Gensler’s Middle East leadership talks about how design professionals can stay current and advance their careers given the extraordinary times we find ourselves in.

For A&D professionals, their chosen career includes lifelong learning and diversifying. Now than ever before it becomes even more necessary to evolve and develop both technical and soft skills. As the region's leading design studio, Gensler believes that the current scenario presents designers with an opportunity to stay abreast with design trends and technology and hone their capabilities.

Develop agility with various architectural drafting software

Alan Crystal, Design Technology leader at Gensler notes "as our roles evolve, we need to constantly develop our digital skills to stay relevant and ahead of the ever-shifting technological landscape." Our design process is fully digital, and clients demand more value from their projects. The core competencies such as design, planning, drafting, rendering, and BIM are invaluable, but if designers want to have an edge then they should consider courses in computational design and visual programming.

Sustainability - LEED® and WELL™

Buildings are intensive in their energy and material consumption. Designers with an understanding of sustainable building design and whole-building performance (including LEED® and WELL™ amongst others), will add additional value to both clients and the industry as a whole. A number of these courses are online, and self-study and exams can be taken virtually. The understanding of how to design healthy buildings is an invaluable asset.

"Studying WELL™ building allowed me to see how our health can be positively impacted by design," says Diane Thorsen, Design Director at Gensler. "I found the material insightful and allowed me to reconsider how we can influence other consultants and clients to rethink the power of design."

Business Knowledge

It is important to partner with clients to determine through design, their business strategy. This helps create and shape their business culture through workplace strategies, analysis, and design. Courses that offer Project Management or Market Research are a worthy addition to diversify one's skillset. Tim Martin, Managing Director at Gensler recommends "learning about the business of design; market research, and business strategy. Get to know your client's business. Our role as designers and architects is fast evolving, we need to think smarter about providing winning solutions."

Communication Skills

"As a designer, part of our role is to communicate our ideas, design thinking, and process so as to excite and inspire clients through storytelling," says José Fainé, Principal and Design Director at Gensler. This presents an opportunity to develop excellent communication skills. These can be honed through an online public speaking course or by simply watching many TED talks to understand the skill of presenting and storytelling. Hand sketching and practical drawings courses are also an excellent skill to develop.

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