Social sustainability at the forefront of Silicon Oasis Mall design says Design International’s Davide Padoa

Sustainability plays a major role in the architecture of the Avenues Mall, Silicon Oasis, designed by US-based Design International, but beside energy and water consumption, social responsibility is also a major part of the concept.

Design International CEO, Davide Padoa spoke to designMENA about the design of the retail project, explaining that although social sustainability may not be a huge consideration in the region yet, is becoming largely popular in other parts of the world.

Since the project is set in Dubai Silicon Oasis, home to Academic City which houses a large number of various educational institutions and universities, the architects wanted the mall to provide the students a means to explore their future.

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Therefore, the mall will feature job centres, complete with incubators, to encourage students to explore their options within their area of study as well as encouraging entrepreneurship, using the shopping mall as a means of opportunity.

“We have an area of incubators where the rent is reduced heavily to encourage people to launch new businesses and this encourages new entrepreneurs to launch new products and this is the social responsibility that we are talking about. In a building that has so many shops, why don’t you allow for 5% of the stores to be your incubators?” said Padoa.

“Of course, it is possible that out of the 10, six might close down, two survive, one doesn’t work for the region but there is one that could become the next global brand. And this enables the mall to become the place that gave birth to a new brand.”

Look out for our full interview with Davide Padoa on designMENA and the June issue of Middle East Architect magazine. 

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