Powerlist Architects 30: MICHAEL MAGILL MANAGING AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR RSP
Michael Magill is the Middle East and North Africa managing and creative director for RSP.
He believes that architecture is all about people and their interactions with the physical environments.
He aspires to develop design projects that will survive for centuries by combining innovative
design with cutting-edge technology.
Magill was appointed the global head of design for RSP in 2021, and he has been working with other RSP design studios to develop the group’s profile and design skills on a number of building typologies.
He leads the RSP Global Design Forum which allows key designers to share their experiences and design ideas on a virtual platform through monthly panel discussions.
He is now developing a strategy to improve and integrate RSP’s 12 design studios through regular virtual sharing of live projects around the world.
The main focus of the Dubai studio in 2021 was RSP’s recovery from the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and Magill was able to do that and much more than was planned.
Despite the challenges since 2020, where ongoing projects have been put on hold/delayed and the pipeline of newprojects has slowed, Magill decided it would be more beneficial to divide the business development efforts 50% in the MENA region and 50% in completely new markets such as Indonesia and Cambodia.
This strategy was a success, as RSP was able to win projects for both architecture and interior design teams for multiple mixed-use and hotel developments.
Despite a challenging business environment, the Dubai office was able to win exciting new projects in the region from old and new clients such as Huawei, Aldar, Al Futtaim, Majid Al Futtaim, and Diriyah Gate Development Authority.
On the office front, Magill made significant adjustments, such as shifting from a typical on-site working arrangement to a hybrid model.
He continues to advocate for full digital adoption, putting employee well-being and convenience ahead of outdated workplace practices.
He has also been instrumental in the business’s expansion by constructing two new studios abroad, so the Dubai office is anticipating a very busy year in 2022.
The company will concentrate on expanding its presence in Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.
There are ongoing attempts to grow the local interior design team, transitioning it from a support position to a fully functional independent team department in order to develop new prospects in numerous typologies such as food and beverage, luxury hospitality, and healthcare.
He was also named Architect of the Year at the Design Middle East Awards in 2020 and 2021.