Dubai, UAE –: The latest and most innovative products, materials, and services driving the architecture and design sectors were showcased during the inaugural Everything Architecture event, held recently alongside the Big 5 at Dubai World Trade Centre. Showcasing the latest in design and innovation as well as hosting a series of talks and interactive workshops across two days, Everything Architecture attracted over 1,700 visitors for its inaugural edition.
“Bringing the world of architecture and design together at the inaugural event proved that a platform like Everything Architecture is crucial in pushing to the fore how vital the industry is to the wider construction eco-system,” said Josine Heijmans, Vice President – Construction at dmg events. “The dedicated platform allowed key stakeholders to exchange knowledge, network, and explore the latest product innovations right here in Dubai, a pioneer of new-age architectural design and a perfect setting to launch this transformational showcase and gathering of inspirational industry experts.”
GEZE Middle East, which specializes in the innovative door, window, and safety technology for smart buildings, showcased its latest line of mechanical door closers and automated revolving door designs. Having operated in the Middle East for more than 20 years, the German company identified networking with local talent as well as finding potential business partners as crucial to its participation.
Meanwhile, DCW Editions from France highlighted its latest range of handcrafted lights, which it says are “true, honest, and will stand the test of time”. The various collections showcased this year included Suspensions, In the Tube, and Vision 2020.
Saint-Gobain Ecophon, the name behind iconic structures in the UAE, such as the Museum of the Future and Sea World Abu Dhabi, exhibited its acoustic and modular ceilings, acoustic plaster, and more. Speaking from the event, Wael El Khoury, Area Sales Manager UAE at Saint-Gobain Ecophon, said: “With an array of projects in the pipeline across Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the rest of the GCC, the company has witnessed tremendous growth over the past year.”
Other key local and international companies that took part included Schüco, Knauf, SolarLux, MAPEI, Presto, AGC Glass and more.
From treehouses to student dorms, floating cities to 3D printing logistic facilities on the moon, Kai Uwe Bergmann, partner at Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), presented a host of his company’s sustainability-focused projects during a fascinating keynote speech on the final day of the show, which also saw a number of engaging discussions at the two-day think tank platform – Architecture & Design Talks.
Addressing a throng of international industry professionals, Bergmann stressed how products can be solutions regardless of size. BIG by name, but not always big by physical product, the Danish company 3D-printed open-source protective face masks for hospitals while also collaborating with the likes of Toyota, Google, and the UN Habitat. It was recently, alongside ICON, awarded a US$60 million contract from NASA to further develop a project that essentially involves turning compacted moon dust into building blocks via a 3D printer on the moon.
“Gatherings like this are great because we can take all the great minds working on building and ask: How do we take that pandemic moment when we were all connected and dealt with the same adversity and transfer that from pandemic to climate?” asked Bergmann. “When we map it out, it’s just in the last 100 years where we have had such a profound impact on how we utilise our resources. We need to somehow find a closer balance – now, we live a life that would require four planets of resources to sustain. We need to move from four planets back to one – that is the challenge we have.”
Other topics at the Talks addressed the themes of health and well-being, heritage, innovation, technology, and sustainability development. Industry-renowned speakers included Esra Lemmens, Design Strategist at Esra Lemmens Agency; Nikita Chellani, Lead Interior Designer at Roar; Baharash Bagherian, CEO at URB; and Arjan Pit, Managing Director MEA at UNStudio in the UAE, among others.
Set to return in 2023, the event also hosted a number of engaging workshops delivered by leading designers and professors. Some of the topics explored include the potential of space making through the direct use of natural stone materials, exploring architectural language through model making, and the impact of virtual reality on architectural education and profession.