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Guest Speakers

Steven Velegrinis
Design Director, Gensler

Steven is an Urban Planner, Urban Designer and Landscape Architect and focusses on the idea of sustainable and resilient cities and places. 

Velegrinis has 30 years’ experience. His interests and work revolve around the idea of ecological urbanism, sustainable and resilient cities and places. In 2008, he relocated from Singapore to the UAE where he has practiced planning, architecture and design for the past 15 years. With large scale, recent projects such as leading the Dubai Expo event masterplan, legacy masterplan and public realm design; Ras Al Khaimah landscape strategy and guidelines; Neom landscape strategy and guidelines; Al Arous masterplan in Jeddah; Wadi Safar masterplan in Riyadh, DGDA supervisory area strategy; and a series of confidential design competitions in KSA. 

Before joining Gensler as Design Director Middle East in 2023, where he will play a global role with an initial focus on the MENA region and an emphasis on KSA, he was Director of Urbanism and Planning, Ecology & Landscape for Aecom.

Jonathan Ashmore
Founding Principal, ANARCHITECT

Jonathan Ashmore is the Founding Principal at RIBA Chartered Practice ANARCHITECT. A practicing architect and an active design critic, Ashmore is a post-graduate of the renowned Bartlett School of Architecture in London, participant of the RIBA Gulf Chapter and a British Council Cultural Excellence Fellowship Mentor. In a short time, Ashmore has won an international following of design-conscious clientele and industry, thanks to his refined, yet progressive approach and contemporary aesthetics. With a signature style of translating architecture across diverse scales of design with superlative craft, detail and materiality, Ashmore, together with his team, creates highly refined buildings, spaces, and objects beautifully balanced in form and function. Jonathan continuously pushes the boundaries of architectural discourse to deliver projects at the crux of understated luxury and contextually modern architecture.

His built projects span Middle East, Europe, Asia and Africa, with work being a prominent winner across international design awards. Jonathan gained further recognition through invited creative collaborations with Burberry, Dubai Design Week and Wallpaper* Magazine, with projects and insights regularly published in the global design press.

Founder, Design Director KDSV
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Award-winning Architect & Designer to 5 of Dubai newest landmarks from which the world highest residential tower Dubai One. MAK is well known for his innovative design thinking methodologies & creativity towards complex projects. After completing his architecture educational journey at the Arab Academy for Science and Technology, Egypt he worked for Dar group, one of the largest engineering firms in the world, where he was the lead designer for the 700 USD million Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Architecture Museum.From 2014 to 2020, he joined Ae7 Dubai office, working on projects worldwide and lead designer on what will be the world’s highest residential tower and fifth highest tower – Dubai One Tower. Other key projects at Ae7 include the USD 8.3 billion Meydan One Development and the Dubai WaterCanal. In 2020, he joined DLR group as part of their MENA leadership, leading several projects across UAE & KSA.

In 2021, he launched his own practice / design studio KDSV from Dubai Design District focused on design innovation, placemaking & experience design. In 2022, MAK & KDSV got hired to be a consultant on the THE RIG project in Saudi Arabia – A PIF project.

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