BSBG observes Heriot-Watt University final year Architectural projects

BSBG Head of Design Armin Buchbinder and Senior Interior Designer Alia Soufan attended Heriot-Watt University Dubai this week as guest jurors, offering their expert critique on work by fourth year students studying the Architecture degree programme.

The students are currently working on a year-long project looking at ways in which architecture in Dubai could be changed or updated in order to enhance the city’s appeal and improve infrastructure. The project is entitled: “A World of Knowledge: Architecture and the Individual”, with students working under the supervision of Mary Jane Rooney, Head of Architecture, and Alida Bata, Head of Fourth Year.Heriot-Watt Dubai projectBoth Armin and Alia examined the students’ exploratory projects, which incorporated architecture and interior design. “There was a great amount of imagination applied in the projects, which was excellent to see,” Armin told us. “In a project such as this, it’s always refreshing to note the creativity that can shine through, uninhibited by the pressures of restrictive timelines or budget. The fundamentals of design were all there, and it served as a reminder, as we operate in the ‘real world’, to never forget the importance of thinking outside the box. I was able to give some ideas and feedback to the students on the process, and help them to prepare for the next stage in the assignment, where they will implement the brief and design a project.”


“We always look out for graduates that have the skills, know-how and vision to improve the built environment of the future”

Armin Buchbinder


Alia, one of BSBG’s top interior designers, was also impressed with how the students were able to illustrate their concepts with the use of different visual aids. “It was interesting to see how different students chose different means of presenting their ideas,” she said. “Some of the photo archives and diagrams were excellently pieced together and really expressed the concept very well. There were some students that used different media, such as short videos and small scale built models, which showed originality and resourcefulness. For me also it was good to see so much passion and a solid understanding of the principles of design.”Heriot-Watt BSBG The Beach

Heriot-Watt student at BSBG

One of the Heriot-Watt students whose work Armin and Alia were casting their expert eyes over, is Jake Stones. He is an intern at BSBG, working as a Design Assistant on the Concept Team while completing his degree at the university; gaining invaluable experience in a professional environment, as well as studying.

“Jake has done very well at BSBG and has been an asset to the concept team,” Armin told us. “I think that, especially in the modern architectural industry, it’s invaluable for young architects to get first hand experience of live projects, deadlines and the pressure that can sometimes come with that – as early as possible. We’ve supported Jake in his studies, but he has also impressed us with his own initiative, understanding and work ethic.”

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BSBG works with many of the leading schools, colleges and universities in Dubai, giving time to attend open day events, hold guest lectures and participate in panel discussions or project judging. Armin explains why he thinks this is such an important aspect to the business for a group like BSBG. “Young students like Jake and his contemporaries at Heriot-Watt are the future of our industry, and we must look to polish and nurture the talent they have,” he explains. “This is something we take very seriously at BSBG, and you can see if you look at our younger staff (many of whom have studied at the universities here) and the outreach programmes we participate in, we have extremely close ties to all of the top universities in the UAE that produce architectural talent. We always look out for graduates that have the skills, know-how and vision to improve the built environment of the future, and we are passionate about working alongside the universities and colleges in the UAE to help prepare students to take that next step.”

To find out more information on the Architecture and Interior Design programmes at Heriot-Watt University, follow the link here.