Meet the rising stars of Dubai’s eclectic interior design scene

Marco Maxime

Marco Maximus, 31, was trained as an architect, but he has always been drawn to a wide variety of disciplines and art forms of design, architecture and interior design like brand and product design. “Ever since I was young, I have loved design in all its forms. I loved creating a brand image, creating a story, working on new ideas that can be represented in many forms,” he said.

Born in Egypt, he studied architecture at the University of Cairo, undertaking a broad curriculum that gave him a taste for several disciplines. “I learned to think about everything – urban planning, landscaping, visualization, drawing, painting, as well as interior design – not just being an architect,” he said.

After graduating, he worked as an architect and interior designer in Abu Dhabi, before moving to Dubai in 2018. Since 2019, he has been working at Kristina Zanic Design Consultants, a Dubai-based company with a vision and an international clientele, where he is currently a senior interior designer.

“I use my entire toolbox — my design and presentation skills, even my video editing — to come up with ideas for my designs,” he said. “It’s totally different to work in Dubai then to work at home because of the diversity. In our office we have almost 30 different nationalities and I had the chance to work in Montenegro, Cyprus and Serbia, as well as in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, very diverse countries and with clients very diverse high-end.

Currently, Mr. Maximus works primarily in the hospitality industry, designing high-end interiors for five-star hotels and hotel chains, but he is also passionate about product design and has won numerous awards for his designs. furniture. In 2020, he won a competition to design a mounting plate for the AXOR x SARA Group as a tribute to Saudi heritage, creating a modern and elegant translation of traditional laser-carved Sadu patterns in a brushed red-gold metal finish. .

Last year he won an award for Flocean, a distinctive curved sunlounger designed in collaboration with Amr Abdelaziz, a colleague at Kristina Zanic Design Consultants.

Designed to raise awareness of how litter pollutes the oceans, the lounger is made from waste materials including single-use visors, gloves and masks, which contain plastics including polypyrene, and take 450 years to die. biodegrade. The couple designed the lounge chair for the charity Surge for Water’s Sustainability Design Awards, creating a unique use for the billions of single-use medical supplies thrown away during the pandemic.

Just as he strives to create unique product designs, Mr. Maximus does not take the easy route when it comes to interiors. “I like to be challenged. When everything thinks, ‘It’s not going to work’ or ‘It’s a very short deadline,’ that’s what makes me very excited to work,” he said. “I really enjoy working on restorations and renovations. It’s something that not everyone likes, but I think it’s something very interesting because you have the whole history of a building – sometimes you have to keep it and sometimes you have to come up with something totally different and totally new. You can see the change with your own eyes.