Amsterdam – Architect, author, and founder of AKKA Architects, Stephanie Akkaoui Hughes has developed a unique visionary approach to her field, hinging on collaboration and outlined in her talk at St-W Lab on 21 February. The ambitious young entrepreneur will speak alongside other panel discussions, workshops, and speakers as part of the two-day event that brings together the most innovative clients and studios for a compelling peak into the future of the built environment. Hughes will offer insight into her innovative creative process and perspective as part of her talk, How to Design Human Interaction.
Born and raised in Beirut, Stephanie Akkaoui Hughes immediately went to work for the distinguished firm OMA post-graduation, where she headed international projects and refined her ideology that is evident in her work for AKKA. In line with the future-facing focus of St-W Lab, she cites collaboration and human interaction as the breeding ground for innovation – and ultimately, solutions to today’s complex problems.
‘The beginning of any process of innovation is sharing ideas, sharing knowledge, sharing work and sharing insights. I believe the digital future we are going towards will enhance and make more urgent the need for sharing; events such as St-W Lab are only going to gain in importance.’
The rise of collaborative spaces seemingly collides with the concurrent trend of personalization, and a general obsession with individuality. Hughes emphasizes the manner in which this exchange ought to occur; rather than sharing for the sake of sharing, she emphasizes engagement, ‘to actually have different parties build on each other’s ideas in the aim of creating something new, where the result is more than the sum of the parts.’
Her philosophy demonstrates a consistent sensitivity towards humans, with conceptual projects such as the Worlds of Play floating museum or the Al Alif University, where space is tailored particularly for the interactions that will occur there. She advocates even technological integration on a manageable scale to ensure inclusivity:
‘I think physical spaces should be able to function with and without technology, at least for the initial transition period, to accommodate all types of personalities – [it] should be there to support and enhance the human experience, not replace it.’
Come hear Stephanie Akkaoui Hughes speak in person at St-W Lab on 21 February by today.