Ramy Alawssy is a creative entrepreneur and founder of ING – the leading creative platform in Dubai. Hosting Talks, Workshops, and Portfolio Reviews, -ING has grown from a few close friends to a few thousand supporters over the span of just a couple of years. Inspired by his positive experience at the Kuala Lumpur Design Week, Ramy set out to establish the -ING Creative Festival in 2015, the first of it’s kind in Dubai and the region. The -ING conference will see leading international creative professionals hosting talks and workshops in a bid to encourage young creatives. Here is a quick tete a tete with Ramy himself
1.Can you tell me a little about yourself, where you grew up and what were your cultural influences?
I am a Graphic Designer by discipline and I studied and lived in Malaysia since a young age, originally I am from Baghdad, Iraq. My teen years were spent in Dubai; I am a third culture child.
I grew up in a time when Iraq was under the harshest sanctions placed on any country, resources were very limited and the country was totally disconnected from the world, while the Iraqi currency lost most it’s value. I did not have all the material things that most kids have today, yet I was lucky to have incredible parents that put education above everything. While me and my brothers might have lived “poor” in terms of material standards, we were rich in knowledge by going to great schools and living among different cultures i.e in Malaysia and UAE. I now believe great education gives people better chances to improve their lives, and I was lucky to have my parents that saw long term.
2.How did the concept of -ING Creatives come into play? Was it a conscious decision to start -ING or it just happened?
When I returned from Malaysia to Dubai in 2010, I was surprised at how little creatively the city offered and I had no clue where to reach other creatives. So when Behance approached me to organise Behance events, I was very happy to do it, as I am a big believer in making the change that I want to see in the world. Two years into this, I traveled to New York and met with the co-founder of Behance, Matias Corea, who was keen on working with us to putting together a large festival in Dubai by introducing us to world renowned speakers as well as participating himself at the festival. Soon after it I returned to Dubai, and I sat with Jiani Lu, a close friend of mine to take her advice. That’s when Jiani came up with building something that’s more than just a festival but rather a Creative Community that helps creatives through Talks, Workshops, and Portfolio Reviews. And at the core of this community, we’re all about making things and going further than ideas, that’s how the name came to be as -ING from the suffix.
3. What is your future vision for ING creative?
A sustainable Creative Community, where creatives help one another to grow. A place where you get inspired, learn to make things, and gain the support you deserve. This region has lots of potential, and people of this region are the ones capable to change it, through creativity.
The -ING Creative Festival is happening this April 28-30 at Dubai Design District (d3), hope to see you there.