Rania M Hamed
Interior-architect Rania M Hamed, founder of the multiple award-winning Dubai-based boutique VSHD and three-time winner of the CID interior design award, is known for her innovative interiors and outstanding designs.
Rania M Hamed
Hamed ensures her visualisations are not trend-led but synonymous with longevity. She is fascinated by the challenge of integrating traditional culture and technique into contemporary design and strives to introduce this dichotomy in her work. During its 12 years of operations, VSHD has designed over 50 residential and commercial projects in Dubai, Cairo, London and the US.
Dubai-based multidisciplinary designer Aljoud Lootah explores the realms of product design and personalised corporate gifts. She established her eponymous studio with a keen interest in the idea of contrasts in form and function. She composes her creations by mixing traditional silhouettes and concepts with modern elements.
Patterns, folds and geometric shapes are at the heart of her inspiration and her creative drive comes from a passion for detail, aesthetics and experimental approaches to materials and techniques. As a product designer, she has been involved in projects that distinctly interpret Emirati culture, traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design. Two products from her Oru Series (2015) were acquired by the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, making her the first Emirati designer to have her work acquired by an international gallery.
Dubai-based entrepreneur Riyad is the lead architect and founder of Middle East Architectural Network (MEAN), an innovative architecture practice and the synergistic counterpart to Middle East Architecture Lab (MEAL), an experimental design repository. He has gained professional experience in the Middle East and Asia as well as North America.
Riyad worked in New York and Hong Kong from 2012-2017 at the intersection of academia and practice on complex structures, facades and building technologies, with a focus on design that is at the nexus of technology, material research and computation. Riyad earned his Master of Architecture at the Emergent Technologies & Design program at the AA School of Architecture in London.
In collaboration with her mother and founder Farhana Asad, Meherunnisa heads the Lél Collection, a Pakistan-based atelier specialising in designs produced in marble and semi-precious stones.
She is a conservation architect and graduate of the Pratt Institute Graduate School of Digital Arts. Recently, the atelier has collaborated with UAE-based NGO Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council to create Talli x Misbah, an installation at London Design Fair 2019. Lél Collection’s highly-skilled stone artisans and trainees from Irthi’s Bidwa Social Development Programme collaborated to produce semi-precious stone and marble beads as large-scale ornaments.
Elias and Yousef Anastas
Born into a family of architects in Bethlehem, Elias and Yousef Anastas studied architecture in Paris and worked there until winning a competition to build a music conservatory in their hometown. After returning to Palestine in 2010, they expanded into furniture design and research projects celebrating local artisanal skills. They are partners at AAU ANASTAS and the founders of Local Industries, a community of bold artisans and designers dedicated to industrial furniture-making.
Elias and Yousef Anastas
Their most recent work includes While We Wait, commissioned by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. They recently received the Arab Architects Award for the Toulkarem Courthouse (2018), Middle East Top 50 award by Architectural Digest (2017, 2018), Best International Achievement by Harper’s Bazaar Arabia (2017), Hassib Sabbagh and Said Khoury Award (2016) and the 40 under 40 Award for young European architects (2014).
Born in Florence, Cecilia’s inherent wanderlust and passion for living globally was unleashed after the final years of her master’s degree in Architecture when she was given a project located in the Wuxi Area of China. She completed both her bachelor and master’s degree in architecture from the University of Florence.
Currently, she is the Design Director at ASZ Architetti and SUPERFUTUREDESIGN* in their global practises. Cecilia’s core training coupled with her inherent penchant for design and architecture has allowed her to work on notable global luxury brands across various sectors. Among her distinguished residential projects are the penthouse in Xintiandi, Shanghai and villas in Arabian Ranches, Umm Suqeim, The Lakes and Meadows, Dubai. Her ongoing residential projects include a refurbishment of an old farmhouse in Milan and a house in the Siena Crete area, Asciano, as well as a villa in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
With over a decade of professional experience working for internationally acclaimed architecture practices in Europe and the Middle East, British chartered architect Jonathan Ashmore founded multiple award-winning architecture and interior design practice, ANARCHITECT. A post-graduate of the renowned Bartlett School of Architecture in London, Jonathan is an elected member of the RIBA Gulf Chapter and a British Council Cultural Excellence Fellowship mentor.
He is also an active design critic and regular architectural speaker across a variety of professional platforms and international academic institutions. ANARCHITECT has been a prominent winner of international design awards and has been gaining global recognition through creative collaborations with Burberry, Brownbook, Dubai Design Week and Wallpaper*.