Top 10 interviews of 2016

During 2016 we had the privilege to interview some of the biggest names in design and architecture, both regionally and globally.

Here we continue our 2016 series with the top interviews of the year.

We have also covered the biggest news of 2016 and the top 12 mega projects of the year.

10. Middle East design scene: Are we there yet? 


We spoke to the Middle East’s various design week curators, including Cyril Zammit, fair director of Design Days Dubai; Mohamed Elshahed, curator of Cairo Now! exhibition; Rana Beiruti and Abeer Seikaly, founders of the newly launched Amman Design Week; and Vryouyr Joubanian, co-founder and programme manager at Beirut Design Week, about how far the design industry have come in recent years.

9. Agata Kurzela, Pallavi Dean Interiors

With more than a decade of work in master planning, architecture and interior design, Polish-born Agata Kurzela has been delivering challenging and complex projects across the Middle East. Her hard work over the years resulted in many accolades and most recently Kurzela picked up the CID Award for the 2016 Interior Designer of the Year.

We speak to her about her journey and her ambitions for the future.

8. David T’Kint, HBA

David T’Kint, partner at HBA Dubai, speaks to designMENA about the importance of maintaining his passion for design while managing others.

7. Kevin McLachlan, GAJ 


Kevin McLachlan, head of interior design at GAJ, speaks about managing creativity, global projects and building a successful team.

6. Marcel Wanders

Dutch Designer Marcel Wanders speaks about his upcoming projects in the region and the importance of staying different.

5. Gerard Evenden, Foster + Partners

Gerard Evenden, head of Studio 5 at Foster + Partners speaks to designMENA about Phase II of d3, the Creative Community and how it will integrate with the existing parts of the development.

4. Isabel Pintado, Wilson Associates 

Isabel Pintado, managing director of Wilson Associates Middle East talks about the importance of managing talent and work-life balance.

3. Perkins+Will’s design team


We interview several members of the Perkins + Will team, from managing directors and heads of design to junior designers to get a feel of the design practice and how they come together to form the team that won the Interior Design Firm of the Year award at the 2016 CID Awards.

2. Justin Wells, Studio HBA


Justin Wells of Studio HBA speaks to designMENA about how the mid-range hospitality market is booming in the Middle East, namely the Gulf states.

1. Janus Rostock, Atkins 

Janus Rostock, the man behind the newly opened Dubai Opera, reveals how Atkins made the Opera a cultural landmark in