As 2013 draws to a close, we speak to seven practices around the world to find out how business has fared this year, what is predicted for the AEC industry in 2014 and what to gifts are most favoured by design professionals…
Shaun Killa, Atkins
What has been the highlight of the year for your office?
The year started with several exciting master plans in and around Dubai were we could create true live-work-play environments. These have evolved in numerous interesting mixed use, hospitality and cultural building projects which have created an encouraging optimism in our staff and our clients. The year culminated in the announcement of the Dubai Expo 2020, which has accelerated the optimism within the region.
What shifts/trends have you witnessed in the global market in 2013?
There is strong sentiment that there is a real turn in the global markets with regards to property prices and the appetite to start developing sustainable and economically sensible projects. We have seen that China, India, several African countries and parts of the Middle East are accelerating this growth.
What are your predictions for the AEC industry in 2014?
Compared to the last six years, I believe that the AEC market will have a prosperous year ahead as property developments and government infrastructure locally and abroad become a necessity for sustained growth. I believe skilled architects and engineers will become a challenge however an opportunity for young talent to explore new cultures. We are optimistic that clients have learnt that quality developments have greater longevity and economic sense when cultural enrichment, improved education, sporting facilities and leisure are an integral part of any new master planned development.
Where would your ultimate festive getaway be?
Sailing on a 50 to 60 foot yacht with my family and friends with islands to explore and miles away from any blackberry signal.
What design present would you most like to receive this year?
A spatial 3D scanner with voice commands and hologram interface that that can fit into my pocket and builds 3D designs while describing it. I may have to wait a while.
More industry insights…
David Cole, BTI
Daniel Safarik, CTBUH
Shaun Killa, Atkins
Elliot March, March & White
James Zheng, Goettsch Partners
Caroline Bos, UNStudio