Taking a design journey with D3 architect Ali Abdullah Tehami

Now aged 25, Ali Abdullah Tehami has worked on 30 projects in just three years at Woods Bagot. Currently he is engaged in the City Walk development and his facades formed an important part of the overall aspect of the Dubai Design District – or D3 as it has become popularly known.

“I was just 10-years-old when my father first bought a computer home,” said the designer who was born, bought up and works in Dubai but is actually or Iraqi origin.

“I was thrilled when I discovered what it could be used for – in fact technology as a whole made me very excited.”

Tehami started to explore fields as removed animation along with his growing interest in design and how graphic technology can be used to realise visions.

“I liked the idea that I could integrate so many things which fascinated me using a computer,” he said. “There was the design, then the interaction which is the thinking part. Also of great interest to me are psychology and philosophy. I wanted to bring it all together and architecture seemed to be a field which would allow me to do so.”

Tehami starts from the same place on any project.

“I always explore the context of a building and imagine the experience of the user,” he said. “I ask what sort of experience a person will have when inside a building I have worked on. I want to give them the experience the client requests – and do so via a tour of the building, whether they are working living or just visiting.

“Say it’s a museum and the experience needs to be joyful – open spaces and plenty of light will help to achieve that aim.”