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Guest Speakers

Khaled Alawadi
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Assistant Professor of Sustainable Urbanism at the Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi, part of Khalifa University of Science and Technology

The first UAE national scholar to specialize in the design of sustainable cities, he founded the MSc. in Sustainable Critical Infrastructure program. He is a trained architect, planner and urban designer whose research is devoted to urban design, housing and urbanism, especially the relationships between the built environment and sustainable development. Dr. Alawadi recently served as Visiting Assistant Professor at MIT’s Center for Advanced Urbanism, and previously worked as an architect for Dubai Municipality and as an Assistant Professor at UAE University. He holds a Ph.D. in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Texas at Austin.

Mario Cucinella
Founder MC A, SOS, BGF

Italian architect Mario Cucinella is amongst the most important architects practicing in Europe today with multiple award-winning international design projects. Not only is Cucinella’s work lauded for design excellence but he is an undisputed global leader in sustainable practices ranging from individual residences to urban master plans. The impact and significance of his work – both social and environmental – achieved in his role as an architect, educator and in service have been recognized world-wide and most recently (2016) by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) who bestowed upon him the prestigious International Fellowship. In 2017 the American Institute of Architects (AIA) awarded him the prestigious Honorary Fellowship. For the 2018 Venice Biennale, Mario Cucinella will be the curator of the Italian Pavilion. Spanning 30 years of practice, Cucinella’s extraordinary work sits in the foreground of a very formative education and internship period. From 1987 to 1992 he worked with world-reknowned Renzo Piano (Pritzker Award 1998) in the Renzo Piano Building Workshop first in Genoa and then Paris. He founded Mario Cucinella Architects (MCA) in Paris in 1992 and later in Bologna in 1999 where he continues to operate today with a staff of 55 architects, engineers and sustainability experts.

George Katodrytis
Professor and Head of the Department of Architecture
American University of Sharjah

George Katodrytis is an architect involved in practice, teaching and research. He studied and taught at the Architectural Association in London. He published widely on contemporary architecture, urbanism, cultural theory and digital media. The work addresses the ‘city’, especially as it is evolving in the 21st century. He employs digital technology and scripting as tools for establishing new formal and performative language. He is the co-editor of the 2015 Architectural Design issue ‘UAE and the Gulf: Architecture and Urbanism Now’ and co-curator of the Dubai exhibition at the ‘2017 Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism’.

Adrian Lahoud
Dean of the School of Architecture
Royal College of Arts. UK 

Adrian Lahoud is Dean of the School of Architecture at the Royal College of Art London. Prior to his current role, he was Director of the MA at the Centre for Research Architecture Goldsmiths University and a research fellow in the Forensic Architecture ERC project, Studio master in the Projective Cities MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design at the Architectural Association and Director of the MArch Urban Design, Bartlett UCL. His PhD titled The Problem of Scale: The City, the Territory, the Planetary sets out a theory of scale drawn from architectural practice in the context of emancipatory struggles.

Recent exhibits include Climate Crimes at The Future Starts Here V&A Museum, London, The Shape of the Eclipse at Let’s Talk about the Weather: Art and Ecology in a Time of Crisis, Guangdong Times Museum, Guangzhou & Sursock Museum Beirut, Secular Cosmologies in After Belonging Triennial of Architecture Oslo, and Floating Bodies at Forensis: The Architecture of Public Truth Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin. He has also contributed to Haus der Kulturen der Welt’s Anthropocene Curriculum and Technosphere projects.

 He was President of the Jury on the Saradar Collection architectural competition and is the inaugural curator of the Sharjah Architecture Triennial to be held in November 2019. 

Adrian Lahoud_photocredits_Rabee Younes.
Laura Lee
Professor of Architecture  
Architect, FAIA, Hon FRAIA
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Laura Lee is a registered architect and Professor of Architecture most notably at Carnegie Mellon University where she served as Head of the School. She has also taught and consulted throughout North America and globally in Antwerp, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Dublin, Doha, Gdansk, Istanbul, Milan, Rome and Zurich. Laura is an international voice for integrated design education, policy, practice as well as research and innovation. Her work focuses on the development and implementation of collaborative programs between the academy, government, industry and the profession.

Laura was a " Thinker in Residence" in Australia, a program inviting global experts and leaders in their field to generate actionable and visionary recommendations for the government. Focused on the value of design and the impact of the built environment on the quality of life, Laura published an "Integrated Design Strategy for South Australia - Building the Future." Two of her key recommendations were adopted: a Commission for Integrated Design, the first of its kind in Australia and an Integrated Design Strategy for the City of Adelaide as a design-led vision based on a model of Intelligent Investment for design, planning and development. 

Currently, Laura consults, lectures and practices internationally and serves as an accreditation chair, advisor and consultant for numerous academic institutions, companies, governments and professional organisations. She is the recipient of many awards, grants and honours.

Jarvis Liu
Co-Founder and Chief Technical Officier
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Jarvis is responsible for upcycling material innovation, technology and machine development at Miniwiz. Through his education and career, Jarvis has focused on sustainable design involving designing buildings that meet the world’s desperate need to reduce the human impact on ecological systems. As a one-time student of Arthur’s, the pair quickly realized they shared a deep frustration at the existing systems established Miniwiz together in 2005 to explore truly circular practices and solutions. Jarvis got into engineering and developing recycled materials driving by the thrill of taking ideas, refining them, and making them real. With extensive and broad experience in new tech innovations, Jarvis oversees MIniwiz’s pioneering work, leading teams of designers and engineers on client projects across various Miniwiz’s broad solutions. oday, under Jarvis’s supervision MIniwiz has successfully secured some of our most valuable patents for MIniwiz’s unique post-consumer materials

Federico Parolotto
Co-Founder and Senior Partner MIC – Mobility in Chain
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Federico is involved as transport planner in major urban planning projects worldwide, as consultant for client ranging for international public bodies to world class design firms to technology industry and transport operators.Since 2013 Federico collaborates with Urban Standards for AUDI research team on groundbreaking driverless car and piloted parking.He was a speaker in international events including “Connect Ideas Maximize Impact” In Stuttgart”, “Metropolis and Mobile Life” in Toronto, “City by Numbers: Big Data and the Urban Future” at the Pratt University, at the Barcelona Smart City event and at the Urban Form in Moscow. He lectured in several international universities including Strelka Institute in Moscow. His essays were published in "Ecological Urbanism" and in "Ecological Urban Architecture: Qualitative Approaches to sustainability". He co-authored “City thinking – Creativity, Mobility and Urban Quality” in 2015. In 2016 he was visiting professor at IAAC Institute of Advanced Architecture in Barcelona. Since 2014 he is the curator for the “TheCitPlan” essay for the architectural magazine The Plan investigating the city evolution.

Professor of Architecture, Canadian University Dubai
Constantin Victor Spiridonidis
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Constantin Spiridonidis is Architect (Univ. of Thessaloniki) Urban Planner (Univ. Paris VIII), Dr. in Architecture and Urban Design (Univ. of Thessaloniki). He is a Tenured Professor in School of Architecture of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece and Professor in School of Architecture of the Canadian University of Dubai. His research interests are cantered on design theory, architecture and urban design, architectural education and design pedagogy. He has a long experience in the management of academic educational programs investigating different educational environments as to their priorities, values and principles and the ways all these are expressed and represented in educational strategies, pedagogical approaches and teaching methodologies. He has an extended participation in and contribution to inter­national organizations in Europe and USA, decision-making institutions, policy-making bodies and capacity building mechanisms to enhance the quality of architectural education and assure learning outcomes corresponding to the contemporary profile of an architect in a fast changing world. He is a distinguished scholar with a broad record of publications aiming to disseminate innovative views on architectural education, to encourage and support changes in curricula structures and contents, to reconsider educational objectives, pedagogical methods and teaching strategies, to inspire new logics, new conceptions and new practices in design education respecting local identities and attitudes without losing touch with the international trends and dynamics.

Hashem Stietiya
Head of Environmental Consulting at Bee’ah
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Hashem Stietiya - Head of Environmental

 Dr. Hashem Stietiya is the Head of Environmental Consulting at Bee’ah. Over his 18 years of experience, as an environmental consultant and a university professor, Dr. Stietiya has worked in more than 12 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. His core areas of expertise include Environmental Contamination, Air Emissions Monitoring, and Groundwater Vulnerability Assessment. His rich expertise also extends to Environmental Auditing, HSSE Regulations in MENA, Environmental Impact Assessments, Environmental Monitoring Plans etc. He has lent his expertise to major projects such as Soil Survey Classification and Land Use Specification (2001 – 2005), Industrial Water Vulnerability Assessment for global beverage plants in the Middle East (2010-2013), HSSE Regulatory Program for Middle East (2010-2014), Relative Accuracy Test Audits for oil and gas companies (2014-2016), Marine Remediation of Drilling Slurry Spillage in Arabian Gulf seawater (2014), and others. 

Hashem Stietiya holds a PhD Degree in Environmental Soil Chemistry from Louisiana State University. He has written and co-authored numerous books & articles on environmental topics including soil atlas, nano particles, sludge/metals, soil remediation etc. In 2012, the University of Jordan honoured him with the ‘Distinguished Researchers Award’. 

Director of Operations and Head of Masterplanning AECOM Middle East and Africa
Steven Velegrinis
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Steven's work has focussed on the multi-disciplinary intersections between urban planning and landscape architecture and he has led design teams since 2003.  Over the past 23 years he has practiced in Australia, Southeast Asia and the Gulf.  His recent work has included future-mobility urban design projects such as the Dubai Expo, Dubai Design District Masterplan, Qatar Science and Technology Park Masterplan, Bogacay Creek Masterplan in Antalya, The Mount Masterplan in Muscat, Le Marais Masterplan in Rabat, Morocco and the Hatta Tourism Masterplan.

Steven has also led the site design and landscape architecture of a series of hospitality projects including the Chedi, Ras Al Hadd, La Ville Hotel and City Walk Residential in Dubai, Kempinski The Wave Muscat and Hakkasan Restaurant in Emirates Towers Dubai. He remains involved in the development of the profession through his speaking engagements and research initiatives which have included speaking at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Cambridge University and Universite Paris Sorbonne.

Hala Younes
Curator, Lebanese Pavilion
16th Architectural Exhibition, Biennale di Venezia

HALA YOUNES is an architect, geographer and educator. Her professional practice focuses on history and cultural landscape as design initiators. HALA acquired her terminal degree in architecture from Paris in 1993 and a Master in Geography and Planning from Paris IV La Sorbonne University in 1997. She is currently an Assistant Professor of architecture and landscape design at the Lebanese American University in Beirut, and she has also taught at the Lebanese University, the American University of Beirut, the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture in Marne la Vallée in France and Ecole de Design, UQAM Canada. As educator, Hala Younes leads design studios and courses dealing with the relation between architecture and landscape. She is also an architect, practicing in France and Lebanon since 1994 with a focus on history and cultural landscape as design initiators. Among her built projects, Hilton Hotel in central Beirut and Al Mantara Cultural Centre in Chatine, Mount Lebanon, have received particular recognition and have been published in local and regional press. In addition to teaching and practice she is keen on raising awareness on territorial challenges in Lebanon. In 2012, she created in Beirut the video and sound installation Waterfront. In 2018, she has been the curator of the first Lebanese Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia.

Samantha Cotterell
Director of Design and Overlay, Expo 2020 Dubai
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Samantha is a professional architect, masterplanner and urbanist with 23 years’ experience on large scale international projects including 16 years in Design Leadership roles for the development and delivery of Major Sport Events worldwide. Samantha has held key roles as Overlays Expert, Development Strategist and Delivery Specialist on projects including Dubai Expo 2020, Doha 2020 Olympic Bid, Doha 2011 Asian Football Cup, Athens 2004 Olympic Games, Doha 2006 Asian Games, Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games and the Qatar Sports Venue Master Plan. She was Design Director and co-author of bid files including the Doha 2020 Olympic Bid, the winning bid file for the Qatar 2011 Asian Football Cup and the winning bid file for the 2010 World Indoor Championships in Athletics.

Samantha is the founder of DESIGNSPORT, a Sport Design Advisory Consultancy providing design services to government and private clients involved in the design, development and delivery of major sporting events and infrastructure worldwide including the winning architectural design competitions for the National Stadium of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup Stadium ‘Al Thumama’.

Chuloh Jung
Director, Ajman University Innovation Center

Dr. Chuloh Jung is an innovative professor with many experience of government-funded R/D since 2000. He had obtained B.Arch and Ph.D. from Yeonsei University in Seoul, Korea and M.Arch and M.Des.S. from Graduate School of Design, Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He had joined Ajman University on 2013 and participated in an initiative team for Ajman University Science Park. Since his Ph.D. was about how to apply ubiquitous computing on residential environments, he became one of the national board member of U-City (Smart City) in Korea and head of two government-funded interdisciplinary R/D teams like Smart Home Industrialization Center in Kookmin University in Seoul, Korea.

Habiba Al Marashi
Chairperson at Emirates Environmental Group
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Mrs. Habiba Al Marashi is the Chairperson of the Emirates Environmental Group, President of the Arabia CSR Network, Vice Chair and Founding Member of the Emirates Green Building Council, Former Board Member of the UNGC and Former President of UNGC GCC Network. The Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) is a professional working group devoted to protecting the environment through the means of education, action programs and community involvement. EEG was formed in September 1991 and has since grown considerably in terms of its programmes and membership. EEG is composed of students, individuals, families, corporate members, federal and local government agencies, universities, colleges and schools, as well as reputed regional and international institutions. EEG is the first environmental NGO in the world to be ISO 14001 certified. EEG is viewed as one of the most prestigious environmental groups within the Middle East and prides itself on its environmental achievements.

Carlo Biasia
Projects Architect, Interni Magazine

Special projects architect, he is part of the team of Interni Events, that  participate in concept, development and realisations of installations and exhibitions for FuoriSalone during the design week in Milan, dealing with architecture and design firms, companies and organisations. 

As contributor he is involved in media planning, events, conferences and speeches organisation. 

Currently he is working on Human Spaces , the next event of Interni Magazine for 2019. 

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