Dubai will be hosting the biggest show in its history, Expo 2020 that will bring together more than 190 countries and will give them a platform to showcase their creativity, innovation, and partnership globally. With more and more nations now revealing their unique pavilion themes and content plans, all this put Dubai right up on the world map of design and architecture.
The Design Forum 2020 will present an opportunity for the attendees to get acquainted and explore some exciting industry topics such do we need more legacy project like district 2020 in the region, how big data is transforming the design field, and is gender pay gap widening in the creative field, why and what to do?
• To bring designers and suppliers together
• Network opportunities to create strong
• working relationships
• Showcase your key design pieces/projects
• Exciting design industry-relevant panel discussions
• Design presentations by industry leaders
Moderator : Marina Mrdjen Petrovic , Marketing & Communications Manager, OFIS
Ever wondered what will happen once the Expo 2020 is over? What happens when the scope of the work of pavilions, hotels, and other developments has been delivered, Are legacy projects like District 2020 vital for economic development as they will result in job and investment creation. Do we need more of these for continued growth? We invite experts to share their opinions on legacy projects.
Moderator : Sayjel Vijay Patel, CTO, Digital Blue Foam
With big data, architects can estimate costs more efficiently. Big data isn't just changing the architecture industry, it's changing the attitude of others towards it. More and more people are wanting buildings that can provide information and big stores of data. Companies are asking for data reports to improve the performance of their assets. How well is the region in tune with this aspect?
Moderator : Marina Mrdjen Petrovic , Marketing & Communications Manager, OFIS
It's everywhere in the world and even RIBA takes keen interest to encourage practices to report to help address the Gender Pay Gap across the profession. Do women in the design industry feel that they there's a great imbalance in pay of men and women and this needs to be addressed. Let's find out the reasons of this behaviour from the experts and solutions to solve this problem.
Design Middle East is a magazine title introduced by media production house BNC Publishing, based in Dubai Media City, United Arab Emirates.
Our mission is to bring you a carefully curated selection of architecture and interiors from the Gulf, Levant and beyond. Each month we profile the people, products, trends and technology shaping these vibrant sectors. In its third year, Design Forum is one of most popular knowledge-sharing and networking platform attended by who’s who of the industry.
The last seven years of his career, Rupert Tait has spent building deep industry expertise in the lighting industry across Africa and the Middle East. Tait's focusses on " transforming a traditional industry & helping people make better lighting choices". He has worked with major clients around the world. These include Hilton, Emaar, Crowne Plaza, KFC, British Airways, and Louis Vuitton.
Sayjel Vijay Patel is an assistant professor at the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI) and CTO of Digital Blue Foam (DBF), a software startup that has developed new tools to accelerate the world’s transition to carbon-neutral cities. An architect by training, his research focusses on developing new human-machine interfaces to promote creativity and well-being. In 2018, Patel won the acclaimed Red-Dot Design Award for his research to develop generative design software for the 3-D printing industry. Patel is a graduate of the MIT School of Architecture and Planning.
The founder of My Pick One interior design studio, Marianna Piccolo, has always had a sense of refined aesthetics due to her upbringing in Puglia, Southern Italy, where she was always surrounded by it. She pursued a degree in interior design at the prestigious Polytechnic University of Milan. After attaining her degree in 2007, she trained and harnessed her skills under Marco Piva, the well-renowned Italian interior designer, and architect. Under his guidance and mentorship, she developed rational approach to design, charged by creative freedom. Piccolo moved to Dubai in 2008, to work as a design consultant for high profile companies such as RW Armstrong, Sinergo S.P.A, and Al Tayer Group. Then, she launched her own design practise My Pick One in 2014.
As a marketing and communications manager at OFIS, one of the oldest furniture and flooring suppliers in the UAE, Marina Mrdjen Petrovic has been a key figure in leading the brand's recent revitalisation, followed by numerous marketing campaigns. Additionally, her influence has grown out of a journalism passion for researching and writing about the latest developments in both commercial interiors and the furniture industry and their impact on how design is practised. Petrovic has also co-authored one of the editions of the “100 Objects of Desire” book, successfully organised multiple design events in Dubai, moderated panel discussions and round tables, often tackling issues of gender inequalities in the world of design, best sustainable practices vs. value engineering, copyright infringement, and industrial design theft. She has been regularly collaborating with key interior designers in the region by supporting them promote their work but also helping them choose the right solutions from OFIS for the commercial spaces they design.
Rasha Alkady is an architect and interior designer with over 15 years of international experience. Alkady has worked for prestigious organisations such as dwp, KCA International, and Hirsch-Bedner Associates in Dubai. In 2013, she launched her own studio called Studio KAD, with a team of talented and like-minded designers and architects, specialising in architecture, interior design, and landscape. Alkady with her team has worked with some of the world’s leading hotel brands, developers and individuals including Kempinski, Marriott, Hard-Rock, Emaar, and MAF, and has also delivered some interesting projects for the royal families in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Ras Al Khaimah.
With a strong design-led background and technical and commercial aptitude, Kerem Cengiz has had over 20 years of international experience across all aspects of real estate development. Cengiz aims to create developments that contribute in combining high urban design quality with assured commercial success through innovation, strong leadership and effective management. He has addressed and participated in multiple international conferences, such as MIPIM, Cityscapes, and The Big5 Dubai. He has also presented at several universities and has led the formation of national architectural guideline and regulatory publications. Kerem’s outstanding work and leadership have helped him secure many significant and high-profile projects in the UAE, GCC Region, and internationally against other globally recognised international practices. This has earned him and his team the “Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award for Innovation” in 2017, as well as “The Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade” in 2009.
Janus Rostock is an award-winning architect, urban designer, and master planner who has led and delivered multiple high-profile projects across several continents over the last 23+ years. He specialises in large-scale, complex multi-disciplinary projects and master plans with a human centric design approach. Rostock moved to Dubai and joined Atkins in 2006, where he was part of the team delivering the Dubai Promenade and Cape Town Waterfront master plan. Since joining AECOM in July 2018, Rostock has grown the firm’s almost 100 strong master planning, urban design and landscape practice, which is focussed on solving the region’s most complex challenges and designing solutions that help people and communities thrive. Rostock and his team are currently involved in several of the regions highest profile projects including, the master plan and public realm design for Dubai Expo 2020, Dubai Harbour, NEOM, Diplomatic Quarter, Riyadh TOD, and Riyadh Complete Communities.
Nathan Cartwright has more than 20 years’ experience working in the construction industry in Australia, Europe, and for the past 13 years in the Middle East. Following a less traditional career path Cartwright was first trade qualified and has been able to blend practical knowledge with design throughout his career. Cartwright started his career in heavy industry with BHP Australia before moving into Building Services Engineering in the UK. In 2007, he relocated to the UAE with international consulting firm Scott Wilson (now AECOM) to build a regional MEP team. He successfully carried out the role as h,ead of MEP until 2012 when the opportunity arose to join the award winning design practice Godwin Austen Johnson. In 2019, Cartwright joined international engineering firm NV5 as executive director with a goal of developing their footprint across the EMEA region.
Joining Bond Interiors in 2007, as an operations manager, Steve Kiernan played a pivotal role in the strategic development of the company over the past decade and more. Hailing from the United Kingdom, Kiernan's professional career took off in 1978, with prominent management roles in various construction companies in the UK and the UAE. Promoted to general manager in 2014, a position he holds to date, Kiernan continues to use his in-depth experience in overseeing the company’s critical decision-making aspects and is also part of the management team that launched Bond Interiors’ new 550,000sqft sustainable production facility early this year.
Laila Al-Yousuf has spent many years within the design industry while working for global design practice, Perkins + Will, and has been recogniSed previously for her exceptional work, having designed for Google, Adidas, Ford and IBM. She continues her constant evolution, finally realising her dream of starting her own design practice, SAY Studio, with business partner Matthew Sexton in June 2018. As the design director and partner of this new, dynamic firm, she has led the team to some landmark wins such as PwC, Natixis, and Facebook to name a few. Her leadership skills, along with her fierce passion for delivering world class designs have established the firm as a true contender within the Middle East market.
Bachelor of Design, Kristina Zanic is a prominent figure in the world of interior design.Having been the founder and co-owner of Design Worldwide Partnership (dwp),Zanic spent over 20 years based in Thailand, and worked with numerous international brands, multinationals, and prominent companies. Through her cutting edge designs and dedication to her clients Kristina led ‘dwp’ to global recognition within the industry, establishing over 14 offices in five continents. Zanic has spent the past nine years working in the Middle East and has since established her own signature creative design studio in Dubai—Kristina Zanic Design Consultants. Zanic’s exclusive designs are often a result of the fusion of elements and detail from her travels.Kristina’s clients include Accor, Marriott, IHG, Jumeirah, Hilton Hotels and Resorts, Emaar PJSC, Meraas, Signature Clubs International / Capital Clubs, Rotana Hotels, and Resorts amongst others.
Twenty-Nine years of experience in property, transport, hotels, and resorts specialising in facilities management design, operations, and costs. Over the last 14 years has consulted on facilities management and cost modeling for some of UAE’s most iconic projects such as Dubai airport, Dubai Metro and Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi to name a few. Martin joined Drees & Sommer late 2018, and will continue to bring invaluable experience to joint projects.
Marija Krsmanovic Stringheta joined RMJM in 2019, as a senior architect in Dubai, UAE. Her strength in design led projects had gained her experience in different sectors including urban planning, residential, commercial, hospitality, and cultural buildings. Stringheta studied architecture in Serbia and Germany and has worked internationally in Europe, South America, and the Middle East. Stringheta has over seven years of experience and before joining RMJM, she worked worked for Bevk Perović arhitekti in Slovenia and X-Architects in Dubai.
Passionate about creative solutions in interior architecture, Diane Thorsen believes that great design begins with understanding a client’s vision, their culture and designing from the inside out. Her extensive experience spanning over 30 years coupled with leadership ability has resulted in an award-winning design studio of thought leaders. Thorsen relocated to the Middle East in 2008, where she embraced the region’s nuances and responded with sensitivity to appropriate design solutions. Most notably her designs for international workplace, hospitality, healthcare ,and mixed-use developments display attention to detail, a love of local art, and quality of craftsmanship. Her award-winning work and design approach is informed by human-centric design, creativity, collaboration, and a forward-thinking approach with a structured, detailed process. A graduate of the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture from the University of Johannesburg South Africa, Thorsen furthered her studies to include sustainability and is a LEED Accredited Professional and a WELL Building Accredited Professional. She is a Registered Interior Designer within the IIDA and serves on the advisory board of the American University in Dubai.
Ellen Søhoel was one of the founding members of the award-winning company ‘Bishop Design' which established in Dubai in 2004. Søhoel possesses an innate desire to create customised signature interior designs both regionally and internationally and as managing partner for 12 years in Bishop Design, she has won over 40 Awards worldwide. Søhoel has, through her 14 years in Dubai, completed projects across all sectors within the industry, and designed for some of the most prominent names in hospitality, residential, and commercial such as W Hotel, The Fairmont Hotel, and Dubai Properties. Recently, Søhoel has established ‘XBD Collective’, a multi-disciplined Design Firm that offers creative architectural, interior, and landscape design services. ‘XBD Collective’ is set up as a collection of multiple design disciplines including the new brands, ‘XBD Architecture’ and ‘XBD Interior Design’. ‘XBD Collective’ also incorporates the established, award winning ‘Bishop Design Residential’. The Collective Group has been formed as a result of a high demand to expand the services within the organisation, as well as natural evolution of continued growth.
Theodosis is an associate director – Building Services in Cundall with over 15 years of experience in infrastructure and buildings design. Theo is an expert in leading MEP and multidisciplinary teams in very complex and special systems driven buildings and infrastructure projects. In his role, Moumiadis is responsible for conceptualising of systems, technical coordination between the disciplines, and interface management between stakeholders and design entities. Moumiadis has led and managed design teams and projects across the Middle East, North Africa, Greece and wider Europe. He has a strong track record of delivering large and complex schemes across many sectors including rail, infrastructure, commercial, industrial, critical systems and does have broad experience across all. Søhoel possesses an innate desire to create customised signature interior designs both regionally and internationally and as managing partner for 12 years in Bishop Design, she has won over 40 Awards worldwide. Søhoel has, through her 14 years in Dubai, completed projects across all sectors within the industry, and designed for some of the most prominent names in hospitality, residential, and commercial such as W Hotel, The Fairmont Hotel, and Dubai Properties. Recently, Søhoel has established ‘XBD Collective’, a multi-disciplined Design Firm that offers creative architectural, interior, and landscape design services. ‘XBD Collective’ is set up as a collection of multiple design disciplines including the new brands, ‘XBD Architecture’ and ‘XBD Interior Design’. ‘XBD Collective’ also incorporates the established, award winning ‘Bishop Design Residential’. The Collective Group has been formed as a result of a high demand to expand the services within the organisation, as well as natural evolution of continued growth.