We recently got to interview Mostafa Saber, an architect by profession at X Architects, who has over 18 years of expertise in this field. With a mixed background in architecture, Mostafa has vast knowledge and expertise in the design process that can range from concept to delivery! He widely uses his profound knowledge of Building Information Modeling or BIM in his work, and it reflects in all his projects. Further, Mostafa even has his education website, Revit Courses, through which he aims to teach BIM to those who want to learn. Learn more through our interview below.
Career Choice And Inspiration That Led To This Path
There are different decisions that shape the career path in one’s life. We wanted to learn about his career path that shaped his position and love for teaching at present. So we asked, “Which career path led you to where you are today?”
Mostafa shared, “I started as a junior architect in my hometown, Cairo. At that time, my passion was creating organic architectural forms. So, I started exploring software packages like 3dsMax and later Revit & Rhino for conceptual design.
Slowly I started to understand more about local codes and construction methods. Moving forward, after 4 years of work in Cairo, I was offered an exciting position to join a Saudi firm. While working there, I grew more technical-aware and developed more leadership skills until I became a design manager in 2012.
After 2 years, I joined a famous architecture office in Dubai and did several projects as a design manager and later as a Lead architect/ BIM Manager with X-Architects.”
“What inspired you to develop the idea of your website?”
Mostafa replied, “When I started learning about BIM, I had difficulty finding the right source of information for beginners. At the same time, I had a passion for teaching since my early years in Cairo. With the knowledge I gained about BIM authoring tools since 2007, I started my Revit courses website in 2015 to teach online smartly and flexibly.”
Priorities In This Journey
Everyone sets aside some priorities while planning to excel in a particular field. So, we further asked, “How have your priorities in terms of business evolved since you first started?”
Mostafa Saber further continued, “My priority has always been service or product quality. Quality matters the most to clients, and speed is the enemy of excellent quality.”
“Growing up, I found that quality also supports better efficiency. You will do things faster if you have a clear plan supported by a quality management plan. Quality will also win you more business from returning clients. I also understood that there is always a cost for quality, more resources, or time. Finding the balance between quality and cost is my primary measure of success.”, he added.
Challenges Faced During These Years And Power To Overcome The Same
Challenges are a part of everyone’s life, and handling them with a strong viewpoint is what matters the most! We wanted to learn about the challenging situations in an architect’s life and the major pillars to overcome them. So we asked, “What are the most challenging situations as an architect?”
“As an architect, you’d always think of many aspects that affect your decisions. Factors like regulations from different authorities, project budget, the capacity of space, users’ comfort, building aesthetics, space relations, structural considerations, environmental impact, and so much more. Different situations for every project task add more challenges to my everyday activities and the way I look at things around me.
I would say that the feeling of responsibility for a project that will affect others for many years to come is the biggest challenge.”, Mostafa replied.
“What’s the critical strength to overcome it?”
Mostafa Saber shared, “To overcome the overthinking that comes with these challenges, an architect’s ability to communicate the right messages at the right time is the key strength. Communication with project stakeholders is key for success in almost every situation.”
Measuring Personal Success
We were intrigued to learn about what success means to him and his way of measuring the same. We asked, “What KPIs do you use to measure your success?”
Mostafa replied, “That’s an interesting question! To me, personal success is achieving my goals and becoming better than myself every single day. I apply this to my career, relations, fitness, finances, and spiritual goals.”
“If we’re talking mainly about a career here, then my KPI would be the contribution I made to my firm and the number of projects I completed with the required level of quality. This is how I evaluate my success at work.” he further added.
Services Offered In The Current Position
“Tell us something about your services at your current position with X Architects. What are you working on now?”
“X Architects’ focus is on creativity and innovation. We provide unconventional solutions to challenging situations. I mainly work in two roles, one is to develop the team’s BIM capabilities, and the other is leading project design.
I enjoy resolving the issues we face, as each project has challenges. Thanks to XA management support and forward-thinking, I’m also using the latest technology for collaboration between all team members.” Mostafa Saber shared.
Coping Up With Burnout And Building Trust With The Team
To handle a business properly, building a proper bond with the team members is paramount. We asked Mostafa Saber, “How do you build trust with your team and boost productivity without causing burnout?”
He replied, “Well, our line of work depends on individuals at the end of the day. I plan for every required task along the way, keeping the team involved to guarantee their support from the start. While working on a new design, I encourage the team to use the best tools for each task based on my previous experience and the official standards to be as efficient as possible.
In most cases, we finish our work on time as planned, but if we have to stay late or work on the weekends, I make sure the team is compensated for their time per the company policy.”
Staying Updated With Ongoing Trends
We asked, “How do you stay on top of new technologies and trends in your industry?”
Mostafa Saber added, “It’s challenging, of course; I wouldn’t say less than that! However, I realized that I must learn and unlearn early on. Learn new technologies as I follow the latest trends in architecture and digital delivery and unlearn the old ways that are less efficient or outdated.
To most, the “unlearn part” is the hardest. It isn’t easy to give up on your previous experience and how you used to do things, but it is inevitable for me. We either evolve or become obsolete.”
Advice To Beginner Architects
What advice would you give to starting architects?
“My advice would be to learn about the practical methods and real-world examples. Keep an eye on the latest advancement and new trends, but don’t ignore the practicality of what you learn.”, he shared.
Connect with Mostafa Saber on LinkedIn.
Have a look at Mostafa’s educational website Revit Courses, and join today!
Visit X Architect at http://www.x-architects.com/