Education, RMJM Architects
ITP Media Group

RMJM design director: Architecture needs better links to educators

The design director of Scotland-headquarted architecture practice RMJM, Sotiris Tsoulos, has warned the link between the industry and universities is disrupted.

He has called for coordinated efforts to ensure graduate architects receive the right training to succeed in the workplace.

“The connection between the universities and the industry has been disrupted somehow,” he said at an advisory panel meeting for the designMENA Summit 2019. 

“The trend came from the UK and the US, where the young architects were trained to be perfect image makers – and there is no substance behind it,” Tsoulos, who became Dubai direcdtor in April 2018, added. 

The designMENA Summit 2019 takes place on 4 December at Grosvenor House. 

Prior to every summit, senior architects and interior designers are invited to speak to Middle East Architect about the big issues that need industry attention. 

For Tsoulos, proper education (or a lack thereof) is a big one. “How can you get a student with five years’ education who doesn’t know how to design a toilet, and why is that okay today?”

Tsoulos has lived in the UAE permanently for two years and worked in-region much longer. Based on the graduates coming through his door, he wants a return to classical education where students learn to sketch with pen and paper. He also wants more architects and interior designers to build bridges with educators.

“In Dubai we have a multitude of successful architects that should be visiting universities on a weekly basis; universities should invite architects to give lectures about our process – not our projects, but our process.”