The Power Of Collaboration with CoLab Founder Mohamed Oraby
A conceptual physical platform for artists, creatives, and people of vision to quite literally “jump on to” and collaborate together to produce a memorable experience. In Mohamed Oraby’s words, this is CoLab in a nutshell.
It is a forward thinking collaboration space located in Zamalek near the Um Kalthoom Hotel, an area that is often referred to as the artistic and cultural heart of Cairo.
I spent the evening discussing art, interior design, architecture and the wonders of Los Angeles with CoLab’s founder and the brains behind this intriguing project, Mohamed Oraby.
Almost our entire conversation took place in the entrance foyer, a dark room painted all black, while watching art videos on a giant geometric 3D art installation screen. This is an installation that was developed and conceptualized by one of CoLab's resident artists Karim Bakry, which Oraby then developed and engineered along with him. This piece ensures that people begin to cultivate an experience; from the very moment they step into CoLab.
Originally an Architect who worked and studied extensively in the fields of interior design and Woodwork through Conception, his family’s business in Woodwork and interiors, Oraby ventured off into the notably ahead of the curve world of Italian design completing a MA in “Living Design” at Domus Academy in Milan.
A collaboration “concept lab” at heart, CoLab welcomes creative people from across the spectrum including fashion design, photography, architecture and more to showcase their work in a positive environment.
The importance of collaboration was a huge corner stone of Oraby’s studies in Milan. Subsequently, Oraby is a big believer in the power of collaboration between artists. If any of you follow up on the fashion scene today on a global scale, it will become evident that collaboration is one of the major driving forces keeping fashion alive. Specifically, street wear labels and the sneaker scene.
Brands such as Supreme, Vetements and Anti Social Social Club thrive on collaborations. Oraby as an artist first and foremost knows the importance of harnessing the skills of two creative minds and bringing them together to produce something better, cooler, and ultimately stronger than individual work. This concept is manifested in CoLab.
We walked around the space. I was fascinated by the idea of creating an experience for the viewer. Oraby demonstrated how he is able to manipulate the various room and doors to control people’s pathways, how they walk around to see the art, where they go first, and what they see last.
CoLab is a minimal space and leaves so much room for interpretation. One of the ideas discussed with Oraby, which personally resonated with me most was that of encouraging and discovering up and coming talents, hidden talents and young talents.
This is the art space of the future. Currently housing a photography exhibition, the first time I visited was for the Jude Benhalim launch event covered on Radical last month. Witnessing first had how well this space captures the essence of an organic art experience.
Throughout this article you can check out 4 projects that Oraby cited as inspirational works to him as an artist. I asked him to pick 3 more places after we both agreed that the bright pink Paul Smith store on Melrose Place in LA is one of the most brilliantly minimal modern buildings of our modern time.
In the coming year I know for sure this place will be one to watch.