Q.You’re an established industrial designer. Why the focus now on building design?
A. I’ve always taken a great interest in real estate; in fact, if I had more capital, I’d probably be developing a lot more projects myself. There’s also money to be made in real estate — much more than one can as a designer. And there’s less and less of industrial design work.
Q. But you’re not a licensed architect.
A. I am doing 11 buildings in the world, but I don’t have a stamp as an architect and I wasn’t educated as an architect.
There’s a lot of press and remarks, “Oh, Karim is a designer, not an architect,” which is strange because there are many architects who are very successful that were not necessarily educated. A lot of the design architects tend to use what they call an architect of record who tends to be doing the construction implementation. […]