How I Start Designing Projects around The World, As An Unknown Architect

Soumia Masmoudi
3 min readFeb 17, 2017

Design less for More

Did you had this feeling of being despointed about the published projects when you get to visit them ?

Some times some published projects doesn’t reflect the reality. They are timeliness and for the majority they have no impact in the community or their actuel environement

This feeling came from the “Extravagance of the named architect ” “The opsession of the singular object” “The absence of the Genius locos”… Or As an architect in the market, you Simply accept that this is not for you and that your architecture values are far away from this one. You may choose a Human and Nature oriented architecture.

As an Unknown Architect woman, who had a chance to traval and leave in many countries, I decided to have an architecture that is Human and environement oriented. So I started being curious about the local practices in every country I visited: Bhutan, Thailand, Vietnam, Qatar, Senegal. every place was offering me a piece of learning in my design learning journey. But all start with a clear decision less project with more impact . I started being selectif… I know it’s look like a luxury choice but when you start prioritising, your work show your real values. so after a moment you will gain experience in a tropic that you like and care about.

It’s happend to me in 2014, my studio ellearchitecture will no longer serve concrete or “Fast food” Architecture.

At that time I was a collaboratif teacher at Hochiminh University . I needed to talk my walk and inspire this generation of futur architects to explore different ways of “healthy Design Thinking process”

Than, something inpredected happened…I got this message from my studio website: “ We are looking for an Architect-permaculture designer for our 3 ha project, Can we meet You?” Oliver and Katerine

Guess what? after few months….Hippo farm was Born, from my client vision and my passion for designer ^^( my efforts payed)

Hippo Farm is a 3-ha farm located in Bien Hoa, one hour from the center of Ho Chi Minh City.
The farm project combines the equestrian passion of a family, its interest in permaculture and the desire to create a space of relaxation and entertainment for the residents of Ho Chi Minh including an equestrian club, an animal farm, an organic vegetable garden, a bicycle trip and a lodges.

Mud workshop by Soumia Masmoudi , 2015 Hippo farm, Vietnam photos @ Olivier Peix

Today, Even if we hear there is extintion of farmers many neofarmers are taking the place and new model of farm is taking place in the 4 corners of the world including Production, Tourism and education.

Many metropolitans are excited to escape from the dust and the crowed during The weekend and holidays. As an option, The eco farms offer great deal for each member in the family with a panel of healthy food and activities in a natural and regenerative environement.

And in order to have the full Secardian experience, some farm offer the night stay in a “rustic” confort with the full sens pakage.

So guess what, I become addicted to the concept. I was having my office in eco farm 28, Family garden Tao Dien , Hochiminh. My holidays was maily Farm oriented with friends or family. My kid at his earlier age was initiated to gardening, and insect hunting, bamboo craft…

This project was a beautiful, ecologic human and design challenge.



Soumia Masmoudi

I'm an architect landscaper exploring ways to elevate spaces into healthy sanctuaries for a better lifestyle.