Guest Chat – Maryam Karji & Raha Milani | archiSENSE Studio


We are delighted to welcome our guests Maryam Karji & Raha Milani, the founders of archiSENSE Studio. archiSENSE Studio is a leading architectural firm that has gained an exceptional reputation for designing innovative and sustainable spaces.


1. Tell us a little about yourself.

I am an interior architect, wife, and mother. Studied Bachelor of Interior Architecture at the American University of Sharjah. I always had this dream of establishing a firm at a very early stage of my education. Right after my graduation, with the support of my family and husband, I started as a freelancer. After entering the market for a year and having more confidence it was time to grow and find the right team and establish an architecture and interior firm. The first person whom I contacted was a university friend, Raha Milani. We had very similar visions and interest in our future career and the way we imagined our practice to be. And this is when archiSENSE was born. We have been working together on different projects for more than five years.

I am originally coming from Iran , city of Tehran. I have initially studied interior architecture in Iran. Afterwards, I moved to UAE in 2010 and studied Bachelor of Architecture in AUS, American University of Sharjah. After graduation, had a year of very inspiring work experience at Naga Architects working on residential projects with well experienced team. This experience has increased the cracks and passion inside me as well as curiosity & courage to learn and do more. And eventually, I found another crazy & passionate free soul who was actually my university friend but we were not aware of our desires until we revealed them to one another. It’s been more than 5years that Maryam & I have been exploring our practice together and enjoying everyday of it with thankfulness, friendship, and fears of course.


2. Where do you mostly get your inspiration from?

When it comes to our projects, our clients and our communications have been always the main inspiration source to initiate a project and to keep referring to. In our practice, we try to overlay our principles and approach over our clients stories which would make a balanced communication in which archiSENSE can be echoed as well as reinterpreted personal characters of each project. Therefore, the outcome is not a product. Throughout our projects, there are similarities which have been repeated but each has different soul derived from the client.


3. What makes a business successful?

There are a lot of different factors that make a business successful. For us top important key to successful business is the value of hard work and never giving up on your visions and business.


4. Do you believe in design trends?

The short answer is no. Believing and following design trends mean trying to fit in, and at archiSENSE we work constantly on enhancing and developing our own language in this platform.


5. What are the core values of ArchiSENSE and what makes you different from other design studios in the region?

archiSENSE believes in power of conversation between design, space and experience and how perceptibility of all these conversations is deeply dependent on level of coherence and honesty of each.
Also, the connection and commitment of different disciplines in respect to compliment the project are other values that we care about. This unity consists of architecture, interior architecture, landscape , FF&A, and design directed engineering to make sure that a project can be evolved from an idea to an experience and consumption in real life.


6. What message do you want your projects to convey?

I don’t think we necessarily want to deliver a specific message throughout our projects but to elevate the level of curiosity and to seek and to wonder for being perceived differently every time you walk through it and to allow your silhouette to enjoy in every space.


8. What is the biggest learning lesson you would share with younger designers/ entrepreneurs?

You should be focused and passionate about decisions that you take. In addition, hard work and taking calculated risks are other needed elements to elevate you to the next step.


9. Any favorite product or brand from Purity?

Boffi and Ritmonio


10. A perfect day would be?

A perfect day would be one spending with family at home.


11. Tell us more about your latest project…the house across the lake?

We got this great opportunity of working on such a unique project located on a spectacular land with picturesque landscape in Wadi Al Amardi. The land has been shaped and curated by the owner and his own landscape practice throughout the years with remarkable passion and it also includes three massive water ponds. The house across the lake is a retreat house which allows the family to retreat away from the city and spend a different quality of time and space together.
In respect to the beauty of land, the project carefully rests on the ground as a silent element that celebrates all the views, and it gains definite consciousness of its surrounding. The project is now in construction document stage and we are all so excited seeing this project is coming to life.