Great Futures, Riyadh: Malcolm Reading invited on architecture and design roundtable

Malcolm Reading brings competition perspective to panel discussing design standards

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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – 16 May 2024 – This week, Malcolm Reading participated in a joint UK and Saudi roundtable event on architecture and design. The discussion covered topics including design standards, local context and culture, the regulatory environment, and the competition scene across the Kingdom.

Alongside two other panellists – Dr Sumayah Al-Solaiman, CEO of the Architecture and Design Commission at the Kingdom’s Ministry of Culture, and Dr Valerie Vaughan-Dick MBE, CEO of the Royal Institute of British Architects – Malcolm was invited to bring the competition perspective to conversations, highlighting the role competitions have played in realising some of Saudi’s most innovative projects in recent years.

Malcolm commented:

‘Creativity and collaboration underpinned every session of Great Futures, so we were delighted to bring our experience of competitions’ role in delivering sustainable design and social change to the roundtable discussion.
The Kingdom’s giga-projects are well-known, but there is fascinating work in masterplanning, urban design, regeneration and cultural projects here, united by a commitment to design excellence and recognition of Saudi Arabia’s rich heritage.
Good design is a common thread, and the Saudis are very open to the creative power of competitions as a way to raise standards and introduce new talent at all scales.’

The event was part of the Great Futures two-day conference in Riyadh – the largest UK trade mission in a decade – led by four UK government ministers along with more than 300 business leaders from the UK.

This flagship mission kicked off a year-long programme to strengthen trade and cultural exchange between the UK and Saudi Arabia within the Vision 2030 framework – a £2.5 trillion project launched in 2016 by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, which seeks to diversify the Kingdom’s oil-dependent economy through cultural investment and social development.

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