ALHOSN University gathered leading industry professionals and members of academia to discuss the role of interior design in the UAE during its 1st Annual iDesign Summit held on April 27, 2010 at the university’s Male Campus.
Hosted by ALHOSN’s Department of Interior Design, iDesign extensively assessed the relationship between industry and academia, the practices and trends affecting the UAE’s rapidly growing interior design market, and the future of the interior design profession. Demand for interior design services is expected to surge with an expected AED 53.8 billion in interior design contracts and fit-outs to be spent in the Emirates within this year.
“The development of public and private spaces in the UAE continues to progress at a rapid pace, and so the question for interior designers is where should the field be heading amidst such growth? There are many policy, practice and academic issues that need to be considered in this regards. “iDesign goal is to provide a forum for practitioners and stakeholders to start asking critical questions and come up with viable answers. The Summit also enables us to emphasize the importance of establishing closer ties between industry and academia, so that the programs created by educational institutions complement actual workplace requirements,” said Dr Seif Khiati, Assistant Professor and Chair of Interior Design Department, ALHOSN University.
Prof. Abdul Rahim Sabouni, Vice Chancellor & CEO, inaugurated the summit with his welcoming address. Keynote speakers included Mr Fernando Arteaga, Associate Director, HBA Design Consultants; Mr Daniel Hajjar, Senior Vice President - Regional Manager MENA, HOK; and Arch. Iacopo Mannelli and Arch. Cecilia Morosi, from ASZ Architetti, based in Florence and Abu Dhabi. Representatives from industry and academia also joined a panel discussion on job market conditions; the gender gap in the design fields; the future and significance of interior design as a profession in the UAE and throughout the Middle East; and the nature of interior design and its relation to architecture. Dr Seif Khiati moderated the discussions.