Dr Sumayah Al-Solaiman

Saudi Arabia's Architecture and Design Commission's plans and initiatives to grow the architecture and design sector sector will be highlighted by the commission's CEO Dr Sumayah Al-Solaiman at Index Saudi Arabia, which opens on Sunday (September 10).
Al-Solaiman will inaugurate Index Saudi Arabia and its co-located shows, the Hotel & Hospitality Expo, and the Lighting Design & Technology Expo and speak on the commission's programmes. 
With the Architecture and Design Commission looking at working towards improving and elevating the architectural and design sector, and as part of its national strategy, Dr Al-Solaiman will look to educate and spotlight how the sector is gearing up during her keynote address at this year’s Index Design Talks, part of Index Saudi Arabia.
Co-located with the Hotel & Hospitality Expo, and the Lighting Design & Technology Expo, Index Saudi Arabia opens today and runs until the September 12 at the Riyadh Front Exhibition and Convention Centre, and is the only dedicated event for buyers to source furniture, furnishings, textiles, interiors, and art. 
The show’s three-day Index Design Talks, featuring a theatre designed by Kristina Zanic Consultancy and Uni Décor, will tackle topics including: Unveiling the latest trends in interior, design and architecture; Local manufacturing: strengthening the design industry, and Bridging the gap between design and manufacturers.
In addition, as this year’s Index Saudi Arabia looks to emphasise sustainability, new technologies and creativity, visitors will also get the chance to see inspired and innovative installations on the show floor designed by students from across the world. 
Drawing on elements of sustainability and modularity, 11 students from Saudi Arabia, Poland, Colombia, India, UAE, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Kurdistan were tasked to create a design installation on the show floor that would speak to a Saudi audience and reveal the importance of modular furniture. 
Invented by Maria Sipińska-Małaszyńska PhD, Professor at Poznan University of Technology, and Co-owner of RCO Furniture based in Poland, the idea behind the modular furniture system and design is to show how it can effectively meet the market's demand while drawing on sustainable solutions. “As an architectural design academic teacher, I invited my international students to prepare artistic installation projects representing modular thinking. We will present it at this year’s Index Saudi Arabia to draw attention to sustainability in mass furniture production,” she said. 
The idea has also received support from the Saudi Royal Embassy in Poland, the Polish Embassy and Alfaisal University from Riyadh and Poznan University of Technology. 
The design has been created with zero-wastage and the installation can be easily repurposed, promoting a sustainable approach to furniture by extending its lifespan.
“One of the leading standards that had to be maintained was environmental consciousness, as regulated by the Kyoto Protocol and Saudi’s Vision 2030, so we had to look for the most environmentally-friendly solution.  Zero waste in furniture production is technically impossible. Nevertheless, it significantly improves the awareness of a life cycle of the product, and enables us to introduce eco-friendly materials, with a higher quality too,” she added. 
Speakers at this year’s Index Design Talks include: Marc Cerone, Senior Interior Architecture Director, Red Sea Global; Mohamed Goudah Elsaadany, Design Assistant Director, Diriyah Gate Development Authority; Pallavi Dean, Founder and Creative Director, Roar; Maya Ziade, Chief Development Officer – Premium, Midscale and Economy, Accor; Fahad Al Solaiman, Partner and Director, Collaborative Architecture SA | Partner and CEO, Saudi Tech Engineering Consultants; Amani Al Ibrahim, Partner & General Manager of Riyadh office, Kristina Zanic Consultants; Al-Johara N. Beydoun, Founder, Ink Design studio; Kerem Cengiz, MENA Managing Director, LWK+Partners.  - TradeArabia News Service