Sana Mahmood: Initiating Change Through Global Connectivity

Sana Mahmood is an accomplished global architect who believes that using nontraditional messaging we can spread the word to end injustice. In her story she shares how her experiences, background and professional career have shaped her passion for change.

Daughter to an international chef, my interest and passion for creativity is rooted in gastronomy. I come from parents who loved to travel, experience cultures through food and share their experiences and global perspective on life, education and friendships. Through this upbringing, I chose a career in the creative sector that feeds my passion for culture diversity, architecture and design, and most importantly, a global experience that allows me to connect with individuals through art and food.

My ability to design luxury interiors, work with cross-cultural groups, and lead creative and technical teams is what enables me to successfully complete projects for elite clients. Since earning my BFA in Interior Architecture, I have steadily advanced within leading firms. I have had the opportunity to work with the world’s leading visionaries in high-end European classical style design. I have had the opportunity to direct distinctive projects for internationally known luxury brands such as the Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons and the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, along with private VIP residences.

Directing international projects is one of my favorite parts of working in interior architecture. Several of my projects have been in Asia and have included high-profile hotels for the 2010 World Expo and 2008 Olympics in China. I am active in several global affairs organizations, and possess basic French and Urdu language skills. I direct teams in completing projects, develop employees through mentoring and encourage continuing education.

I am a fearless dreamer and continue to seek other career options, as I believe one should not live life with one profession as one can live with various passions. I will only live once and therefore I will try to have as many professions I can handle. An aspiring helicopter pilot, humanitarian at heart, fan collector, puppetry junky… I am the definition of being over ambitious, with too many creative ideas bursting at the seams. I believe small but reachable initiatives can change the world. Having the intention is the start; talking about it among our peers is an intellectual exchange; and making it happen through your network is when dreams become reality and one gets to experience the power of change.

There are issues that can be banned in our lifetime, such as violence against women. I am particularly concerned with acid violence/acid attacks, as the numbers continue to increase. Addressing issues of gender based violence has been a passion that I want to dedicate my time and energy into. What if awareness could be spread through one of the oldest forms of entertainment such as puppetry? What if there was a photography exhibition that went from country to country-showing world the damage of acid on women? What if there was an emergency hotline that allowed women to call for help during a threat, abuse, or life at risk? If we can plant the idea or even give someone the slightest understanding of the issues we are surrounded with, I believe one has successfully initiated change.

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