Nuhayr Zein Elmessalami

Nuhayr Zein (Egypt) is a UAE-based architect and designer whose work focuses on a symbiosis between nature and design. After graduating from the American University of Sharjah with a bachelor’s degree in Architecture, she went on to explore a bio-integrated approach to design focusing specifically on plants. She is a designer of spaces, furniture and objects that aim to elevate the human experience by connecting them to their surroundings, either conceptually or physically. She finds inspiration in the surroundings contexts and reflects that in her work at a material, formal and spatial scale.

During Tanween 2021, Nuhayr will be addressing the environmental challenge of creating a symbiosis between nature and design. Based on her recent research with the guidance of chemistry and biology experts, she aims to further develop 'Leucaena' a plant-based leather alternative material for furniture and other products, using local dried plant pods. In addition, she will also explore how these same pods could become a source of light without the use of electricity through the injection of bacteria or enzymes.

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