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Rising Stars in Design and Architecture: Mariem Horchani


From Finance to Finesse

After 10 years working as a credit derivatives trader for major investment banks in London and New York, Bedford Corners resident Mariem Horchani changed course to pursue her longtime passion in interior design. She graduated from NYSID’s three-year MFA program last May.

Why did you choose this field? Interior design is so creative —very different from the world of finance! We spend most of our time indoors, which makes the interior design of that environment so important.
What inspires you? All forms of nature: rock formations, rabbit holes, wild lavender, fire.
Who is your favorite architect/designer? Right now, it’s Zaha Hadid. Not only is her work groundbreaking, it is dynamic and constantly evolving. The MAXXI National Museum of XXI Century Arts in Rome and Roca London Gallery in London are two recent projects I find particularly inspiring.
What is your favorite design style? Modernism. I love everything about it from art to architecture to furniture to product design, since the fifties.
Pet peeves in design? Copying another designer’s ideas. There is a fine line between inspiration and imitation. I strive to always be original in my designs.
What’s next? I am looking forward to putting my training and education to work. My ideal career would be as an interior designer in a commercial interior-design or architecture firm.

For class assignments, Horchan created designs for an Alice in Wonderland-inspired children’s room at the Chappaqua library; a reception area for a holistic women’s wellness center; a hotel lounge concept for SPR Hotel Singapore; and the Cloud 9 spa lounge for JetBlue.