How are developers and architects changing their approach when it comes to design?
The shift to a holistic approach is steadily establishing its roots when it comes to larger plans, which are now incorporating aspects of urban planning, architectural, interior design and workplace design. It seems the building-by-building design method is becoming outdated compared to the needs of today’s society. As the “Experience, Integrated” company, this direction is supporting our collaborative way of working, as we believe diligent coordination and cross-thinking are the key in delivering outstanding quality. That leads us to a second shift: the demand for high-quality standards in the overall market is unlocking new opportunities within larger developments. High-quality amenities, work spaces, and public attractors are now emphasized to appeal to the final users.
How is Expo 2020 affecting the timelines of projects?
The Expo 2020 tight deadline is causing a significant pressure on project timelines and delivery, affecting also design documentation, streamlining of processes, etc. This results in increased construction costs, and consequently in design optimization for faster construction. Innovative construction methods, which will guarantee high-quality standards on a tighter schedule, will become the real decisive point. At the other end of the market, projects that depend on lower margins and lower overall delivery cost are likely to be postponed to wait out the Expo rush.
How are the architectural projects supporting in government’s smart city agenda and sustainability efforts?
Sustainability is probably the most-used buzzword among architects. Although, in this field results are often hard to measure, as they may range from a superficial implementation to a very specialized one. However, there is a growing interest in those verification and measurement systems that effectively mimic the Japanese CASBEE, which we co-developed.
We believe, the high-demand for large and almost urban-scale projects, especially in Saudi, will focus the attention on sustainable infrastructure, which will lead to a convergence of today’s main trends: Smart City and Sustainable Design. Architects with the highest level of expertise in urban design, architecture, and engineering will lead the industry and be the first to capitalize. With our proven long-experience in these fields, we feel we are well-placed.
What are the interior design trends in the region?
Since the concepts of fashion, design and style have always been an expression of their time, in recent years we are witnessing architectural luxury, therefore interior design too, moving globally and locally from a rich baroque taste towards more minimal, quieter, uncluttered spaces; where the use of natural light is enhanced by neutral colors. It is easy to understand how the pursuing of a greener and more sustainable living is imprinting our taste too.
Also, the design of office spaces is quickly changing into an open-office/co-working style. Once this office configuration starts spreading in the region, we are ready to support this shift, with our workplace design and interior design teams here in Dubai.
What are your core objectives for Cityscape Global 2019?
We are looking forward to celebrating our recently completed projects across the region with our clients and to building on these achievements. We will also be engaged in cross-sector talks focusing on quality, smart and efficient designs that will appeal to the wide range of business clients visiting this Global event. This is particularly true for our recent Indian and Russian projects, as well as for a number of active Saudi endeavors, we will discuss with clients on this occasion.