.

Maria was thrilled to see that Rodman organized a brilliant talk this past week at Design Miami/Basel with India Mahdavi and Mounir Neamatalla to discuss their work in Siwa and preserving the Oasis. Bravo Rodman!

Mounir Neamatalla and India Madhavi have been collaborating for over a decade on creating a “camp”, Adrère Amellal, that both provides employment and support to the local community in Siwa and is helping to maintain and develop strategies to preserve the physical and cultural heritage of this treasured place. Together, they are employing the best of design and design thinking to achieve long term sustainable practices for the community.

Design Miami is always interested in supporting a deeper understanding and connection with the many ways in which design is impacting our world. Siwa is an extraordinary natural wonder, a large salt water lake that sits 19 meters below sea level and at the edge of the Sahara. The Oasis was visited by Cleopatra, Alexander the Great and was written about by Herodotus… to say it is extraordinary is an understatement!
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