Guest Columnist


All articles by Guest Columnist

U+A architects on balancing between technology and concept design

Our current economic climate is accelerating development faster than ever before. This rapid growth depends on fast-paced projects and uncompromising design quality – a daunting dilemma for architects, and an ancient and intrinsic economic formula that has been incited by the current culture … More

From 1800s to today: How have office design trends developed over time?

Steelcase,  manufacturer of furniture for offices, hospitals, and classrooms, looks at how office trends have changed through the decades, and how these trends are reflected in the UAE today.  The evolution of office design has seen a series of opposing demands: interaction versus … More

Developers must sell space based on consumer data, not square footage

Ibrahim Ibrahim, managing director at Portland Design Associates, the London-based branding, retail strategy, and design consultancy part of the Perkins+Will group of companies, discusses the changing face of retail. Ibrahim highlights that part of the firm’s design process is based on research and an … More

The relevance of transit and destination malls in an e-commerce world

By Hugo Van Der Schaegh, general manager at ODG With e-commerce poised to hit an all-time high and reach over US$27 trillion by 2020, conventional shopping malls are feeling the heat. Their significant transformation is now important or they stand to face the … More

Engineers’ role in shaping smart cities needs to be more visible, says Professor Kayvani of Aurecon

Professor Koroush Kayvani is Global Director of Excellence and Expertise at Aurecon writes about engineers and their role in shaping smart cities.  Understanding what makes a city resilient, sustainable and future-ready requires serious collaboration between government, urban planners, scientists, economists, ecologists, sociologists, architects, … More

U+A Architects discuss interiors for St Regis Dubai Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club

Eileen Jaffary, head of interior design at U+A Architects, writes about the studio’s latest project – St Regis Dubai, Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club. Defining hospitality in the Middle East, and in Dubai particularly, is challenging as we are living in a … More

The evolution of regional design practices: how the Arab world’s design past informs its future

Written by Mohammad Saeed Al-Shehhi, Chief Operating Officer of Dubai Design District (d3) Design practices from art to architecture have been evolving across the Middle East for more than 1,000 years. Many of these have their roots in “Islamic art,” an umbrella term … More

Sarah Abdallah on designing hospitality for mind, body and soul

Written by Sarah Abdallah, principal owner at Functional Creative Design  As a hospitality designer and project manager, it is my responsibility to have a global mind-set and care for the comfort and engagement of guests of all ages and nationalities within a hotel. … More

Hotel design: What’s next?

Justin Wells, head of lifestyle interiors at Woods Bagot, shares with designMENA his thoughts on the importance of reinventing the hotel experience. Dubai is staring down the next phase of its development. With the speed of project delivery and the frenetic ambitions of … More

Steelcase on blurring the lines between home and hospital

Mohamed Azmy of Steelcase Health Middle East discusses how design can encourage family involvement in patient care. Healthcare organisations are being forced to reassess patient experiences as new technologies, new processes and elevated expectations are challenging healthcare norms to adapt, improve and encourage new alternatives … More

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