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2023 Future of Architecture Summit to focus on nano-materials, AI-led generative software and super tall structures

The third edition will take place in Dubai on 14 June, while the Future Talent Awards has been spun off into its own event, scheduled for 12 September

The third edition of Middle East Consultant’s popular Future of Architecture Summit (FOA Summit) will take place on 14 June in Dubai, and will focus on several key topics, the magazine’s editorial team has revealed.

“There are three key topics up for discussion this year, and we’ve designed the event so that they run throughout the day, as major themes,” says Paul Godfrey, Head of Content at Middle East Consultant.

Discussing the key topics he says, “The first topic is the development and use of nano-materials in construction. This new generation of materials will live and breathe, soaking up carbon dioxide and enrich the atmosphere, which is ideal for enabling cities to counter the effects of global warming.”

“We will also be looking at the rise of AI-led, generative software. Its capability in terms of design innovation and its ability to package all aspects of the project – from concept to procurement and costing – means that any capable operators can potentially cut architects and designers out of the loop. But is this actually happening and is it a good thing?”

“The other debate throughout the event will be whether the current tendency to have a ‘downer’ on super-tall structures is for any good reason. Is it because we’re all obsessed with micro-communities and the ‘15-minute city’ or for sound, practical reasons? We will investigate!,” Godfrey notes.

The FOA Summit is free to attend for construction professionals and will feature several presentations and panel discussions, and will differ compared to its previous iteration.

Commenting on what attendees can expect to find done differently, Godfrey states, “Come along to this year’s event and you’ll find a greater emphasis on the pure design aspects than we had last year: we’re looking less at the urban strategies and the narratives and more at the designs that are quite literally re-shaping the world – and how they’re doing it.”

The second edition of the FOA Summit placed a strong emphasis on future talent and AEC students through the ‘Future Talent Awards’. Asked about whether this segment will make a return to the event in 2023, Godfrey replies, “So successful was last year’s student element that, this year, we’ve decided to run those awards as a completely separate, stand-alone occasion. It’s called the Future of Architecture Student Awards, and it will take place on 12 September.”

He continues, “Plus, this year, we’re opening the awards to university departments and graduate students across the whole of the GCC. So, the bar will be set really high, and we’re expecting to see a great deal of innovation and cutting-edge thought across the seven award categories.”

Discussing what is the one key takeaway he hopes delegates leave the 2023 event with, he remarks, “The Future of Architecture Summit is highly experiential. Come along and you’ll see the future being planned – and you’ll be involved in how it’s taking shape.”

“It’s where you can catch a glimpse of the policies, designs and mindsets that underlie what the region will be like to look at and live in by 2030,” he concludes.

Read more about the Future of Architecture Summit here. Sustainable development will also be discussed at Big Project Middle East’s second edition of the Energy & Sustainability Summit on 3 May.

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