We’ve asked artists, architects and designers plus architectural students from LAU, to share with us their thoughts and ideas as they relate to their favorite cities, Utopian urban design and various life experiences. Here are their answers, along with original works that best reflect their passion, creativity and emotions.

Tell us about the work you submitted. What does it say about you?

Creating new pieces usually starts off with gathering the given requirements and capturing what inspires me the most and then it becomes a matter of catching up with ceaseless ideas and endless thoughts in my mind regarding what my version of the project should express and how I visualize the piece. In this course, we were never constricted with a specific medium, but rather exposed to references that made us crave experimenting and exploring the endless variety of materials available. This is exactly why varying our pieces from the norm became an obsession, and with that we have all discovered more about each other as we started the journey of each piece at the same starting line of requirements, but each got lost into their own race of manipulating the given into an unexpected outcome. The work summarizes my thrive for challenges, as I took it upon myself to face things. The results were expanse steps out of my comfort zone in terms of scale, expression and dealing with the mistakes that make you feel like you ruined everything you worked on.

Lama Sheryan assemblage

When creating a new piece, what inspires you most?

I have always been fascinated by human personalities and connections. Being around different types of people, observing their versions of being a “me,” unravelling parts of their personalities through their conversations; these things inspire me most.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Lebanon, and I cannot imagine myself living in any other place although my origins are Bahraini. I just do not think there is a place in the world that could beat the connection I personally feel to this land’s vibrant energy, its hopeless but hopeful people and their obsession with aesthetics, its breathtaking seascapes, landscapes and cityscapes. The variety this country has in everything is very inspiring, and there is always something new to discover. It’s just like the canvas of a very colourful, abstract painting that leaves you the choice of perception into anything you desire.

Lama Sheryan cement visualization of the end result

What’s one thing you could never live without? Why is it so important to you?

My sketchbook/journal. Being a detail-oriented, sensitive person with tendencies to overthink, snapping back to sanity and reality. I am able to unleash, rationalize and organize any of the thoughts, especially when I am confronted by just myself and these thoughts, with no judgements and reactions.

Lama Sheryan layering planes

Who’s the person you admire and why?

The designer I admire most is Stefan Sagmeister. I am mostly awed by his eccentric approach in comparison to our traditional conceptualization of stereotypical graphic design. He never fails to provide valid reasons, convincing justifications and impacting messages through his work.

Describe yourself in just one word.

A dreamer.