Boris joined SSH in July 2016 as principal landscape architect in Dubai to enhance the delivery of landscape and public realm design. He is a landscape architect and environmental planner with more than 15 years of experience in landscape and urban design, environmental planning, and the latest sustainable policies and developments related to commercial, education, government, leisure and residential sectors on a local and regional scale. Boris previously managed design development for landscape and the public realm of flagship developments including the Town Square in Dubai for Nshama and the design and construction of public parks, streetscapes and open spaces for the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City as a consultant to the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City and its Parks and Recreational Facilities Directorate (PRFD). Other showcase projects include the revitalisation of the Tourist Club area in Abu Dhabi. Boris holds a Diploma in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning from the Beuth University in Berlin, Germany.
managing director, Archiplexus
Shwan Alhashimi is an award-winning architect who founded the UAE-born Archiplexus Architecture & Design Practice. Drawing upon a vast range of international experience in architecture and development, Shwan is passionate about architecture’s role in bridging the gap between contemporary technological innovations, commercial ingenuity and everyday life. Shwan is committed to innovation in all aspects of design and utilizes technology from the inception to the delivery of Archiplexus’s human- centric projects. This commitment to high quality design and innovation is recognized by his numerous awards, including IPA 2017, New Zealand Institute of Architects Award for Urban Design, Excellence in the Beca Innovation Awards, the Emirates Green Building Council Award, to name a few.
principal and partner, Killa Design
Benjamin Piper is a principal and partner with Killa Design with 18 years of professional experience in architecture (11 years in UAE). He is an experienced leader with an excellent ability to lead multidisciplinary teams in the delivery of building projects designing hotel, residential and mixed-use developments in the Middle East, India, China, US and the UK. Ben holds several technology patents from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has an expert understanding of REVIT and other software that supports the efficient production of fully coordinated design packages. As a LEED accredited professional, Ben is deeply committed to sustainable design.
Design Manager, U+ A Architect
Sasan Niknam is an architect
and urban designer with his current work focusing on urban design and
architecture projects in the UAE. He earned a dual degree master of science in
urban design and master of science in architecture from the Technical University
Berlin, Germany and Tongji University in Shanghai, China and a Bachelor of Arts
in Architecture from the University of Applied Sciences in Frankfurt, Germany.
As Design Manager, Sasan has
been working with U+A architects in Dubai since 2014 and is involved in
international design and construction projects. He has previously worked at
Albert Speer & Partner Shanghai, Albert Speer & Partner Frankfurt, and
was involved in the research team ULAB (Urban Research and Design Laboratory)
TU Berlin. He has recently completed the unique Marasi Water Homes projects
with Dubai Properties.
interior designer and founder of Atelier
Born in Portugal, Sneha holds
a master degree in architecture from the University of Porto
and has attended courses at Delft University of Technology and
Istanbul Technical University.
Sneha specialised in Interior Design at New York
University and has experience working with renowned architecture and design consultants
in Lisbon and Dubai working on projects globally prior to founding the Atelier
in Dubai. This background that spans across borders, has proven an innate skill
for successfully delivering projects with very high standards of demeanour and
insight programme manager MEA, Herman Miller
A Speaker, Brand Evangelist and Psychologist, Oliver works with the Herman Miller Insight Group and is based here in Dubai. The Herman Miller Insight Group is responsible for the commissioning, overseeing and presenting of insights into the latest thinking in workplace design and associated issues. Oliver uses his skills developed in over 15 years of teaching, five years of academic practice and six years of industry knowledge to: "Help people create great places for more people to reach their potential". Oliver does this by sharing insights from Herman Miller's research teams and partners though public speaking engagements & conferences.
principal architect Atkins, member of the SNC-Lavalin Group
Salim has worked on award-winning projects across a range of sectors including master-planning, residential, arts, commercial, hospitality and education and at all stages of design, from concept and design development through to site supervision. Salim is currently a visiting critic at the American University of Sharjah and has lectured at various architecture schools in the UK. He regularly contributes to architectural publications and conferences and has been an invited judge for various architectural awards.
James Marvin Skaines
director, PNC Architects
James was educated at the University of Texas and licensed as an Architect by the State of Texas in 1986. He started his architectural practice in 1988 and ran a successful Design and Build business for 10 years before being invited to Europe by an International Charity developing orphanage and medical facilities in Eastern Europe. Currently, at PNC Architects, James is the head of the studio and reporting directly to the CEO of Sobha Development, his responsibilities are to lead and inspire globally competitive designs and to ensure timely and accurate documentation by coordinating, monitoring, reviewing, and managing all the disciplines.
Dr Dolly Daou
Dr Dolly Daou is an interior designer with a Doctorate in the fields of: interior architecture, architecture and urban design, specialising in teaching, research, quality assurance, and leadership, in interior architecture and in multi-disciplinary global design projects. She is currently the director of the Association of Interior Designers in the MENA region, initiating and maintaining alliances with international associations and industry. As program director of interior architecture and the master of interior design at Swinburne University of Technology, (Australia and Hong Kong) she successfully managed the reaccreditation and rebranding of the Program worldwide, and was the Treasurer of the Board of Directors of the Interior Design/Interior Architecture Educators Association (IDEA) for Australasia. Her publications include the coedited volume (with D. J. Huppatz and D. Quoc Phuong) Unbounded: On the Interior and Interiority (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015).
design director, Sobha Group
Having run a small independent interior design studio from 2009 Stephen was approached by PNC Menon of the Sobha Group to build his newly established Architectural Practice into a more streamlined and effective business. Stephen had worked previously with Mr. Menon in the early 1990’s as it was in fact Mr. Menon who recruited him into the Middle East in 1991. Over the last three years Stephen has built the business into a multi-disciplinary 15 million USD design and engineering business, servicing the majority of design and supervision requirements for the Sobha Hartland development
regional director, Trimble Solutions Middle East and India
Paul Wallett is responsible for business operations, management of overall strategy for the United Arab Emirates Office, and aims to build on Trimble Solutions Middle East and India’s recent double-digit growth. He was appointed to his current role in 2013, after a two-year stint as the company’s business manager. Overall, Wallett has been with Trimble continuously since 2005 and previously served with Tekla UK from 2000-2004.
business development director, Generation 3D
Dominic Wright is the co-founder of Generation 3D, one of the Middle East’s leading 3D printing companies. A graduate in International Business from the famed University of Sussex Innovation Center. Innovation in Business is what has driven most of Dominic’s professional life from IT systems to project management. The breakthrough of 3D printing has lead Dominic to strive to change the world using 3D printing by introducing its capabilities to all organisations around the world.
workplace consultant, Steelcase, Middle East
Hania Arafat is the workplace consultant in the Middle East for Steelcase Inc., the global leader in the office furniture industry. She joined Steelcase in 2014 to lead the insight-led selling approach with a focus on design. Hania is responsible for establishing and implementing strong relationships with architects and designers across the region. Through knowledge sharing practices, she is able to keep the community up to date on the latest products, trends and insights. Prior to her work at Steelcase, Hania was leading a design team at a boutique interior design firm in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Hania holds a bachelor degree in Interior Design from Humber in Toronto, Canada and a master’s degree in architecture from Oxford Brookes University in the United Kingdom.
chair and associate professor of interior design, AUD
American University in Dubai (AUD)
Kristin began working for a healthcare design firm, and enrolled in the masters of science in interior design at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Teaching allows her to connect with the next generation, and is more rewarding than I could have ever imagined. She says, “At AUD, we really do achieve a dialogue; it is a mutually beneficial relationship. Human’s experience of space happens on so many levels; we receive signals that we’re not even aware of. For many segments of the population, designing that space with the help of research will have positive results and better outcomes. This is the power of design.”
spatial designer and founder, Maja Kozel Design
Maja Kozel Design is an award-winning spatial design boutiquef irm based in the
United Arab Emirates. Maja Kozel is a passionate principal designer of Dutch origins
who holds a degree in spatial design from the prestigious Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam the Netherlands. Kozel has worked in Europe, Asia and the Middle East and has been working in Dubai since 2008 on various projects throughout the UAE. The discipline of spatial design crosses boundaries of architecture, interior design, landscape, service design and public art. The boutique firm, has worked on a variety of indoor and outdoor Spaces, which includes interior design, furniture design, product design, and exhibition design.
owner and founder, Paul Bishop Design
The creative powerhouse behind Bishop Design and Rogue is owner and founder Paul Bishop who founded the now multi-award-winning boutique back in 2004. A knowledgeable and ultimately passionate interior designer, Paul’s great influence on the commercial and hospitality industry stems from a successful list of projects consisting of BOCA, La Serre & Roberto’s Ristorante and Lounge as well as recently completed Caramel Restaurant & Lounge in London, Copper Chimney, Flow Café, Larte, Scalini’s, Toro + KO and Waka as well as Zafran Indian Bistro Venues in Saudi Arabia and Dubai.
associate dean, Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI)
Hani Asfour is the associate dean of Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI). Prior to joining DIDI, the MIT and Harvard-trained architect was an adjunct faculty member at the Lebanese American University in Beirut, teaching in the departments of Architecture and Foundation Studies. Asfour’s academic experience also includes teaching positions at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Northeastern University, American University of Beirut, and American University of Sharjah. He is a founding partner of Polypod, an award-winning multidisciplinary collaborative design studio in Beirut, that offers integrated design services in strategy, architecture, interior design, branding, web design and development, graphics, and information design for local and international clients. As a practicing designer with over 20 years of experience, Asfour combines a mix of design expertise with entrepreneurship skills and academic depth, allowing him to combine practical and theoretical approaches in his teaching methods at DIDI.
managing director, D2M Solutions
Alexander Papantoniou is a managing director with 10 years’ experience in the advanced manufacturing and additive manufacturing industries. Successfully built and adapted the GCC regions' premier manufacturing solutions company, alongside being the first additive technology advisory to implement 3D printing as a manufacturing process within Industry 4.0 and the digital value chain.
senior executive, du
Abdelrahim Abusedira is a senior executive in du, leading the company’s SME Marketing function. Prior to that he was managing the Customer Value Management & Engagement programme for du’s enterprise customers. Before joining du, Abdelrahim gained extensive experience in developing and implementing successful turn-around marketing strategies for both Consumer and Enterprise customers working at Vodafone Egypt.
business development manager, ALEC FITOUT
As business development manager, Tom manages and leads ALEC FITOUT’s business development strategy. Tom is responsible for winning fit out and refurbishment projects across hospitality, leisure, aviation, luxury residential and mixed use developments in UAE and Qatar. Tom is a native of Ireland and has been in the UAE since 2010. In that time Tom has helped ALEC FITOUT secure projects for key clients such as Meraas, DAEP, Emaar and for assets operated by the likes of Sofitel, One & Only, Jumeirah and Waldorf Astoria to name a few. Having completed his MBA from Manchester Business School in 2015, Tom’s experience and relational skills enable him to work effectively with all bid stakeholders to ensure ALEC FITOUT develop long standing relationships with clients, consultants and suppliers in the market.
area business manager, Trimble Solutions Middle East
Hany Salah is an area business manager expert with a construction and structural engineering background.
Being a highly capable individual with a strong academic background, Hany also possess a comprehensive understanding of the technical elements with regard to civil engineering. He has incredible BIM technology workflow analysis, implementation execution, planning and managing the BIM implementation process capabilities.
CEO, Fiona Environs
Shalini is the CEO of Fiona Environs, an integrated landscape design company involved in the planning, designing and construction of quality developments in various sectors. With a wealth of experience accumulated over almost two decades, Shalini remains actively involved in enabling the company to successfully deliver landscape projects to the highest standards. Underpinning Shalini’s success is her ability to interpret clients’ briefs and translate their plans into inspiring designs and manage those concepts from drawing board to reality. Shalini’s goal is to create imaginative and stimulating landscapes that design and entertain.
head of design, PNC Architects
Scott has a multidisciplinary background in design and construction. This includes Architecture, master planning & landscape design. He also has a prior degree in fine arts with majors in painting and sculpture.
Based in the GCC for the past 12 years, Scott has designed and led some of the most prestigious projects in the region. Currently he is the head of design at PNC architects a division of the Sobha Group.
Dr Bhakti More
associate professor, Manipal Academy
Dr Bhakti More is an associate professor at Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Dubai campus, School of Design & Architecture. She has completed her Doctoral studies from School of Built Environment, University of Salford, Manchester, UK. She has presented research papers on her research on Urban Planning of neighborhoods and social cohesiveness at various International conferences in USA, UK, Japan and UAE and co-authored publications in International Journals. She has been an associate editor for The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Common Ground Publishing, University of Illinois Research Park, USA.