Episode 03: Are Design Thinking methodologies, reshaping policy making in the urban realm?

This talk was broadcasted on the Dubai Design Week website on 12 November, Thursday 2pm and on Dubai Design Week’s YouTube Channel

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Another key theme of this year’s Dubai Design Week edition is our relationship with public and private space, its importance in organizing our cities and urban space especially in times of global crisis.

Alternative solutions and design-led initiatives around crisis such as climate change with insights offered by May Barber from Ayed&Barber on their multi-stakeholder collaborative project “Climate Change Challenge” engaging the design departments of 3 UAE-based Universities, the refugee crisis with Foundland Collective’s co-founder Ghalia El Serkabi and Pragma Architect’s Nihal Halimeh and their project of future sustainability through community work on folk housing in Al Ghubaiba neighborhood in Sharjah.

This talk exposes examples of how those methodologies have already been positively implemented on city-wide projects affecting the lives of thousands by defining relevant and contextual policymaking.

Speaker Biographies

Nihal Halimeh, Pragma Architects
Nihal Halimeh is a Palestinian architect and researcher from Lebanon. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Architecture with honors from Lebanese American University. Nihal’s expertise lies in her work on sustainable community projects with a specific interest in issues of cultural identity and responsive design, while also investigating the relationship between social resistance and architecture. Nihal joined Pragma in 2019 and played an instrumental role in forming a research division within the practice. Pragma’s research unit is a division that is primarily involved in conducting urban research in the MENA region. Nihal continues to have a leadership role in running research initiatives within this division.

May Barber
Award-Winning Architect, Art Curator and Creative Director at Ayed&Barber. May has more than 10 years of experience in designing brand strategies, achieving award winning architectural concepts and curating exhibitions in Dubai, London and Budapest including the Middle East’s first Solo Show of Iris Van Herpen, and ‘A Second Skin’ in Paris-Sorbonne Abu Dhabi. May holds an Executive MBA from HEC Paris and a Major in Luxury Brand Management (Paris, Shanghai) as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture.

Ghalia Elsrakbi
Ghalia Elsrakbi (SYR-NL) is a design professional and researcher. Ghalia is an Associate Professor of Practice in Design and the Director of the Graphic Design program at the American University in Cairo. She is a co-founder of Foundland Collective, an art and design research practice based between Cairo and Amsterdam.