Speaking yesterday at a Downtown Design panel discussion on Architecture and Design that Embody Authenticity and Place, Robert Shakespeare, Group Design Director, talked about the necessity of embedding the built environment in regional context to enhance identity and sense of place.
Joined by Jonathan Ashmore (Founder and Principal Architect, ANARCHITECT) and Neydine Bak (Co-Founder, Verhaal), Robert talked about the use of context, culture and history as a roadmap to creating honest design; a vital part of every city telling a unique story. He spoke about how homogenised global style erodes identity, taking away from the authentic experiences we all seek when we travel; that as clients and end users become more sophisticated and well-travelled their appetite for a unique narrative is ever greater.
Debating the line between authentic design and pastiche, Robert emphasised the need to refrain from copying the past but rather to interpret it. That if we want to represent the future of a place, the references we select should be used in a way that distills the past, the culture and the patterns, and interprets them in a way that shines new light on them.
As part of a series of pertinent Downtown Design Forum panels and talks, we were pleased to contribute to the to this lively discussion during Dubai Design Week.