And then there was light
Updated: Jan 4
An Interview with Designer Soufiane Aissouni
When we came across Soufiane Aissouni’s Instagram account we knew that we had stumbled upon something very special. Soufiane (30) represents the young generation of artisans in Morocco. With a deep respect for his roots and traditional Moroccan craftsmanship, he boldly ventures into new artistic terrain, developing his own distinct language that marries the old with the new. His Instagram feed is a playful invitation into his world of interior design and his own line of beautiful Lamba lamps. His style is sophisticated yet approachable, minimalist and intelligent, earthy and warm; just like his personality.
Soufiane, born and raised in Marrakech, was drawn to the arts ever since childhood. “It was challenging growing up in a traditional society that wasn’t open to these things, but I was lucky to have a family that supported my ambitions."
Both of Soufiane’s parents worked in a well-known hotel in Marrakech, and he spent most of his childhood there among the western tourists who came to vacation in Morocco. “Perhaps it was these encounters that opened my mind and led me in this direction. Today Morocco has a great local art scene, but when I was growing up it was really mostly the tourists and expats that formed the artistic circles in Morocco. Our society wasn’t liberal enough back then, but happily it’s changing”.
Soufiane went on to study design at the international Lasalle College in Marrakech. “I had to learn so much. I was always artistic, I sketched, painted and took photographs, but I had no formal education. In the beginning my designs were a mess, a designing disaster. I have come a long way.”
His first professional opportunity was heading the décor department of one of the largest event agencies in Morocco. “We did weddings and private parties and production for photoshoots; I learned a lot during that time.” Later, he joined an interior design company where he led multiple projects for hotels and private homes.
Through his professional experiences in design he began to develop a passion for lighting, and eventually developed his own line of lamps that showcase his Moroccan heritage. “Marrakech, and the old town in particular, are my inspiration. The colors, the architecture, the scents; there is beauty everywhere. Often, I’ll walk down the street and have to stop to take a photo, witnessing something too beautiful to overlook”.
Soufiane is also an extraordinary photographer. Scrolling through his Instagram feed, he pulls you deeper into his world; with every photo you feel you know a little bit more about him, but paradoxically, also a little bit less. And it’s addictive. It’s hard to believe that all his photos are not only envisioned and designed by him, but are also taken by Soufiane himself.
Soufiane doesn’t cease to surprise you. Behind his charming, mischievous smile, stands a serious, multifaceted and gifted artist. On top of his own line of lighting, Soufiane sketches, photographs, designs furniture and home accessories and still does interior design projects.
All of these ventures reflect his underlying artistic drive. “I love contrasts, I love being able to represent the old and the modern Morocco, the traditional and the liberal, that is the true beauty of Morocco today.” And through his stunning and engaging creations, we too now have access to it.