Light + Intelligent Building Middle East 2024

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16 – 18 January 2024, Dubai World Trade Centre

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Light Middle East | Intelligent Building Middle East ends enlightening industry-shaping three-day run in Dubai

19 Jan 2023

In the Metaverse, architects are unconstrained by limitations, allowing them to push boundaries of what is imaginable, attendees hear at Smart Building Summit

DUBAI, UAE – Light Middle East | Intelligent Building Middle East, the region’s premier networking and sourcing platform for the lighting, design and building technology eco-system, ended its three-day run at the Dubai World Trade Centre today.

The 2023 edition hosted several new show features and activations, including the practical lighting design workshop, Meraki. An instant hit for visitors, the workshop is made up of a series of practical sessions that guide participants through the process of a lighting project, from concept development to project realisation.

Speaking from the show was lighting designer Dipali Shirsat, who is also the event host and workshop head. According to Shirsat, Meraki transcends traditional light workshops and offers a deeper merging of art, creativity, and celebration of light. “The event brings together one-of-a-kind light art installations that not only focus on inspiring young minds but also guides them to create a collective awareness,” she said.

“Meraki has been a truly fun learning and engaging experience together with the students, who were excited to get hands-on with light and delivered four amazing installations on four different concepts. We are grateful for the support extended by the universities and technical sponsors towards making this a successful first edition.” 

Speaking on the final day of the Smart Building Summit was Dr Jacques Khouri, Independent Senior Consultant and Digital Twins Advisor. Looking at how smart construction and the Metaverse are coming together, Khouri says that issues in construction can be helped with the adoption of new-wave technology.

“The main issues in construction come from a lack of planning, miscommunication, and outdated technology, which are driving new-wave tech adoption,” he said. “There is also an aspect of underqualified personnel that has led to overspending and under-delivery – another reason why technology is important.

“We started with 2D CAD, and now have 3D BIM’s and Digital Twins that allow for a highly collaborative process that mitigates room for error. With Digital Twins, the project itself becomes alive and something that can be manipulated in real-time.

“The next step is the Meta-Concept Design, where certain computer-generated realms allow people to purchase their own virtual real estate. These digital lots need to be developed, and – just as in the real world – architects are retained to design one-of-a-kind dream homes. Emerging Metaverse architects are unconstrained by the limitations of the physical world, principles of engineering or construction budgets, allowing them to push the boundaries of what is imaginable.”

Another new feature of this year’s event is ‘InSpotLight’, a talks platform highlighting the latest developments in the industry connecting lighting, technology, and the built environment. Kicking off the agenda was a 90-minute workshop hosted by LIGHT IN ME that explored work-life balance, well-being, environment, and sustainability.

Speaking at the talks, Magali Mendez, Co-Founder of LIGHT IN ME, believes that it is imperative design companies create awareness of the importance of a healthy office: Everything from interior to lighting design contributes to the benefit of the health of a workforce. In some locations, natural daylight can be scarce, which can resultantly cause health issues.

“Light has a dramatic impact on wellness and mental health,” she said. “When living in a place with low light levels during the winter, it can bring on seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is what I suffered from. During university, I decided to skip a module and head somewhere with year-round sun – it changed my life, I became happier, more driven and more energetic. As a lighting architect, this made me think deeper into the projects that I have worked on when people may not have natural sunlight – how can design, colour and mood help your body deal with the effects?

“My tips on how to become a mindful designer would be to adopt a beginner mindset to every project, listen deeply, and take on the client’s vision as it is up to you to make their dream a reality. And meditate to create – there are some things out with our control, so learn to accept those as it will make you a better designer.”

Light Middle East | Intelligent Building Middle East will return from January 16-18, 2024, at the Dubai World Trade Centre.