Lina Ghotmeh

Architect Lina Ghotmeh is the founder of the Paris-based studio Lina Ghotmeh – Architecture. Evoking her past life in Beirut, she sees her practice as an “archaeology of the future”: each project evolves from her research, in symbiosis with nature, as an expression of the essence of the raw material from which it is crafted. Her work includes the Estonian National Museum (designed in partnership Dorell.Ghotmeh.Tane); the “Stone Garden” tower in Beirut, winner of the Dezeen 2021 project of the Year award and distinguished for its hand-carved surface; “Réalimenter Masséna”, her winning design in response to a call for innovative projects by the City of Paris; and the new Ateliers Hermès, a passive, low-carbon building under construction in Normandy.

Lina Ghotmeh was the Fall 2021 “Louis I Khan” Visiting Professor of Architectural Design at the Yale School of Architecture. She held the 2021-22 Frank Gehry International Visiting Chair in Architectural Design at the University of Toronto, and is a professor and member of the International Academy of Architecture. In 2020, she received the Schelling Architecture Award and the Tamayouz Woman of Outstanding Achievement award. She is a winner of the Prix Cardin (2019, awarded by the Académie des Beaux-Arts, France), the Prix Dejean (2016, from the Académie d’Architecture), and the Grand Prix AFEX (2016). In 2022, Lina Ghotmeh is appointed as the Architect of the 22nd Serpentine Pavilion in London. The pavilion will be celebrated in June 2023.

Her work has been exhibited at the MAXXI in Rome, at the Cooper-Hewitt, the Smithsonian Design Museum in New-York, the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale, the Building Centre at the V&A in London, and the Danish Architecture Centre in Copenhagen.

Nik Hafermaas

An internationally recognized and award-winning artist, designer and educational leader, Nik is a regular keynote speaker on creative leadership topics at conferences around the world.

Nik is a passionate advocate for creative strategies that address the relationship between breakthrough technology and being human.

An innovator and initiator of creative collaborations between industry, education, research, and social innovation, he founded the artist platform Ueberall International, specializing in exhibitions and art+tech installations that converge digital media and spatial experiences.

In his 14 years leading the undergraduate and graduate Graphic Design Departments at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, Nik has created a revolutionary transmedia curriculum that fuses print, packaging, motion and visual interaction design.

At the Berlin-Based innovation agency Graft Brandlab, Nik is expanding the creative integration of digital experiences into the physical environment in his role as Managing Partner, Creation.

Ellen van Loon

Ellen van Loon is one of the world’s leading architects. She joined OMA in 1998 and became Partner in 2002. She has led award-winning building projects that combine sophisticated design with precise execution. Recently completed projects led by Ellen include the shop-in-shops for Jacquemus at Galeries Lafayette and Selfridges (2022), the temporary store on Avenue de Montaigne in Paris for Tiffany & Co. (2022), Monumental Wonders exhibition for SolidNature in Milan (2022). Bvlgari Fine Jewelry Show (2021), Brighton College (2020), BLOX / DAC in Copenhagen (2018), Rijnstraat 8 in The Hague (2017), and Lab City CentraleSupélec (2017).

Other projects in her portfolio include Fondation Galeries Lafayette (2018) in Paris; Qatar National Library (2017); Amsterdam’s G-Star Raw Headquarters (2014); De Rotterdam, the largest building in the Netherlands (2013); CCTV Headquarters in Beijing (2012); New Court Rothschild Bank in London (2011); Maggie’s Centre in Glasgow (2011); Casa da Musica in Porto (2005) – winner of the 2007 RIBA Award; and the Dutch Embassy in Berlin (2003) – winner of the European Union Mies van der Rohe Award in 2005. Ellen is currently working on The Factory Manchester – a large performing arts venue for the city; Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe) Berlin – Europe’s biggest department store – and KaDeWe Vienna; and the Palais de Justice de Lille.

Wael Al-Awar

Wael Al Awar is a Dubai-based architect at the forefront of sustainable architecture, linking craftsmanship and advanced technologies. He won the Golden Lion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021 for his work on concrete made from salt crystals, an experiment that encourages us to think about the delicate relationship between waste and production on both global and local scales. He is the founding partner of waiwai, a firm based in Tokyo and Dubai.

Wael blends his interest in natural phenomena into an architectural style of light, time, structure and landscape. His research aims to create architecture capable of going beyond mere construction while remaining open to new forms of adaptation; his site-specific designs aim to encourage unexpected experiences. Wael is distinguished by his multidisciplinary approach to design that considers social, environmental, economic and technological aspects.

Omer Arbel

Omer Arbel is the co-founder and creative director of lightning company Bocci and one of the world’s leading designers. Omer was born in Jerusalem in 1976, but grew up in Vancouver. He trained and worked as an architect. His first design pieces were characterised by technical intelligence and by pushing the limits of materials. Omer co-founded Bocci in 2005, which has since grown into an internationally recognised and renowned design label specialising in sculptural lighting and large light installations.

Omer's work has received some of the highest honors of contemporary industrial design and has been exhibited by the world’s most important museums, including the Barbican and V&A in London.

Marco Piva

Graduated at the Polytechnic of Milan, in 1977 he founded Studiodada Associates, one of the best known design studios of the Radical period. Since the beginning Marco Piva has been working in Italy as well as abroad on architecture, interior and industrial design projects, earning commendations and awards in Italy and abroad.

From 1987 to 1990 he was member of the Presidential Board of Associazione per il Disegno Industriale (ADI), the Industrial Design Association in Italy. In 1987, Marco Piva also founded IDA, International Design Agency that was an Italian interface for a World Design Network system.

In 1990, he also founded his own brand, Studio Marco Piva. From 1988 to 1991 he held the position of Italian Commissioner for the European Community Spring project for innovation and technology transfer. Along with a variety of designers, sociologists and marketing experts from Germany, France and England, he created the EDEA (European Design Expert Association), a strategic design consulting company. From 1997 to 2002 Marco Piva coordinated Hot Group (Hotel Technologies Group), the first interdisciplinary group of companies specialising in technologies for hotel and hospitality clients.

In 2001, a variety of experiences in strategic consulting in the field of design and hotel contract work culminated in consulting work with the hospitality division of Federlegno Arredo. Since 1999, this remarkable activity has been combined with teaching positions at universities and design institutes both in Italy and abroad, and the organisation of the post-graduate Master’s degree program at the Politecnico di Milano, the Scuola Politecnica di Design (Polytechnic School of Design) and the Istituto Europeo di Design (European Institute of Design) in Milan. In 2002 Marco Piva established “Atelier Design”, a design cell inside the structure of his own practice, where research and development are the fundamental keys of design.

From 2007 to 2009 he was scientific curator of Italian Contract Design, a project of Federlegno Arredo.

Janjaap Ruijssenaars

Architect, urban planner and inventor Janjaap Ruijssenaars is internationally known for his innovative projects, such as: Gravity Energy - a patented technique that harnesses the omnipresent force of gravity to generate electricity in a more efficient way, Floating Bed - a piece of furniture on a magnetic field that was awarded best invention of the year, Landscape House - an infinite building without an end or a beginning that will be 3d printed and Square House - a world premier that revolutionised terraced housing by giving more living quality at a higher density.

Janjaap talked on his inventions at many venues amongst which TEDX Maastricht (Netherlands), University of Cambridge (England) and NEXT Berlin (Germany). In his talks he elaborates on the creation ofan eco-system of internationally acclaimed partners to make those inventions a reality.

He will share the latest hurdles he took and progress he is making towards success.

Janjaap was educated at the Technical University Delft (Netherlands), University Barcelona (Spain) and Western State College of Colorado (USA). After graduating as an architect he started Universe Architecture Ltd. and, later on, Gravity Energy Ltd. As senior urban designer he works with stakeholders on the densification of Amsterdam. The city is facing an enormous task of building 50.000 houses before 2025.