Rama Husamddine of Perkins + Will is carrying on the family tradition by electing to pursue a career as an architect.
A member of the company’s Dubai-based urban design team, she is following in the footsteps of her grandfather and mother.
“They were my inspirations,” she said. “My grandfather, Rami Alalwani worked on the holy sites in both Makkah and Medina and that is something the whole family are very proud of.”
Dubai-born Husamdine studied architecture at the American University in Sharjah which she said laid the
foundations of her career.
“It was intensely challenging and really testing,” she said. “The course really bought out what I had inside and helped ne develop the skills that I have. The university accepts more than 100 students for the first year and that is reduced to 40 be the second year so it is very tough as they only keep the best. But that makes it extremely satisfying when you finally get through.”
As Dubai is her birthplace Husamdine is passionate about developing the city to its full potential.
“It is my home and as I travel around the world I absorb all that I can and want to bring it all back here,” she said. “I want to incorporate some of the traditions of Arabic design, the shaded streets where people can walk and meet one another. That is our job as designers – to establish the identity of a particular place.
“There is obviously a lot of foreign influences in Dubai but it is important that the region’s architectural heritage is not neglected. We need to build on what has gone before. After all the oldest cities are where civilisation was created.”
Rama Husamddine joined Perkins + Will in April 2014 after spending two-and-a-half years at global design firm Woods Bagot. Her family are originally from Syria and she has lived in Toronto, Canada, but calls Dubai home. Masterplanning is a particular interest for her and she has been working on the Dubai Design District, details of which were revealed at this year’s Cityscape Global held in the city.