Design in Egypt: Unintentional Creativity from Within

Creativity is a genetic power that very few possess, and even fewer who realize that they have it. It is a skill that cannot be generated from scratch, but those who do own it need to nourish it. When raw, it comes from the heart, bare like a newborn child, showing its true beauty. But there are other times when creativity comes from a place one can only describe as a deep emotion, inexplicable, and sometimes confusing. Egyptians are known for their natural sixth-sense of innovation and their unique vision of the world around them where everything is fused with the optimism of tomorrow.

Unintentional Design In Egypt

An old windshield glass is used as a sign that roughly translates to, "Car Glass".

It may be due to the difficult circumstances most of the people in Egypt grew up in, but it is very unlikely for an Egyptian man to throw anything away without giving it a second (and sometimes even a third) chance at life. Whether it is a mechanic who uses a broken windshield glass to promote an offer, or a street salesman who hangs his merchandise on a tree, the ideas never stop. Acts like these create what is internationally known as unintentional design. When I walk the streets of the run-down neighborhoods, I find amazing recreations of items you and I would trash the moment they break, tear, stain, or no longer serve their purpose. In other words, items we instantly classify as garbage.

Unintentional Design in Egypt

A man extends the limits of his street sale to the branches of a tree.

Alone, the word design represents so many forms, styles and art ranging from the web to our homes. Yet when the word unintentional comes first, it frames a phrase with a much deeper significance opening a whole new field. It is very inspirational, and can sometimes be remarkably touching to physically see a person’s creativity in a form that is no longer only a thought, but of which is much more visible and perceivable. Sadly, these simple, humble designers have no idea how talented they are and are occasionally offended if you ask them about their inventions – the same inventions that ultimately made their lives much better.

Unintentional Design In Egypt

A humble man builds his home out of tree branches, carton boxes, fabric, concrete bricks and other items he finds laying around.

About Ayah Moustafa

I'm Ayah, a media designer/blogger at Tour Egypt with a deep passion for design (graphic & motion), photography, and creative writing. I pixelate the world around me with no artificial ingredients added-its beautiful just the way it is. I am Egyptian in blood, but born and bred in the Bay Area. I love peanut butter chocolate, Quentin Tarantino & Martin Scorsese movies, and I especially love the NBA (mad Lakers fan).