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As a graphic designer, Amina Saâdi is about as real as you can get. In fact, exploring social and economic realities lies at the heart of her work. Her interest in social housing and its architectural impact on people was the inspiration behind her book project, Versailles. In it, the eponymous housing project where her father lives is juxtaposed with the famous French palace after which it was named, emphasising questions of territory, community and identity. With her residency in De Koer, Amina hopes to once more focus on the her immediate surroundings and explore the different flavours of her neighbourhood – such as the Palestinian baker who’s been providing residents with homemade pastries for years. In so doing, her aim is to develop the noun ‘graphic designer’ into a verb, presenting the occupation as an active and – most importantly – curious one.
How did begin doing your thing?
As student in graphic design, I chose to turn my masters into something real (something in reality). During my 3rd bachelor I developed an interest for social housing and the effects of this architecture on the people. During the research, I developed a little book about the place where my father lives in Brussels (called Versailles) and the well-known Versailles (in France). This little book had a lot of attention and pushed me to go on.
During two years, I worked on Versailles and raised questions about territory, community and identity. I met people in the street or during projects, participated in their activities, helped the, where I could. For me it was important not to impose myself but to get their trust, respect and to build a kind of friendship.
What’s your motto/mantra/idea that keeps you going?
I like to think that I’m free to develop a project based on meetings or observations and without being involved the art world. I also want to develop the position of the graphic designer as an active and curious person.