Riding the Rollercoaster

November 20, 2017

Ralf Steinhauer, Director at RSP Architects Planners & Engineers, reviews the past decade in architecture and looks ahead to the next ten years.

What is the main theme of your talk?

undefinedLearning from the past to be successful in the future. Looking back ten years to understand where we are at right now and try to forecast the next decade for our industry and profession from my point of view.

What are the current trends in architecture?

The market in 2017 shifted from mega projects into mid-size to smaller projects. The focus is more on design quality and the trends are ultra-modern buildings that are highly sustainable and cost efficient.

Innovation, new technology and sustainability have become more commonplace globally. Have you observed this in the regional construction sector?

Clients are still hesitant to go all out in terms of innovative ideas of construction and materials as the market is so competitive that conventional methods still dominate the industry. Sustainability is a big driver as more buildings will be used by the developer and therefore life span, life cycle cost and operational cost play a big role in the design stage already. The rising cost of water and electricity also play a role in the shift in perception.

What are the biggest challenges the sector has faced in the past decade?

Volatility in the market has been a big challenge. The whole industry, from consultants to contractors, has to work super-efficiently and extremely fast to absorb the falling fees since the global financial downturn at the end of 2008.

What will be the main architectural trends in the next decade?

The top trends will be the rise of new technologies in terms of modulation, pre-fabrication and of course 3D printing. The UAE is very keen on taking a leading role in the region and will succeed with ambitious goals for the construction industry for the next decade and beyond. Overall the quality of architecture will increase as more and more high calibre architects come to the region and also the talent pool of locally educated designers is growing by the year.


Ralf Steinhauer, Director, Director at RSP Architects Planners & Engineers, will present an Architecture Talk on Day 2 of The Big 5 in Dubai

Summit: Architecture Talks

Topic: A Rollercoaster Ride – Architecture and Construction Over the Past 10 Years

Time & Date: 14:10 - 15:10, 27 November

Location: Sheikh Saeed Hall 1


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