It was a full house and we couldn’t have asked for more! Design Forum 2021 was held on March 31, at Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk and it was truly a memorable event bringing the design fraternity together under one roof. The goal was to create a great networking platform and to bring like-minded people together to ideate and socialise. The past year has been something no one ever expected. A crisis like no other, something we have not witnessed in the last 100 years. From social distancing, work from home, online schooling, meetings on Teams, travel ban, and what not. COVID-19 has forced us to accept new norms and has shown a new way of living. However, along with this unparalleled time challenges, came great opportunities for changes and improvements, for innovations and creative solutions.
The industry experts voiced their opinions on the relevant matters pertaining to the industry—how architecture, design, and fit-out is helping combat COVID-19, do we need more legacy project like district 2020 in the region, and is gender pay gap widening in the creative field, why and what to do? All this and more, here are the key moments and highlights of the Design Forum 2021.
Keynote speech was given by Andrea Godon, Director Retail Leasing at Dubai Design District.
Panel 1: How the architecture, design, and fit-out community is helping combat COVID-19 featured Govind Shepley, founder and creative director at Twenty0ne06; Ramy Samir, head of design at MB Consultancy; Rajesh Patil, senior manager – Business Development, Retail manufacturing, Havelock One Interiors; and the discussion was moderated by Darryl Custer, executive director at KEO.
Panel 2: Why do we need more legacy projects in the region featured Shaun Killa, designer partner at Killa Design; Drew Gilbert, design manager at OBM International; and Geroge Arvanitis, director of Master planning and Urbanism, RMJM Dubai; and the discussion was moderated by Steven Velegrinis, Head of Master planning, AECOM Middle East and Africa.
Paul Haslam, partner at Bauporte Gulf gave an exciting presentation on ‘Why should we value that first impression’?
Panel 3: The gender pay gap in the creative industry featured Andy Shaw, managing partner at Ama & Chair Of Riba Gulf Chapter; Marianna Piccolo, founder at My Pick One; and the discussion was moderated by Rasha Alkady, founder at Studio KAD.
Here’s a gallery of images from Design Forum 2021: