Lojain Hamed ’18 is an Interior Design alum. She recently began working at Gensler, an international interior design firm. Hamed is in conversation with Francine Martini, Interior Design Associate Professor.
This conversation has been edited for length.
Francine Martini: What have you been doing since your time at Moore?
Lojain Hamed: First I had an internship at Otto Architects doing commercial and some residential work.
FM: That was the internship that you did for Moore, right?
FM: And then you stayed with them for a while?
LH: Yes, for a year. Then I started working with Toll Brothers, on the commercial side, mostly doing construction documents. And after that, I had been promised a job and then COVID hit [laughter] so I started to work on myself, on my skills, and doing freelance work with some great architects and interior designers in Philly: Alvin Holm, Joel Levinson and Down2Earth interior design. Then I told myself okay Lojain, let’s go back to the goal: where do I want to work and what are they looking for? So I worked on those skills too. I started applying to firms outside of Philly and I got two offers, in Atlanta, GA and I thought, this is the place! And now I’ve been working at Gensler since February 2022.
FM: What skills were you working on that you found was needed outside of what you already had?
LH: The number one thing that I have been working on is psychology, changing the inside will change the world outside. And then, expressing who you are and what you love to do in the design world. So it is about the skill of knowing who you are, what you love the most and communicating your ideas.
FM: So when you graduated from Moore, did you see yourself ending up where you are now, at Gensler?
LH: Absolutely. [laughter]
FM: [laughter] It’s a good fit for you—your skills, the way you think. Gensler is certainly our largest organization for interior design, and it is a leader in thought, so it really does fit you for forward thinking.
LH: Thank you. I always had faith that I’m going to achieve this goal and work at a firm with the environment that I love, deserve, and reflects me.
FM: How did Moore prepare you or equip you for that position?
LH: Moore introduced me to the real life of the work. It really pushed my boundaries and my skills to see how I can do in a very stressful kind of design and work. And I think this prepared me to be in the real world and know how to deal with challenges.
FM: What are your hopes for Moore for the future, both in the interior design program and as an art and design institution as a whole?
LH: For the interior design program, the senior year was my favorite, it was packed but the class the internship and presentation technique class and was very joyful and eye-opening to the step that’s going to take us to more beautiful challenges. In general, I hope that Moore stays inspiring more creativity and great talents.
FM: If you were giving some piece of advice for future Moore students, what would it be?
LH: I would say enjoy it. Enjoy every moment. Every class. Soak up all the information because you’re really gonna need it. [laughter] And always keep your hopes up because you will get there one day.
FM: Tell me about some of the exciting projects you’re working on; is there something you can share with us?
LH: Recently I’ve been working on a project in Nashville, TN, with a great team. I got involved in assisting my team from design and construction documents to choosing furniture, finishes, lighting and the design of the lobby and reception which is exciting for me.
FM: What’s your favorite part about working for Gensler?
LH: So many things! [laughter] I think trying out different projects, working with different teams, working on my skills, and exploring more skills and programs.
FM: Gensler’s the perfect fit for you. I’m thrilled you wound up there.
LH: Thank you, thank you. Yeah, Gensler reflects me from the inside. And I appreciate everything, so it becomes more beautiful.
FM: Lojain worked very hard at her skills and was always hungry for information and I think all of that knowledge you’ve been able to weave together has put you where you are now, and I’m really excited to see where you go.
LH: Thank you so much, I appreciate that. Fran is a big part of who I am right now.