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Talks and lectures

RIBA at The Big 5 Digital Festival 2020

The Big 5 is the largest and most influential building and construction show in the Middle East. This year's show will be held online. As the festival's architecture knowledge partner, the RIBA will deliver two seminars for the Middle East and global audience.

We are excited to announce our partnership with The Big 5 Digital Festival 2020 as their architecture knowledge partner.

The Big 5 is the largest and most influential building and construction show in the MENA and South Asia and the global meeting hub for the construction industry. It attracts over 67,000 global attendees to Dubai every year. It is designed to welcome the global and regional construction communities, to hear economic outlooks for the industry, how technology and sustainability are at the heart of building smart cities and how the people in construction are driving impact and growth.

The festival will take place online this year, from 23 to 26 November 2020.

RIBA Director of International, Azlina Bulmer, said:

“As an international organisation with offices in the UAE, UK and China, the RIBA supports architects and architecture students globally. We are pleased to partner with The Big 5 Digital Festival in its inaugural year. Architecture and design have an important role to play in our adaption and response to the global pandemic, and this year’s festival provides a great opportunity for architects from around the world to come together to learn and share their experience and expertise.”

Architecture events at The Big 5 Digital Festival 2020

Architecture panel discussion: Designing for health – how buildings can promote wellbeing

23 November 2020 at 3.30pm GST

When discussing health, architecture is not the first thing that comes to mind but its influence is inescapable. What is the impact of architecture on wellbeing and why should architects design with health as a priority?


  • Mina Hasman RIBA, Lead Sustainability and Wellbeing Operations at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (UK)
  • Jennie Binchy RIBA, Director at Binchy and Binchy (UAE)
  • Ann Marie Aguilar, Senior Vice President EMEA - International Well Building Institute (USA)
  • Michael Obermair, CEO at Wolf System

Architecture keynote: Sustainability reset – architecture to overcome climate crisis

25 November 2020 at 3.15pm GST

Keynote speaker Gary Clark will explore the following questions:

  • How do the practice, culture, and pedagogy of architecture and landscape architecture need to shift to combat climate change?
  • How can architects identify the right premise in solving problems and optimise their efforts when it comes to their approach to climate change?
  • Could interpreting buildings as open, active systems rather than inert objects enable us to develop better solutions for the climate crisis?

Keynote speaker

  • Gary Clark RIBA, Principal and Regional Leader of Science + Technology at HOK and Chair of RIBA's sustainable futures group

Find out more about the events on the Big 5's website.

Disclaimer: Please note that registration is with The Big 5, and the information you provide is directed to The Big 5 for the purpose of registration to the event.

In partnership with The Big 5 Digital Festival.

Logo for the Big 5 Digital Festival