Principal + Founder
I am a designer with over 10 years experience in the architecture field. I design innovative spaces from restorations to the ground up. I get personally involved in every aspect of our projects, from envisioning the original concept to finding the right site and curating the complete space, right down to the last detail. At Cohesion we are the innovators, investors, creatives and craftsmen of our projects.
My architectural practice deals with today’s challenges through holistic methods of working which means that retain complete creative freedom to bring my vision to existence. Like a form of alchemy, we address multi-layered problems through adherence to contextual, environmental and social problems. My team and I camp or live in the empty sites once we’ve acquired them to understand the context, light, volume and settings of each space, and travel to find objects, materials and inspiration to graft the collective vision into a sense of place.
— This unique practice allows me to ‘feel’ our spaces before we begin designing and crafting — a process that embodies the end result with the effects of strong emotional and physical bond to each site.
— Every project I embrace is a journey, reflecting changing interests in a particular place, idea, material and methods of making.
— Reserve and explore one of my builds Here.
Principal of Cohesion | Founder of Folly | AIA | Senior Designer at JSA | LEED GA | Scholar at the New School | Author of Cohesion: The integration of Pragmatic and Contextual Relevancy
Malek, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born in Amman Jordan in 1989. The first place I was taken from early childhood memories was one of the seven man-built wonders of the world, the lost city of Petra. My mother was a stay at home mom with a love for interior design and my father an entrepreneur and they both loved investing in rural and old spaces to reinvigorate. Most of my childhood memories involve exploring ancient ruins and growing up dreaming of what they were like and what Impact I will have on my generation through design and innovation.
I studied architecture, a five year journey with focus on sustainability and off-grid innovation through space. After completing my development hours and training in the professional field of Architecture + Design, I knew I didn’t want to open a conventional practice as I yearned for complete creative freedom and had always preferred working with the human and intimate scale of a space. So, I developed a model of practice where I was my own client, giving myself the space to design and craft out homes organically and entirely. Desperate to build a physical realization of my thesis book, I designed and built my first Folly in Joshua Tree, CA. I share that built endeavor with my childhood best friend Hillary Flur who has a passion for hospitality, love for people and authentic customer experience. How I work today has its genesis in this co-op collaborative process.
What is your role?
I am the dreamer. Once I have a strong sense of the initial idea that will shape a project, I hunt endlessly to find the perfect site. I then work on the concept and design, nursing the seedling idea through planning, dialogue, and design development hurdles.
I spend my days as a designer collaborating with my design team in my office or on-site, refining the designs of my projects through the process of creating. I enjoy a sense of connection with the land and materials, understanding and learning how best to craft and shape each idea, and attending to every detail. I collaborate with my specialized craftsmen, with whom I make my visions a physical reality.
When it comes to hospitality and end-user experience I work very closely with Hillary. We are in constant communication to make end-user experience decisions that reflect the projects vision and ethos. Once the creation of space has begun, I visit constantly, helping with details on site whilst curating and choreographing the objects and end user experience that become an extension of the architectural experience.