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The Nether­lands Em­bassy or­gan­ised a thought lead­er­ship ses­sion on Ur­ban De­sign and Architecture at the Msheireb En­rich­ment Cen­tre, which was fol­lowed by a view­ing party for TEDxBin­nen­hof, one of 40 around the world.

Open­ing the first ses­sion, Dutch Am­bas­sador HE Yvette van Ee­choud said that there were some global chal­lenges that the two coun­tries might tackle to­gether, smart liv­ing be­ing one of them. “How do we live in a hy­per-con­nected world, how do we cre­ate in­spir­ing de­sign and architecture…these are ques­tions worth dis­cussing.” The two coun­tries had much to share in this field, as the Nether­lands is also a densely pop­u­lated coun­try with lim­ited land and a lot of am­bi­tion, she said.

Co-founder of UN stu­dio ar­chi­tects, Caro­line Bos was the first to give a short pre­sen­ta­tion on what new-age Dutch ar­chi­tects can of­fer a grow­ing city like Doha, which is seek­ing to be a bea­con of ur­ban de­sign and architecture. Among the things she men­tioned were the Dutch habit of com­bin­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and ex­per­i­men­ta­tion, their in­ter­na­tional ori­en­ta­tion, their pen­chant for cre­at­ing pub­lic spa­ces that were so­cially sus­tain­able and re­spon­si­ble ur­ban­i­sa­tion. Fol­low­ing her, Philips Light­ing's Chief De­sign Of­fi­cer Ro­gier van der Heide spoke about ‘dig­i­tal fab­ri­ca­tion' and how tech­nol­ogy has em­pow­ered us to bring our ideas to life. “If you have an idea, you can cre­ate the so­lu­tion your­self with­out a shop floor. Free­dom of think­ing is free­dom of mak­ing,” he said. He also gave ex­am­ples of how architecture and de­sign can lead to in­no­va­tion like rein­vig­o­rat­ing an en­tire area of the city or con­trol­ling light lev­els on the street. This was fol­lowed by a panel dis­cus­sion with the two speak­ers and Qatari ar­chi­tects Nasser Al Amadi of QMA and Ameena Ah­madi of Qatar Foun­da­tion. The event was at­tended by rep­re­sen­ta­tives from QMA, Ashghal, QRail, Msheireb Prop­er­ties and a group of se­lect Dutch ar­chi­tects.

Chief De­sign Of­fi­cer at Philips Light­ing, RO­GIER VAN DER HEIDE, talks about his in­spi­ra­tions

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