In our Meet the Member series, we showcase the creative professionals in The Shop’s vibrant community who are making an impact in their industry. From non-profit organizations, to software developers, design firms, and more– our members represent a diverse range of backgrounds and businesses.
Your next personal or professional connection might be working in the Commons area right next to you. We’ll help you discover them.
With its historic architecture and emerging opportunities, New Orleans is an architecture and interior design dream… and architects and interior designers have taken note. Since moving to New Orleans and starting their own firm three years ago, design duo Caroline and Sabri Farouki have already made quite the impact with Farouki Farouki, their architecture and interior design practice currently housed in The Shop.
In their short time in New Orleans, the talented pair have made their mark on the city with a variety of interior projects that have tapped into the influx of new restaurants and shops opening their doors.
We spoke with the design duo about upcoming projects, the healthy and inspiring atmosphere of The Shop, and their favorite things to do in New Orleans outside of work.
How did Farouki Farouki come to be?
We moved to New Orleans three years ago and founded our own architecture and interior design practice. Prior to moving here, we were living in Brooklyn, and were each working for our dream design offices. Caroline was a project designer and manager at AvroKO, which is a James Beard Award-winning restaurant design studio, and Sabri was a project architect at Bjarke Ingels Group and Diller Scofidio + Renfro.
What do your day-to-days look like? Has The Shop’s coworking environment impacted your work?
Perhaps more than other professions, architects and designers spend a lot of our time in the “studio,” or office. That is where we research, come up with ideas, draw (whether by hand or on the computer), look at material samples, and create models and mock-ups. Since we spend a lot of time inside, it’s important that our office is a healthy and inspiring place like The Shop. We have several projects nearby that are under construction, so we check on those on a weekly basis, which has been convenient.
We were also excited when a structural engineer who was working on the same project as we were ended up having an office in The Shop. It was so convenient to have them so close that we ended up hiring them to work on a second project with us.
Lastly, as designers we all need to spread out and be alone sometimes, and The Shop is perfect for that. At our old office building, even though the office itself was a little bigger, there where no other places to go. It felt less expansive and comfortable.
What’s your favorite thing to do in New Orleans outside of work?
We have a 3-year-old son named Remy, and as other parents know, he’s pretty much our life when we aren’t in the office. On Saturday mornings, we take him for chocolate donuts with sprinkles at Blue Dot on Canal Street. After school, we take him to “the playground where toys are put out to pasture” at Annunciation and Eleonore Streets. We try our best to get out alone on Friday nights to see new restaurants and bars to keep us in the loop.
We are also about to start building our own house on Laurel Street near Jackson, so we’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about that and weed whacking our empty lot. Who knew weeds could grow so fast and tall?
What are some exciting projects Farouki Farouki has coming down the pipeline?
We are so fortunate that we only have exciting projects right now. One of the most exciting is The Odeon, which is a new 30-story mixed-use building for which we designed the interiors. The building is part of the South Market, and it’s under construction right now. The building will be great for New Orleans, and it’s our biggest project to-date.
We also have four restaurants currently under construction in NOLA, which keeps us busy running around from site to site. Each restaurant is unique stylistically, which is fun for us. We can’t wait for them to open, so we can share our hard work, and the hard work of the owners, contractors, engineers, and craftsmen that we’ve been working with. Keep an eye out for Justine, Warbucks, St. Germain and chef Akhtar Nawab’s new restaurant in The Standard!