BSBG staff members took part in a Careers Day at GEMS Metropole School, presenting to the students an overview, and offering advice and insight into a career path within the fields of Architecture, Interior Design and Structural Engineering – helping to prepare the young audience for what they may experience in their future career.
Roxanne Djaiji (Senior Design Architect), AJ Hutchinson (Senior Architectural Technologist), Alia Soufan (Senior Interior Designer), Sherif Saleh (Senior Structural Engineer) and Jake Stones (Architectural Intern) each spoke to the students about the individual routes they took towards becoming key members of the BSBG team across all disciplines.
After an introduction to BSBG presented by Roxanne, Jake was first to tell the class about his career progression role at BSBG. Jake is an intern with the group while completing his architectural studies at Heriot Watt University in Dubai. He explained his engagement with the earlier stages of design and further elaborated to the young students what it means to design a building when simply provided with a plot, a brief, rules and regulations and potentially a client vision.Next up, Sherif Saleh presented his own journey from Cairo to Dubai – a journey which has led him to become a Senior Structural Engineer. Sherif’s work relates to a different layer of the building we see – the structural and skeletal layer that keeps the building standing. He explained the structural engineer’s role within the design and construction process, with supporting examples of the process and the final outcome.AJ Hutchinson then took over and discussed his 12-year career which began in Dublin, Ireland. Having completed a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree (BSc Hons) in Architectural Technology, AJ also touched upon becoming a Chartered Architectural Technologist. He briefly explained his role in ensuring projects meet the regulatory standards, how BIM is used to coordinate building services in 3D, such as air conditioning and water pipes, and the importance of all disciplines working together throughout every stage of design. He also briefly spoke about the methodology behind building the current Dorchester Collection project in Dubai.Alia Soufan brought the presentation to a close, describing her role as a Senior Interior Designer with eight years’ experience, and explaining the steps she took to get to this advanced stage. Alia completed her studies in her home city of Beirut, where she achieved a Masters in Interior Architecture before coming to Dubai. The process of designing an interior starts with the client’s vision and required functionality of the space, she explained. A layout and mood images are created, materials and furniture are selected, and the presentation of a visualisation helps to turn the client’s vision into reality. In bringing the interior to life, an interior designer will always consider the end user’s interaction with the space, whether it’s for living, working or socialising.
“The students showed great interest when shown the layers within the building and how each discipline contributes to the final product,: Roxanne told us. The group then fielded questions from the students, who enquired about subjects that ranged from the daily tasks of an architect or designer, to the amount of time it takes to design and build large scale projects.
Roxanne continued: “The presentation gave us a good opportunity to engage with young people at the age where they begin to think about their futures. I think we helped to make the students consider the skills, qualities and personality traits needed to make it in the world of architecture, interior design and structural engineering. It was also interesting to show the students how we at BSBG, coming from different backgrounds, being raised in different cities with different career paths have come together as one team. It was also very rewarding for us to see young people engaged in the work we do, and how fascinated the they are with the structures and designs we build here in Dubai and around the world. The BSBG projects the younger generation related to the most were mainly the more well known ones such as Bluewaters Residential and The Beach.”GEMS Metropole School has grown rapidly since it was established in 2014, when just 90 students attended. Now approximately 860 students go to the school. Part of the mandate for GEMS Metropole comprises the notion that: “Exploration is the foundation for discovery,” and that: “Discovery is the foundation for innovation.”