Gerd Pfarré founded Pfarré Lighting Design in 1998, an independent lighting design practice based in Munich.
After completing an apprenticeship in carpentry and cabinet-making and working as a freelance interior designer, he joined the design team of Ingo Maurer in the early eighties.
Since 1998, Gerd is a professional member of the International Association of Lighting Designers IALD. From 2002 until 2005 he served as a Member of the IALD Board of Directors, in 2012 Gerd was inducted to the IALD College of Fellows. He is a frequent speaker at universities and conferences around the world, and a juror in the field of lighting design.
From 2011 until 2013 he was the co-editor of the print edition ILLUMINATOR. His studio is a recipient of over 100 national and international design awards, such as the most prestigious award in Lighting Design, the Radiance Award of Excellence. On the occasion of the 40th Lighting Design Awards in London 2016, Gerd Pfarré was named "Lighting Designer of the Year“. The projects of Pfarré Lighting Design have been featured in more than 400 publications worldwide.
Paul Miles has been working in the lighting industry for over a decade. During his development Paul has experienced working in many aspects of lighting, including Project Management, Lighting Consultancy, Independent Lighting Design & Working for world renowned European Luminaire Manufacturers.
In 2007 Paul relocated from the United Kingdom to the Middle East where he developed a lighting design department for WSP Middle-East. After the successful completion of various projects including the interior FOH Mall areas of Mirdif City Centre, Paul now is Principal Lighting Designer and Partner at Light Touch PLD L.L.C.
Notable Completed Projects
Following his graduation from the Democritus University of Thrace with a degree in Architectural Engineering in 2007 Nikos started working as a lighting designer.
Over the last 10 years Nikos has collaborated with several design practices gaining substantial experience in all stages of design till project completion by working in residential, hospitality, leisure, public spaces, heritage and
Nikos joined the dpa Dubai office in 2014 and is currently involved in some of the most exciting and challenging projects in the region.
Nikos believes strongly in the collective creative process and contributes to dpa’s diverse team, throughout the entire design process with his creative thinking and ability to communicate his ideas.
After graduating from architecture and town planning at PUCC-Brazil in 2002, Rodrigo started his lighting design career in 2004 at engineering company - Brisbane Australia.
After concluding his master degree in lighting design from KTH university Stockholm - Sweden, Rodrigo moved to Dubai in early 2007 to join a local lighting design studio where he was involved with a diverse range of projects in the Middle East.
With a large amount of experience within the region, Rodrigo joined Nulty at the beginning of 2016 to help continue to build on the success from London office throughout the Middle East.
Stuart Allen acquired the Middle East wing of UK design company Artillery four years ago to found award-winning consultancy Allen Architecture Interiors Design (AAID). In just seven years working in the region, Allen has established a world class portfolio of projects, a team designing and delivering innovative, ambitious and highly prestigious commercial projects throughout the Middle East, and a studio in London catering to international clients.
With extensive experience of delivering luxury hospitality, residential and retail interiors, Allen has built a reputation for AAID as a consultancy that values integrity and transparency, and delivers thoughtful, bespoke design solutions of unsurpassed quality and attention to detail. He inspires clients to maximize the potential of their projects through close collaboration, and works with local contractors, suppliers and artisans to achieve the high standard of work that has become a hallmark for AAID.
Allen is passionate about nurturing young talent, and supports employees’ development through workshops, off site seminars and in-house mentoring.
Completed and current projects:
Fifteen years USA based experience specialising in retail, residential, hospitality and corporate including: Kramer Design Group, New York as design director and lead VVTTdesigner for commercial retail projects worldwide.
Ellen Bishop is one of the Founding members of the International Award Winning company ‘Bishop Design LLC’ which established in Dubai in 2004.
Ellen possesses an innate desire to create customized signature Interior Designs both regionally and internationally and as Managing Partner for 12 years in Bishop Design, she has won over 40 Awards worldwide. Ellen has, through her 14 years in Dubai, completed projects across all sectors within the industry, and designed for some of the most prominent names in Hospitality, Residential and Commercial such as W Hotel, The Fairmont Hotel and Dubai Properties. She is also well known for completing some of the most luxurious Private Residences in the world.
Recently, Ellen has established ‘XBD Collective’, a multi-disciplined Design Firm that offers creative Architectural, Interior and Landscape Design Services.
‘XBD Collective’ is set up as a collection of multiple design disciplines including the new brands, ‘XBD Architecture’ and ‘XBD Interior Design’. ‘XBD Collective’ also incorporates the established award winning ‘Bishop Design Residential’. The Collective Group has been formed as a result of a high demand to expand the services within the organization, as well as natural evolution of continued growth.
George Katodrytis is an architect involved in practice, teaching and research. He is currently Professor and Head of the Department of Architecture at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. He studied and taught at the Architectural Association in London and he has been a visiting professor at various schools around the world. He built a number of projects in Europe and the Middle East as well as published widely on contemporary architecture, urbanism, cultural theory and digital media. The work addresses the ‘city’, especially as it is evolving in the 21st century. He is the co-editor of the Architectural Design issue ‘UAE and the Gulf: Architecture and Urbanism Now’ published in March 2015.
With a Master's in interior design from Manchester University and more than 22 years of hospitality design experience, Patrick Bean boasts an extensive and diverse portfolio. As the director of interior design at Lacasa, Patrick aims to achieve a balance of design, aesthetic and function while fully expressing his clients' vision.
His experience spans diverse markets including MENA, Asia, and Europe, having worked on the Address Hotel on the Boulevard, the Radisson in Liuzhou, China, and the Marriott in Minsk.
Dr. M. Nabyl Chenaf is a professor of Architecture and Dean of the school of Architecture, Art and Design at the American University in Dubai. Before that, he worked as the Editor of the Arabic/English edition of l”ARCA magazine of Architecture, Design and Visual Communication.
He taught Interior Design, Architecture and Urban Planning since 1989 year of completion of his Ph.D. from Nottingham University - UK.
He served as the president of the national committee of pedagogy of town management and urban techniques in Algeria, as well as a member/chair of organizing and scientific committees in several international conferences on Architecture and Urban Planning. He is a peer reviewer for research funding institutions and has been regularly involved in research supervision and juries for international competitions in Architecture and Urban Design.
Dr. Chenaf designed several buildings and urban settlements including new neighborhoods, rehabilitation of squatters and restoration.
Finally, Dr. Chenaf delivers training workshops in town management and planning to senior decision-makers and operators in the field in several countries.
With 30 years of experience in interior design, Mr. Merieau has honed his skills from the foundations of interior craftsmanship rising to the ranks of senior management. After an early education in hotel adminstration, he obtained a degree in Interior Design in 1989 and later qualified as Interior Architect in Geneva, Switzerland. Christian Merieau relocated in Dubai 2005 as Managing Director for well know international design firm. After nearly 20 years with this firm designing projects for international hotel operators such as Hyatt, IHG, Millennium, Rezidor, Rosewood, Marriott, Starwood and Accor, he launched MMAC Design Associates, an award winning boutique Dubai based interior design consultancy agency specialized in mid-scale & luxury hospitality design. Mr. Merieau was listed on several occasion as one of the most influential designer in the Middle East by Commercial Interior Design magazine. He has also helped drive the growth of APID, the Association of Professional Interior Designers since 2009 and currently holds the role of Executive Board member.
Gerald Strickland works with regional and global stakeholders to align international energy efficiency and environmental regulations with a focus on the lighting sector. On behalf of a number of lighting associations, he has played a key role in securing mandatory legislation for the phase out of inefficient lighting across the European Union and in the Middle East region. Gerald has served as an advisor to the Australian Department of Climate Change & Energy Efficiency, the National Reform & Development Commission of the People’s Republic of China, the UN Environment & Development Programs, the World Bank, the International Energy Agency and numerous leading international lighting manufacturers.
Melani Sabhaney brings with her 24 years of expertise as a design consultant. She started her career in Bangalore, India and worked with reputed builders and companies.
She curated an art gallery called Atelier in Bangalore, hence worked with various artists in India.
After moving to Dubai 16 years ago, Sabhaney worked with renowned consultants such as NEB and DesignTeam UK until 2005 when she started her own practice, Interspace, along with her business partner, Paul Ninan. The 12-year-old firm has worked with high profile clientele in hospitality, luxury residences and retail across the GCC, India and the Far East.
She has a practical and empathetic approach to design.
Her strong belief in maintaining relationships has a proven record with repeat projects from multiple clients and with more than 132 stores for the same gold and jewelry group.
Born in Portugal, Sneha holds a Master Degree in Architecture from the University of Porto and has attended courses at Delft University of Technology and Istanbul Technical University. Sneha specialized in Interior Design at New York University and has experience working with renowned architecture and design consultants in Lisbon and Dubai working on projects globally prior to founding the Atelier in Dubai.
In 2017, the Atelier was a finalist at the Index Design Awards, shortlisted for SBID Awards, won the CID Awards Residential category, an International Property Award for Apartment Design Arabia and Sneha won the CID Designer of the Year award. Sneha Divias Atelier was also featured in the Architectural Digest Middle East AD 50 list that recognizes talent in the region.
This background that spans across borders, has proven an innate skill for successfully delivering projects with very high standards of demeanour and intuitive elegance. Sneha is able to integrate the business objectives of the clients into strategic solutions with an approach that is both creative and pragmatic.
A passionate and urbane architect with a highly creative brain and detail oriented, Sneha has a true entrepreneurial vision in how she helms the Atelier.
Deepu Raj holds a Masters of Technology - Lighting Design from Manipal University. Inspired by an international lighting designer, Deepu moved to Dubai in 2003 to work as an architectural lighting designer with a leading local firm and his breakthrough came about in 2005 by winning an international lighting design competition based out of Qatar. This led to paving the grounds to setting up LET Design Lighting Consultants in the same year. Within a span of just 12 years, LET Design Lighting Consultants has grown to be one of the biggest lighting consultants across the Middle East, Africa and India.
Today LET Design Lighting Consultants have two corporate offices in Dubai and India and is a recognized consultant with almost all leading hotel operators around the world.
David Lessard is Director of Hospitality at Perkins+Will Dubai . With over a decade of experience in the design, management and execution of innovative hotel & lifestyle projects David has actively contributed to the realization of several award winning works with ongoing projects in Morocco, Oman and Seychelles.
Richard is the Studio Chair and Principal of the Dubai Studio at Woods Bagot and is an experienced RIBA and ARB registered Architect and Principal with over 15 years of wide-ranging international experience.
His experience ranges from inception to completion covering a multitude of sectors including cultural, residential, workplace, hospitality and education.
Since joining the Dubai studio in early 2011 Richard has led some significant and notable projects
including the IRENA HQ building and a ground-breaking large scale residential development at Masdar City. In addition to providing studio and project leadership he is the Middle East Client Leader and is also a committee member of the Middle East Council for Offices (MECO), an external group dedicated to improving the quality of office developments in the region.
Richard has excellent design capabilities and demonstrates strong leadership, communication and technical skills along with commercial acumen. Richard is passionate about design and is committed to producing projects of the highest quality.
Juan Hildebrand has been responsible for the design department in Dubai since 2017. Argentinian by birth, he is unquestionably an expert when it comes to intercultural understanding and a passionate designer specializing in retail and product design. Since 2006, he has been part of the Schwitzke & Partner team and was a head of department at our Düsseldorf headquarters for more than ten years.
As a graduate of Architecture, Nadine has been exposed to building In-Out design, and also has an enhanced understanding of space planning and functionality. Her design abilities are always adaptable, and most definitely not defined by style or budget as she can switch between luxurious to affordability in order to consistently deliver perfection.
Currently the Director of Design at The First Group, Nadine is in charge of mixed use and hotel projects. She has more than 11 years’ experience in the region dedicated mainly to interior design and fit out work execution.
Nadine has successfully delivered more than 3500units in the UAE and is currently working on another 1500units. Her participation in projects lies between design and execution of the fit out works, including day to day follow ups with involved parties such as contractors, consultants and clients. Her current position also allows for more involvement in terms of budgeting and financial reporting.
Rikus graduated with Bachelor of Science in South Africa. He started his career by manning the lighting set up in the auditorium of his almamater when he was still a student. Soon, he was recruited to join an acapella group on their African tour as a lighting technician, where he toured all over South Africa and Qatar.
His first big break was at the Doha Tribeca film festival, one of Qatar’s largest entertainment events that attract well over 50,000 guests annually. From then he flourished to manage the stage lighting for many concerts and events, including Samsung S4 launch, Sarah Brightman Concert, Cat Stevens and Qatar National Day.
After being in Afrika for a few years, Rikus launched his career in UAE where he directed the lighting for prominent events such as the Abu Dhabi Film Festival and Dubai Art Week.
Based from Illuminate Dubai, Rikus brings fresh perspectives to entertainment and staging venues.
British Architect Jennie Binchy graduated from The Bartlett, UCL in 2002 with commended design work and achieving the highly coveted drawing prize. After working in London for five years at Gollifer Langston Architects, she moved to Dubai in 2008, settling in a contemporary design practice as Associate Architect and Head of Interior Design.
Her projects won several design awards, including Commercial Interior Design – Office of the Year 2012 and Education Project of the Year 2014, and her department was highly commended for “fresh talent and unique style’.
Completing many projects, including award-winning designs for GEMS, GE and Xerox, with 15 years’ experience Jennie co-founded Binchy and Binchy, a boutique Architecture and Interior Design office, which began practicing in 2016. Binchy and Binchy’s first completed project won Best Interior Design – Food & Beverage Category, Project of the Year 2017 at this year’s Commercial Interior Design Awards.
Vinod began his career as an architect with an award-winning architectural firm in India, specialising in high-end hospitality projects. His introduction to lighting was incidental, as part of the pursuit to respect and accent the architecture he loved creating. His body of work ranges from high-end commercial to boutique residential to deluxe hospitality projects, in Australia, India, China and the Middle East.
At LW, he is the Principal in the Lighting Design department with his involvement in all phases of design - from design conception and development to completion and commissioning of the project. Vinod has also been an active member of the lighting academia lecturing design courses at the reputed University of Sydney and conferences in the Middle East.
Andrea Sensoli has professionally grown in Florence, Italy, where Renaissance heritage and modern lifestyle combine a very inspiring cultural environment.
In Architecture, this was expressed by the so called Florentine School, in which belonged to prof. Pier Luigi Spadolini, who tutored Andrea to his degree with honors in 1993.
After five years of apprenticeship with renowned firms like Studio Archea and Claudio Nardo, he started his own practice developing residential and retail projects. With the new century, important brands appeared among his clients, such as Yves Saint Laurent, Sergio Rossi, Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen.
In 2002, the individual activity turned into corporate, founding ASZarchitetti Ltd with the three partners, Cecilia Morosi, Iacopo Mannelli and Andrea Rettori.
In 2008, following the increasing workflow towards international projects, ASZ started its branch in Dubai and, in the same fashion, it moved to Shanghai four years after. This is when the business in Luxury Retail spread up to all the major brands, such as Louis Vuitton, Dior, Bottega Veneta, Cartier, Tiffany & Co., Burberry among the others.
In answer to this overwhelming importance of the luxury retail, in 2015 Andrea decided to create SUPERFUTUREDESIGN*, as a new and separate commercial brand, dedicated only and exclusively to Creative Service, from concept design to brand awareness and art direction. But the two brands represent two facets of the same thought.
Andrea and his partners are driven by a profound love for design and for their office. They like to exercise themselves from web design to master-planning. Passing through product design furniture design, private houses, besides luxury retail. Their professional ethic stands on solid principle. Their attitude “to look from a different angle” is always enlightened by coherence with their very roots: in their projects, they have always wanted to give shape to the dichotomy between heritage wisdom and post-modern lifestyle, in a dynamic balance between high-tech elements and tectonic masses.
Now Andrea Sensoli is the architect principal in both ASZarchitetti and SUPERFUTUREDESIGN*. With 20 years of professional experience, he represents the two brands and supervises the overall activity. He is mostly based in Dubai, close to his team in the latest challenge, opportunely traveling to the other offices of the network.
Faraz is an award-winning Architectural Lighting Designer working for KEO International Consultants - one of the biggest multi-disciplinary practices in the region. Faraz has over 11 years of experience in a wide range of lighting design projects and applications.
In 2002 after graduating as an Architect, Faraz started off his career in the mainstream Architecture before the world of lighting lured him in. He made his shift to work as a Lighting Designer in 2004. After working for a couple of Dubai based offices, Faraz joined KEO’s Abu Dhabi’ Design Division in 2008. Faraz’s responsibilities include managing the complete lighting design packages for the projects within KEO’s Design Division. Faraz’s Architectural Lighting support extends to KEO’s Landscape Planning and Infrastructure Divisions, and to KEO’s Dubai, Kuwait and Doha offices as well.
Faraz’s experience varies extensively and covers lighting for residences, corporate offices, hospitality, facades, schools & universities, automotive showrooms, museums, religious and community buildings, landscapes, public realm, lighting for sports, transport terminals and lighting master planning. Faraz has worked closely with Municipality of Abu Dhabi City and has been a vital member of the team which provided the studies to develop new Street and Public Realm Lighting Standards and Regulations for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, as per the international best practices.
Faraz is also an associate member of IALD and stays actively involved in the IALD activities specific to the region”. Recently Faraz has been selected as one of the top “40 under 40” Lighting Designers of 2017 globally by one of the prestigious publications of the industry - The Lighting Magazine based in the UK.
Omid has received a Master of Architecture from the University of Arizona and a Bachelors of Arts with Honors in the architecture from the University of Central England.
Since graduating, Omid has designed, presented and successfully completed more than forty architectural projects in the United Kingdom, United States of America, Nigeria and United Arab Emirates.
The Managing Partner of ZAS Group of Companies, DJ began practicing Architecture after obtaining a Doctorate in Architecture, a Master in Urban and Regional Planning in Paris at Sorbonne University and a Master of Architecture from Tehran University.
His extensive design and management expertise of large scale & complex, mixed-use, high rise, and master planning projects has led to the successful completion of several large neighborhoods, infrastructure, cultural, corporate, institutional, residential, hospitality, passenger terminals, city centers and private/public sector projects.
Having been actively involved with private clients as an expert advisor on Master plans, he has also represented as an Expert Witness on Master Planning for a private developer against a semi-government Master developer from Abu Dhabi, and was also retained by the Government of Libya to masterplan the alternative Tripoli downtown, 10 square kilometers of area.
DJ has over 35 years of experience in managing and designing various projects in countries like Canada, Caribbean Islands, France, Ivory Coast, United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Oman, Kurdistan, Iran, Morocco, India and Angola. His knowledge is broad and varied, and he has contributed in expanding his company’s operation in the Middle East, opening of ZAS International office in 2004 in Dubai.
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