Saturday April 20th, 2024
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Grids of Cairo: Maramzy Unveils Handcrafted Home Decor Collection

Inspired by Cairo’s skyline and urban fabric, the collection pays homage to the city’s rich heritage.

Karim Abdullatif

A panoramic view of Cairo reveals a cityscape intricately woven with a tapestry of lines, each telling a story and promising a unique moment. In the heart of this bustling metropolis, Maramzy introduces the ‘Grids of Cairo’ collection, a homage to the Egyptian capital’s rich heritage and diverse urban fabric.

“By staying connected to our roots, we can develop a strong sense of identity and purpose,” Maram Ramzy, Founder of Cairo-based Maramzy, tells SceneHome of the collection. ‘Grids of Cairo’ ranges from lighting and accessories to frames and Maramzy’s first experiment with furniture; a corner table called ‘Mastaba’.

Raised in Saudi Arabia with a deep connection to Cairo, Ramzy’s childhood fascination with the city’s urban landscape served as the catalyst for the collection. Viewing Cairo’s non-uniform lines as threads of a compelling narrative, Ramzy, who has an architectural background, aimed to capture the city’s essence.

Wanting to share her perspective, Ramzy began thinking about ‘Grids of Cairo’, a collection that pays homage to the city’s diversity. The grids were viewed as metaphorical puzzles that capture the stories of Cairo. “The skyline influenced every piece, serving as our dynamic canvas and allowing us to draw inspiration from historic buildings and streets,” Ramzy explains.

Drawing from Cairo’s golden hour, ‘Ghuroob Table Lamp’ captures the moment the sun sets with a brass dome that gently filters light. Its base, adorned with a leather urban grid, paints a picture of Cairo’s urban landscape. ‘Qubba Candleholder’ celebrates Cairo’s distinctive domes. “It’s a playful blend of clay and metal cubes that can be customised,” Ramzy says.

“These designs don’t only showcase the architectural diversity in Cairo but also serve as a conduit for unique stories in the city, capturing its sense of place,” she continues. “We deconstructed the chaos, identifying key elements from Cairo’s grids.” The organic flow commonly found in Cairo’s streets provided a foundation for the collection.

‘Khotout Table Lamp’ is handcrafted Raku pottery featuring grid-like artwork that echoes Cairo’s streets. A brass dome casts a warm, enchanting glow that accentuates the pottery’s irregularities. “Linearity and asymmetry allowed the designs to distil the chaotic beauty of the city, reflecting dynamic interplay between order and spontaneity,” Ramzy adds. “From sketch to prototype, each item was refined with close attention to detail as artisans skillfully brought the concepts to life. Our goal was to translate Cairo’s chaotic grids into thoughtful home decor that captures the city’s spirit within the comfort of our homes.”

The products share a visual language that clearly has a crush on Cairo, whether it’s sleek lines reminiscent of historic buildings or asymmetrical contours mirroring the unpredictable alleys. Or, like the ‘Hamama Clay Sculpture’ or ‘Gheyya Wall Art’, pays tribute to pigeons that animate Cairo’s skyline, our city companions.

Names are part of Maramzy’s storytelling. ‘Alf Me’zzannah Candle Holder’ is named after Cairo’s nickname, ‘City of a Thousand Minarets’. “This piece mirrors the city’s skyline. Placing candles along its silhouette, there’s a warm glow that feels like sunset marked with Cairo’s minarets,” Ramzy explains. “The juxtaposition of these contrasting elements inspired us to present them side by side, showcasing how opposing qualities can mirror Cairo.”

The interplay of shapes, textures and colours throughout the collection provided a broad perspective of the city’s spirit. “Each product narrative was crafted to pique curiosity, delving deeper into the design beyond mere aesthetics,” Ramzy adds. “Whether it’s the delicate details in lighting, the subtle accents in accessories or the bold statement furniture, each piece contributed to our holistic portrayal of Cairo’s grids.”

Blending form and function, the ‘Mastaba Corner Table’ presented an opportunity to experiment for Maramzy. “It was our first foray into woodworking, we struck a balance between practicality and aesthetics,” she says. “The table was designed to harmoniously carry and complement the collection.” The ‘Mastaba’ has a three-tiered structure mirroring the layers of Cairo’s dynamic topography. The tabletop, inspired by urban blocks, reflects the chaos.

Come nighttime, Cairo comes to life instead of going to sleep. ‘Nour Table Lamp’ was created to capture the city’s vibrant nightlife. A glass ball and brass pole mimic bright streetlights. The leather base recalls the mesmerising interplay of light cast on the city’s buildings. ‘Dawayer Applique’ is a tribute to buildings stacked and overlapped, as you draw closer hidden lights reveal the city’s secrets, reminiscent of exploring its enchanting alleys.

“Our brand was developed to be ethical and conscious, making sure that the products are recyclable and created in small batches to reduce waste,” Ramzy says. “Our artisans are part of our story, they work closely with designers to explore new dimensions of craft by integrating different materials.”

Through iterative prototyping and experimentation, artisans infused traditional craftsmanship with the contemporary design principles Maramzy wanted to employ. Their mission stems from the interconnectedness of artisans, conscious consumers and local communities. The collection was photographed in the century-old home in Old Cairo.


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