Feature: Anas Al Horani. Photography: Courtesy of Apercu
Aperçu Designs is a promising interior and furniture design studio based in Amman. We speak to its founders, architects Farah Kayyal and Tarek Hreish.
After their great success at their debut appearance in Amman Design Week, architects Farah Kayyal and Tarek Hreish have fast become the go-to designers of 2017. Supported by Amman Design Week, their design studio Aperçu will be participating this March in Design Days Dubai 2017. Design Days Dubai is the first and only fair of its kind in the Middle East and South Asia for collectible and limited edition design objects. Keep an eye out for their exclusive collection!
Can you tell us a little bit about Apercu? When was it founded, and what was the idea behind it?
Aperçu Designs is a promising interior and furniture design studio based in Amman. Aperçu means an insight, an immediate impression or a brief sketch. At Aperçu, we ‘redefine the concept of modern living’. We challenge the ideal of beauty that salutes things that are perfect and complete. Instead, we embrace the beauty in imperfections and ultimately turn them into opportunities for creative designs. We do not only offer furniture, but a whole new bespoke experience in furniture selection and shopping. Our work ranges from furniture to lighting design, from complex concepts to intricate details, and from mass production to experimenting with limited editions.
Were you always interested in design?
Our interest in design grew in our early years in architecture school at the American University of Beirut. What provoked our interest in contemporary approaches to design was learning how design evolved throughout history. Besides, living in a city as dynamic as Beirut over a period of six years has definitely fueled our creativity. As architects, our interest in design has a wide spectrum that ranges from architecture to interior design, furniture and product design.
How do you describe your product design style, and what is your aim when you work on a piece?
Aperçu collections do not fall under a specific style. Our designs aspire for timelessness. They’re also dictated by our changing lifestyles and perceptions of beauty. However, our high appreciation of raw finishes and acceptance of imperfection in resources adds a signature to many of our designs. We create story-telling furniture that complement the lifestyles of all generations.
Are there any rules you follow in your work?
We step away from following rules in design. Design is not math. We believe some of our most admired designs were the result of defying rules and challenging conventional design approaches. We do go through a long and discouraging journey of trial and error, but the end result is almost always more creative and satisfying than any rule-complaint design.
Has the economy affected your work?
The unstable economy of the past years has certainly affected all industries. However, it is during such periods of instability that people become more conscious about their spending. Which is why they start putting extra effort in looking for something worthy, unique and within their budget to acquire. We at Aperçu aim to take furniture design to another level by giving the client exactly that, in addition to a leeway to customise their desires. We make sure we deliver premium products and services, characterized by high mastery and craftsmanship, just as promised.
What inspires you today?
Our designs are inspired by our daily life and travels. New cultures, morphologies, and natural settings redefine our perception of beauty. Travelling turns us into storytellers, which in return dictates our designs. We constantly move between regularity and conformity, and originality and uniqueness in our designs. Finding raw resources such as vintage wood triggers our creativity and turns that into a masterpiece.
Coco Chanel is rumoured to have once said, “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different,” a quality Apercu has never failed to exemplify by their approach to design and style. Their work remains at once timeless and contemporary.