Oman Hosts 9th AIA Middle East Conference

Muscat: Represented by the National Museum, the Sultanate of Oman today hosted the 9th round of the conference of American Institute of Architects (AIA) in the Middle East for 2022.

The opening ceremony of the two-day conference, titled “Oman: A Well-Maintained Portrait”, was held under the auspices of HH Sayyeda Mayyan Shihab Al Said.

In her speech, HH Sayyeda Mayyan underscored the significance of environments that are built on well-being, culture, infrastructure and a sense of place.

“As designers, we have a collective responsibility to preserve the dignity of places that we shape and construct. Architectural design has always occupied centre stage in my interests and I have converted this passion into practice,” said HH Sayyeda Mayyan.

She added that architectural design of spaces and places becomes more satisfying when it is transformed into reality, since it enriches the journey of an individual, who might be an architect, urban planner or interior designer.

HH Sayyeda Mayyan pointed out that, in the sphere of architectural design, there is open scope for learning and that one should not be shy or too concerned about committing mistakes.

The conference started with two working papers. The first paper, titled “Sustainable Land Use: We Design for Change”, was presented by Stefan de Koning (The Netherlands).

The second paper, titled “Blue Methods for Regenerative Design in the GCC Region” was presented by Eng. Anna Grichting, Founder of “Border Meetings” project and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Diplomatic Environment and Security, University of Vermont, USA.

The conference comprised two dialogue sessions on the present and future of architecture in Oman—the theory the reality. The first session saw the participation of Dr. Alya Al Hashim, Assistant Professor at the College of Civil and Architectural Engineering at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), Haitham Al Bousafi, Founder and Chief Engineer at Al Bousafi Company, and Marwan Al Balushi, architect and founder of Al Taqaddum (Progress) Office. The session was run by Rusafa team.

The second session evolved around the future of architecture in the Najran Region in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). It was debated by Amr Abdullah Attia, Vice President for Strategic Development Firm, and Walid Shaalan, Co-Founder and Director of Safar Studio, Dr. Amr Taiba, Managing Partner at PUD Consultants. The session was run by Dr. Na’eema Benkari, Assistant Professor in the College of Civil and Architectural Engineering at SQU.

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