Moroccan inspired interiors are quickly finding their niche in the homes of many outside of the former French African colony. Patricia Amalm, from Moroccan Bungalow, shares tea with Soufiane Aissouni to discuss his role in the promotion of this divine style.
When considering how to describe Moroccan décor, eclectic readily springs to mind, as does unique. Each piece is a one of a kind crafted with experienced hands of artisans from all over the country. Soufiane is one such artisan who, not only designs interiors, but creates his own furniture and home accessories to show off his Moroccan heritage.
A self-described meticulous creative Soufiane’s Lamba collection of lamps are made from raffia and metal a mix of traditional and different techniques. Through collaboration with local artisans he personally seeks out, Soufiane expresses a desire to develop the tradition, “…to combine local knowledge with a minimalist design and pure forms, the goal being to give soul to my creations”. Soufiane approaches his designs with maturity and a sense of custodianship, “Moroccan craftmanship is an integral part of our culture, we must preserve it… (Lamba lamps) remind (you of) the colours of the earth and the light of Marrakech…”
Losing yourself in the alleyways and medinas of Marrakech or even just a scroll through Soufiane’s Instagram, you can’t help but feel a pang of jealously that he is almost drowning in inspiration. “…my town…is a box of inspiration and curiosity…every day is a discovery” In addition to being surrounded by breathtaking scenes, Soufiane is awed by the artisans he meets “…I’ve met the most adorable inspirational women of the countryside that does the raffia, the technique, the atmosphere, the teamwork, gathering all around the table while making those beautiful handmade shapes with good spirit and a joyful atmosphere”. Soufiane also takes the time to learn from the traditional artisans and produce his own handicrafts for his lines. His approach is not only practical for a designer, but also safeguards the beautiful Moroccan artisan culture, that is sometimes underappreciated in the 21st, heavily tech-reliant century.
His almost obsession with Moroccan techniques, and refusal to ignore his own Berber heritage, sees his interiors take on a minimalist, yet familiar Moroccan atmosphere. “I’m mostly into the modern, but with little reminders of Moroccan culture, (it) could be a curtain in linen, with a little detail of embroidery…a material or texture into a modern, contemporary item”. Morocco and its unique style does lend itself well to be described as bohemian chic, as “…it’s very simple and pure that does make your space alive, mostly charming and warm”.
Also employing his skills as a scenographer, Soufiane hopes to share some Moroccan inspired aesthetics alongside the idea that the Arab culture is closed to change. “…there’s a lot of Moroccan artists here and designers, and they are really creative. People are always curious here and they all giving a step to and allow to people to show them new things”.
Despite his love for tradition, Soufiane realises that, especially as Moroccan décor hits its strides, competition can be fierce and social media, as a result, is unavoidable. Instagram has become a business for him now, and enables him to “…share my collection, my work, it’s like the word of mouth, you make a post, people see it, maybe sharing it, start talking about it, it gives you a sort of identity and visibility to the people”. Not only that, but it provides artisans, like Soufiane, with a platform where they can shout to the world about the beauty of their unique, hand-made products and promote a love for preserving the traditions of such culture-rich people.
Soufiane’s love for handmade Moroccan products was the impetus for the Moroccan Bungalow to begin a rug collaboration with him. Through this exciting and new collection Soufiane feels that he is able to translate his culture and grow as a designer and producer to catch the attention of a larger, and different audience. Stay tuned for their exciting new projects to come from the unique collaboration of a Berber interior designer and Patricia who is passionate about the sustainability and preservation of the Berber culture.