THE BUSINESS OF DESIGN

Every year the Design Talks at INDEX, sponsored by OFIS, are one of the highlights of the show, with over 60 of the GCC’s top designers leading an exciting programme of discussions on key trends, challenges and opportunities in the interiors industry.

This year’s Design Talks demonstrate how incredibly quickly things can change in the regional market. 2017’s programme was dominated by how interior designers and retailers were sustaining themselves throughout a fairly lean period, but the mood for 2018’s is far more optimistic, more agile and more commercially aggressive. This year, leading interiors companies are positioning themselves to capitalise on new opportunities in a fast-revitalising, fast-restructuring environment and have agreed to share these new insights and strategies with the Design Talks audience at the event.

Amazingly, the Design Talks are completely free-to-attend for all INDEX visitors. However, we strictly limit the number of seats to ensure genuine interplay between the speakers and the audience and do not issue tickets in advance, so we encourage you to arrive early if you intend to take part in this key moment of knowledge-sharing and networking in the sector’s annual calendar.

2018 SPEAKERS



Leila Abdul Rahim
Director of Design
Hilton Worldwide



Stuart Allen Managing
Director & Founder
Allen Architecture Interiors Design



Chris Barnes
Managing Director
Broadway Interiors



Patrick Bean
Design Director Hospitality
LACASA Architects & Engineering Consultancy



Paul Bishop
Owner & Managing Partner
Bishop Design



Binoy Chako
Head of Buying - Homewares
Pan Emirates



Carla Conte
Founder & Creative Director
Brand Creative



Joakim de Rham
Co-Founder & Design Principal
Swiss Bureau Interior Design



Vera Dieckmann
Head of Design, Interior & Architecture
Albal Design



Sneha Divias
Founder
Sneha Divias Atelier



Hani Fallaha
Design Principal & Partner
LOCI architecture + design



Sarah-Jane Grant
Director
LXA Design



Laurent Haddad
Head of Interior Design
RW Armstrong



Rania Hamed
Founder & Principle
VSHD



Jo Hamilton
Founder & Creative Director
Jo Hamilton Interiors



Phillip Jones
Principal / Managing Director – Middle East & North Africa
B+H Architects



Maja Kozel
Founder
Maja Kozel Design



Kevin McLachlan
Head of Interior Design
Godwin Austen Johnson



Cameron McPherson
Director, New Hotels - Design
InterContinental Hotels Group



Christian Merieau
Managing Director & Founding Partner
MMAC Design



Paul Murphy
Design Director
Draw Link Group



Maliha Nishat
Director of Interior Design
Marriott International



Christos Passas
Design Director
Zaha Hadid Architects



Dorian Pauwels
Founder & Executive Director
Ikonhouse



Benjamin Piper
Partner & Design Principal
Killa Architectural Design



Steve Ramsden
Managing Director
ISG Middle East



Janus Rostock
Design Director & Head of Architecture,
Urban Design & Masterplanning
Atkins



Adrian Shaw
General Manager
ID Design



Ellen Sohoel
Founder
XBD Collective



Kristian Stinson
Commercial Director
Studio EM



Ahmed Sultan
General Manager
Finasi



Viktor Udzenija
Founder
Viktor Udzenija Architecture + Design



Indu Varanasi
Design Director
IR Design



Steven Velegrinis
Director of Cities & Sites
Perkins+Will



Amyas Wade
Partner
Kinnersley Kent Design



Justin Wells
Head of Lifestyle Interiors
Woods Bagot

DAY 1: MONDAY 26th MARCH

12:30
Opening remarks from the Chair

12:30-13:30
KEYNOTE INTERVIEW

HOW THE DESIGN OF COMPLEX URBAN SYSTEMS, SPACES AND NETWORKS CAN INFORM INTERIORS

13:30-14:15
MARKET TRENDS

REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL? DECIPHERING THE KEY ECONOMIC, MARKET AND DEMOGRAPHIC INDICATORS THAT REVEAL THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE OF THE UAE'S DESIGN INDUSTRY

14:15-15:00
DESIGN THEORY & PRACTICE

INTERDISCIPLINARY DESIGN: WHAT TOP-LEVEL INTERIOR DESIGNERS CAN LEARN FROM DESIGN APPROACHES AND METHODS FROM DIFFERENT FIELDS

15:00-15:45
RETAIL & HOSPITALITY DESIGN

INTERIOR DESIGN, LAYOUT AND PSYCHOLOGICAL TACTICS TO ENCOURAGE CONSUMERS TO SPEND MORE TIME WITHIN YOUR CLIENTS' WALLS

15:45-16:30
COMMERCIAL DESIGN

BIOPHILIC DESIGN IN PRACTICE: HOW NATURE CAN INSPIRE INTERIOR DESIGN TO ENRICH AND ENLIVEN WORKING ENVIRONMENTS AND IMPROVE STAFF WELLBEING

16:30
Closing remarks from the Chair

DAY 2: TUESDAY 27th MARCH

12:30
Opening remarks from the Chair

12:30-13:30
KEYNOTE INTERVIEW

INSIGHTS ON THE CUTTING-EDGE OF LUXURY INTERIOR DESIGN IN THE INTERNATIONAL MARKET

13:30-14:10
MARKET TRENDS

THE EVOLVING STRUCTURE OF THE REGIONAL INTERIOR DESIGN SECTOR: ARE TRADITIONAL BOUNDARIES AND SPECIALISMS BECOMING BLURRED AS COMPETITION - AND OPPORTUNITY - INCREASES?

14:10-14:50
DESIGN THEORY & PRACTICE

DELIVERING EXCELLENCE ON A BUDGET: VALUE ENGINEERING WITHOUT COMPROMISING THE INTEGRITY, CREATIVITY, QUALITY OR FINISH OF YOUR DESIGNS

14:50-15:30
HOSPITALITY DESIGN

A RUSH TOWARDS THE MILLENNIAL MID-MARKET? FORECASTING THE CHANGING COMPOSITION AND INTERIOR DESIGN REQUIREMENTS OF DUBAI'S HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY

15:30-16:00
CAREER DEVELOPMENT

THE NEXT GENERATION OF DESIGN LEADERS: WHAT DO SUCCESSFUL INTERIOR DESIGNERS REALLY WISH THEY'D KNOWN AT THE START OF THEIR CAREERS?

16:00
Closing remarks from the Chair

DAY 3: WEDNESDAY 28th MARCH

12:30
Opening remarks from the Chair

12:30-13:30
KEYNOTE INTERVIEW

THE OPUS: RESCRIPTING THE DIALOGUE BETWEEN INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR DESIGN

13:30-14:15
MARKET TRENDS

1/JBR… BOXPARK… ROVE… IS DUBAI UNDERGOING A FUNDAMENTAL SHIFT IN THE TYPE OF DESIGN AESTHETIC AND ENVIRONMENT THAT SELLS?

14:15-15:00
DESIGN THEORY & PRACTICE

LOOKING AT THE LATEST APPLICATIONS OF AUGMENTED / VIRTUAL REALITY AND 3D PRINTING TO CREATE IMMERSIVE CONCEPTUAL DESIGNS AND COMMUNICATE THEM MORE EFFECTIVELY

15:00-15:45
RETAIL STRATEGY

WILL WE BE "ON SALE!" FOREVER? A HEALTH REPORT ON THE UAE FURNITURE RETAIL SECTOR AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR LOCAL INTERIOR DESIGNERS

15:45-16:30
COMMERCIAL DESIGN

CAN WORKSPACE INTERIOR DESIGN GENUINELY ENHANCE STAFF COLLABORATION, MOTIVATION AND PRODUCTIVITY, AND HOW?

16:30
Closing remarks from the Chair

DAY 4: THURSDAY 29th MARCH

12:30
Opening remarks from the Chair

12:30-13:30
KEYNOTE INTERVIEW

DESIGNING FOR EMIRATI CLIENTS

13:30-14:15
MARKET TRENDS

WHICH TACTICS ARE THE MOST SUCCESSFUL REGIONAL DESIGN COMPANIES USING TO DIFFERENTIATE THEMSELVES AND STAY AHEAD OF THE CROWD?

14:15-15:00
DESIGN THEORY & PRACTICE

TELLING STORIES WITH LIGHT: TECHNIQUES FOR THE SOPHISTICATED MANIPULATION OF LIGHT AND SHADOW IN INTERIOR SPACES

15:00-15:45
RESIDENTIAL DESIGN

DESIGNING FOR SMALLER AND SCALABLE SPACES: ADAPTING TO THE DESIGN CHALLENGES OF THE WAVE OF COMPACT RESIDENTIAL HOUSING STOCK NOW ENTERING THE DUBAI MARKET

15:45-16:30
RETAIL DESIGN

HOW RETAIL BRAND IDENTITY, VISUAL MERCHANDISING AND INTERIOR DESIGN MAY COMPLEMENT RATHER THAN COMPETE WITH ECOMMERCE CHANNELS

16:30
Closing remarks from the Chair

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