Perkins + Will’s Laila Al Yousuf is the winner of the 2014 Young Interior Designer of the Year award.
Awarded to the most promising commercial interior designer under the age of 30, currently working in the Middle East, Al Yousuf was selected for her exceptional creativity and playfulness.
The Judges noted that Al Yousuf’s broad portfolio and knowledge of the local landscape, as well as her involvement in industry events has deemed her a “perfectly well-rounded designer”.
One of the judges commented that her designs “demonstrate her playful and creative approach to designing office spaces that positively impact the company’s work environment and brand awareness”.
I am unbelievably excited I waited all year, it’s all I thought about all year and I’ve really put in all my effort to the best that I can do all year long: to take on opportunities outside work, to network, to meet people, to be involved in charity work outside of the office, to get other people involved in such things so I’m very, very excited. There is nothing that I wanted more and I’m so excited that I finally won,” said Al Yousuf.
She explained how the firm felt like a family to her: “I have been with them for three years and a half now [Perkins + Will] and when I first joined I was the fifth person that joined and we instituted a lot a very family kind of culture, we all got along very well.
“I think especially very early on we were very influential on each other’s designs and we have continued to do that as we have developed and grown. We share, even if it’s not for the project that we are working on, even when it’s different projects, we help each other out and I’m the kind of person that likes to try and get a lot of people involved in certain causes and events so I try to incorporate these things within the office so I hope that I have a small voice but a strong voice within the company.”
Al Yousuf was able to beat off stiff competition from the likes of Eileen Jaffary of U + A Architects; Alysha Nasir, Bluehaus Group; Alika Dobie, Design World Portfolio; Pooja Shah Mulani, LW Design Group; Susanne Herback, Interior Motives; as well as Sushma Serigara, MMAC Design Associates, who was also Highly Commended for her artistic abilities and strong portfolio.