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?

The first project was a collage that are screenshots from three movies: Metropolis, The Picture of Dorian Gray and Modern Times. This was processed to an assemblage, to an abstracted visual representation in 2D, then layered to a relief that was done with cement casting. The final project was a pouring paint exercise where earth gravity creates the design. It was very stress relieving from the rigor of the disciplined design and a space to express myself. I called the works , “Cosmos,” “Fire in Hell” and “Fire,” based on the movement I did with my colours, on my black negative space. Therefore, these projects express my insistence on neatness and arranging my ideas, reaching a simple design yet a very detailed one from the inside and shows the huge effort and nights of work that unleashed my potential and creativity.

Yasmina Arafat assemblage

When creating a new piece, what inspires you most?

I think that inspiration comes from things like music, food, people, artists work, children scribbles, poems etc., but my main inspiration comes from “nature.” Anything in nature and out there in the world has its own shape and form. Even the form of a garbage bag can be studied and interpreted to give a very genuine and strong model. Therefore, this combination of shapes and colours in nature creates an endless diversity of inspirational images to me.

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

I will absolutely choose my country Lebanon again, and mainly my home town Baalbek. You can get inspired from anything: every single day you can find something new around you that can change your perceptions.

Yasmina Arafat 1 cosmos

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

I will absolutely choose my freedom. I believe that when someone is given the freedom to express himself, he can get much better ideologies and ideas. It is the essence of my free will that helps me to progress in work and life.

Yasmina Arafat cement

Who’s the person you admire and why?

The person I admire the most is the one who helped me and encouraged me all the way, my instructor Rached Bohsali. He made me believe in myself and become more confident, saying that anyone has the potential and the creativity, but not everyone is lucky to have the right support and people around him/her. I have this responsibility, which is to make him proud when he sees my designs in the future.

Describe yourself in just one word.