I am constantly inspired by positive individuals who believe in me, my travels around the world and the people I meet along the way, history of art, classical music and jazz. Most importantly, I draw inspiration from Africa, my place of birth, which fascinates me with its diversity and rich cultural background. It is a continent of colours, music, diversity, creativity and multiple languages. For me, it is ‘Mama Africa’, the mother of humanity.
I can honestly say that I am a globetrotter – the Ibn Battuta of design. French writer Gilles de Bure rightly said about me in the book In The Arab World Now, where I share space with personalities such as Zaha Hadid, and Karim Rashid, “Hicham Lahlou’s long body seems to have been designed by a celestial designer. It is slender, supple and flexible, with very long legs that make him well-suited to doing the splits.”
At this point in my life, I am very pleased to receive recognition from my colleagues through my election as member of the new board of directors elected for the World Design Organisation for the 2017-19 period, where I will serve and carry the mantle for Africa. I also had the honour to be nominated as a curator for the African section of the exhibition Africa/Latin America Rising Design – Design Emergente at this year’s Salone del Mobile.
Hicham's own concept, canopy of the toll station - highway of Rabat that he received the iF Design Award 2018
These recognitions are a result of my efforts towards the platform Africa Design Days/Award, which I founded in 2014 to shed light on African design and innovation by promoting designers from Africa. I am also working on collaborations with several international brands, working on two hotels, urban projects, concept stores and restaurants, as well as developing a new big-scaled pan-African industrial project with a great in Morocco, which we will show in due time.
I am most proud of my country, Morocco, proud of my King Mohammed VI, a true leader who puts in great effort for his country and Africa. He inspires me a lot by his vision and I am proud to contributing to Africa’s rise through African Design, with of course, the World Design Organisation and Africa Design Days/Award.
My home is Rabat, a city that I love unconditionally, the capital of Morocco and also the capital of culture with a rich, beautiful cultural and historical background spanning more than a 1,000 years mixed with modern projects such as the Grand Theatre of Rabat designed by Zaha Hadid and many other major projects.
I love to sketch while listening to classical or jazz music, travel, read books, and indulge in Moroccan, French and Asian cuisines. I am also passionate about French literature, music and culture in general.