Designing Dubai: Lessons in Urban Revolution

Not unlike the classic story of the tortoise and the hare, some cities move forward through slow, steady growth while others experience rapid, chaotic change. As communities increasingly compete against each other on the global stage, what can we learn from those in the grip of urban revolution? Are there lessons that can infuse a new dynamic into cities that don’t move as quickly?

As a worldwide multi-disciplinary design practice HOK’s 50+ years of life has provided a unique opportunity to participate in this age of contradiction. Drawing upon this experience we will explore Dubai and other communities undergoing different yet equally extreme change. Along the way we will highlight potential lessons learned that may have relevance in Ottawa.

Gordon Stratford, B.Arch, OAA, MRAIC, LEED® AP, TSA Senior Vice President | Director of Design, HOK

Gordon is responsible for the creative vision of HOK’s multidisciplinary, sustainability-driven Canadian design team. Leading a team of planners, urban designers, architects and interior designers, Gordon has been responsible for numerous local projects, including the University Health Network, Humber River Regional Hospital, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre’s M-Wing Vertical Expansion, Honda Canada’s new headquarters, and the City of Toronto Tall Building Study. A LEED® Accredited Professional, Gordon is a member of the Toronto Society of Architects, Ontario Association of Architects, and Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. He frequently speaks at design and planning conferences and is Chair of the Toronto Design Review Panel, and a Member and Past Chair of the Brant Community Healthcare System Board of Directors.