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Rising Stars 2013: Aram Lello

Aram Lello is currently based in Cape Town where he works for dhk Architects as an associate, involved in designing new buildings in South Africa and Europe. He started Lello Design to craft furniture that would ‘maximise and improve on’ the space in which people live. Describe yourself in one sentence. Dynamic, alert and full of curiosity; my interests range from architecture to product design, from interior design to graphics. What is your biggest inspiration? It may sound a bit obvious but my biggest inspiration is to see a better world every day. Being with people and working for people is the best part of my job and helps me understand what to do and where I want to go. Design, in all its forms, is a crucial component of our lives and it helps us to find answers to our needs. (Recognising the need, as Charles Eames once said, is the primary condition for design). What has been the high point of your career thus far? One of the greatest satisfactions of my work to date has been the opportunity to confront myself with the different scales of design. It doesn’t matter if it's a new city master plan or a multi-functional cupboard, the challenge requires the same level of attention and the gratification of success is equal. What are you working on now? Currently with dhk we are designing and building many new buildings in and outside South Africa. Probably one of the most important is Portside, the first tall building in SA to receive a Green 5 Star rating. In Cape Town I’m also involved with the design of a new 18 000m2 office building located in the new Bridgeway precinct of Century City, a new ‘class A’ office building that balances international and local building codes. I also recently won the first prize for the furniture competition WCFI2013. The piece presented (TEX) was a multi-functional storage unit and I'm busy developing a children’s version for a potential retailer that deals with kiddies’ furniture. Are there any upcoming projects you'd like to share with us? In addition to a number of high profile architectural projects with dhk both in South Africa and abroad, I am also collaborating with Wiid Design Studio to design a pavilion that hopefully will be used during the events of WDC2014. The idea is to continue our collaboration and create a series of new design products. For more information about Aram Lello, visit or Compiled by Leigh Robertson