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Parallel Minds: A Unique Design Project Engaging Autistic Children

Showcased at this year’s Cairo Design Award, #ParallelMinds brought industry giants together to prove that creativity and innovation can come from anywhere.

Creativity is a nebulous, elusive concept, especially in the world of architecture and interior design. Where does it come from? How does it come to be? What is it?'

These were the questions raised by the spectacular Parallel Minds exhibition at this year’s Cairo Design Award that asked Egyptian children living with autism to let their imagination run wild and design a chair. Held in collaboration with the Egyptian Autism Society, it was a challenge posed by Mohamed Badr, founder and Chief Designer of MB Designs, and Ahmed Helmy, CEO of Meuble El Chark, who then took the illustrations of the participating children and manufactured with the children's input.

Beyond the novelty of the project and its end-result, Parallel Minds challenges the notion that autism is a debilitator, that those living with it don't have the capacity to be creative. In fact, it shows that creativity and innovation can come from anywhere, that the 800,000 or so Egyptians living with autism today can contribute and create - they just need to be given the chance.