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Below is the program from Arc-Middle East 2017. The programme for 2018 will be updated shortly.

Friday 3rd February 2017

05:00pm Arrival of Delegates
07:30pm Welcome Drinks Reception
08:15pm Welcome Dinner

Saturday 4th February 2017

From 06:30am Breakfast
08:45am Seminar 1: Michael Pawlyn Biomimicry in Architecture

Synopsis: Most people now accept the case for sustainability and many wonder how the debate will move forward over the next few decades. Some commentators have asserted that biomimicry will be one of the main design tools that facilitate the shift from the industrial age to the ecological age of mankind. This rapidly emerging discipline draws on a sourcebook of solutions that have benefitted from a 3.8 billion year research and development period. In this talk Michael Pawlyn will outline what biomimicry is as a design discipline and then describe a number of projects that illustrate what can be achieved by using biological adaptations as a source of inspiration. He will present a new concept for an office building, a radical design for a data centre that uses a fraction of the energy of conventional approaches and the ambitious Sahara Forest Project. The last of these is a scheme that brings together a cluster of synergistic technologies in desert areas and offers the potential to grow crops in some of the most water-stressed parts of the world while generating clean energy and reversing desertification.

Biography: Michael Pawlyn has been described as a pioneer of biomimicry and established Exploration Architecture in 2007 to focus on designing high performance buildings and solutions for the circular economy. Exploration has collaborated with The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Interface, The UK Green Building Council and other organisations demonstrating environmental leadership. In 2008 Exploration was short-listed for the Young Architect of the Year Award and the internationally renowned Buckminster Fuller Challenge. Since then the company has developed a ground-breaking office project, an ultra-low energy data centre and a zero waste textiles factory. Michael Pawlyn jointly initiated the widely acclaimed Sahara Forest Project; the first version of which was built in 2012 and opened by the Emir of Qatar during the Doha Climate Change talks. Prior to setting up Exploration Michael Pawlyn worked with Grimshaw for ten years and was central to the team that radically re-invented horticultural architecture for the Eden Project. He was responsible for leading the design of the Warm Temperate and Humid Tropics Biomes and the subsequent phases that included proposals for a third Biome for plants from dry tropical regions. He has lectured widely on the subject of sustainable innovation and, in 2011, became one of only a small handful of architects to have a talk posted on His TED talk has since had over 1.5 million viewings. The first edition of his book Biomimicry in Architecture has been RIBA Publications’ best-selling title and the second edition will be published later this year. Exploration is currently working on a range of biomimicry-based architectural projects and consultancy.

Photo credit: Kelly Hill Photography

09:50am Collect Final Meeting Schedule
10:00am One-to-One Meetings
12:50am Delegate Photographs
1:00pm Lunch
02:00pm Seminar 2: Steve Denyer BA, M.Arch, Architect, AAA, MRAIC, Chair of Architecture, University of Canada Dubai Developments in Architectural Education in the Gulf Region.

Synopsis: Architectural Education in the Gulf Region is a relatively young endeavour. The oldest Architecture program in the UAE dates only to the late 1990’s, with the first graduates emerging only in the beginning of the 21st century. This compares with a history of architectural education dating back over 200 years in both Europe and America. However we are now entering a phase where the availability of architectural degree programs has increased locally and more and more local graduates from architecture are entering the local market each year and with this is are emerging challenges and issues that surround the changing face of the architectural profession in the region, as we transition from one primarily drawing from expatriate architects to one of ever increasing “home grown” and educated architects. This seminar will aim to introduce the local profession to the emerging developments in architectural education in the region and the challenges that this brings to the profession and will focus on how the profession can intersect and develop the Gulf educated architect.

Biography: Steve is currently Assistant Professor and Chair of the Architecture Program at Canadian University Dubai. Educated in the UK and Canada, he holds a Bachelors degree from the University of Wales and a Master of Architecture from the University of Calgary. He is a registered architect with the Alberta Association of Architects (AAA) and Member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (MRAIC) and also recently became a Member of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists in the UK (MCIAT). His Middle East experience spans the last 9 years and has consisted of a balance of Consulting and Educating, having worked on projects throughout the region in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Jeddah, Khartoum, Colombo and Cairo, and more recently having taught in various capacities from Adjunct Professor to Full Time Faculty with the Canadian University Dubai.

03.05pm One to One Business Meetings
06.30pm Free Time
07:30pm Drinks Reception
08:15pm Dinner

Sunday 5th February 2017

From 06:30am Breakfast
08:45am Seminar 3: Andrew Whalley BArch (Mackintosh) AA Dipl RIBA AIA FRSA Deputy Chairman at Grimshaw EQUATION Searching for Equilibrium

Synopsis: The Grimshaw studio is founded on analysis and exploration rather than the imposed application of a pre-ordained stylistic architectural solution. This method allows us to explore design in a much more organic way, and to produce designs that are informed by the same laws that control and shape the world around us. The studio is a place of innovation, invention and imagination - a place where the atmosphere is more that of a laboratory or think-tank than of a typical architecture office. This group engages in design from first principles, and their solutions are often unexpected, but, once understood, resonantly clear.
Our solutions evolve out of broad investigation and a thorough understanding of a project’s program – the careful balancing of elements that make up architecture. The investigation continues right down to the finest detail, so that each detail element has the DNA signature of the overall concept. We believe that beauty arises through functionality, and often see our most integrated and unique architecture achieved through this pragmatic approach.
The challenges that our growing global population now face will be described in series of clear graphical statements, including Climate Change, Energy, Waste, Water, Food, Consumption, Land Management and Ecosystems. Equation explores a series of themes, each will interrogate and demonstrate how the natural world can be the inspiration for ingenious solutions. These solutions include projects that utilise biomimicry for more efficient solutions, designs that understand the importance of biophilia and reconnect their users with the natural world, and work that harnesses natural systems to replenish resources .
The Presentation will conclude with a preview of the design for the Sustainability Pavilion the centre piece project for the Dubai World Expo 2020. The ambitious design will demonstrate a net zero solution in the challenging climate of the Middle East, generating all of its energy needs and water needs using renewable energy .

Biography: Andrew Whalley is Grimshaw's Deputy Chairman and represents the Office of the Chairman for all international projects. Andrew works closely with Sir Nicholas Grimshaw to cultivate relationships with clients and other institutions worldwide while managing the partnership's design approach, public relations and external communications. He has been an instrumental part of Grimshaw since the earliest days of the practice and has been Partner-in-Charge of a diverse range of projects. His award-winning architecture includes the International Terminal at Waterloo Station and the redevelopment of Paddington Station in London, the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center and Via Verde Housing in New York, and the Eden Project in Cornwall. During his ten years as Partner-in-Charge of the New York Office, Andrew established Grimshaw as one of the eight architectural practices eligible for major public projects in New York City under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Design Excellence Program. The practice was also cited by the Wall Street Journal as the international architect with the biggest impact on New York over the last ten years. He has also led the development of the Grimshaw portfolio in the Middle East, setting up a Doha office in 2011. Andrew has guided a series of international exhibitions of the partnership's work. Last year in Singapore the practice presented Equation, relating the work and research in the Grimshaw studio to inspirational phenomena in nature including biomimicry, biophilia and complex ecosystems. This year, the practice presented Elements in Milan, Italy, presenting the work of Grimshaw's Industrial Design Unit, which Andrew leads at the partnership level. The exhibition revealed three new furniture pieces and chronicled decades of Industrial Design from the Grimshaw studio. In 2013, Andrew founded the Urban Research Unit (URU), an initiative conceived by Grimshaw, Future City and the University of the Arts, aimed at developing a fresh approach for intelligent and creative urban placemaking. This research project has engaged a number of influential thinkers and has explored multiple key issues that can be drawn upon to shape the urban environment. Publication credits include a book with Sunday Times architecture critic Hugh Pearman, “The Architecture of Eden,” published by Transworld in 2003. He has also written for many magazines and journals and currently edits the Grimshaw research publication Blue. Andrew is a registered member of the AIA and RIBA and was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2006.

09:50am One To One Business Meetings
12:40pm Lunch
01:40pmSeminar 4: Ben Jackson National Director, Head of Project & Development Services UAE
Development & Construction Trends 2017 Synopsis: A general market overview of the UAE and other GCC countries and a look ahead towards and beyond 2020. We will look to address the top development trends in 2017 and how these have progressed in recent years. We will touch on a variety of elements including markets, design, asset class, build program, procurement and contracting.

Biography: Ben has over 14 years’ experience including 8 years in the UAE. Ben joined JLL in 2014 to head up the UAE business and over the past 3 years the team has had considerable success, growing to nearly 100 project, cost and development managers delivering projects in the Real Estate sector of a combined value $5 Billion Dollars.

02:50pm One to One Business Meetings
05:40pm Free Time
07:00pm Farewell Drinks Reception
07:30pm Farewell Dinner

Monday 6th February 2017

From 06:30am Breakfast
am/pm Departures.

Dress Code:

Meetings & Seminars: Business Suit - jackets preferred for gentlemen - Ties are not mandatory.

Social Functions: Business Casual - Collared Shirts, No Shorts