Mohammed AlMashharawi on why he established Archinet, one of the Middle East’s largest community platforms for the design profession.

With the rapid development in the cultural scene, the academic advancement and the mega projects being launched in Saudi Arabia, recently, the focus on the design profession – from architecture and interior design to infrastructure development and product design – has grown manifold.  There was already a growing interest in pursuing careers in these fields, but the latest developments in the Kingdom and around the Middle East have made these professions even more competitive.

As the Middle East invests in creating opportunities for professionals and enthusiasts to receive world-class design education within the region, and with the support of government initiatives targeted to nurture home-grown talent, these fields will become even more challenging for both fresh graduates, as well as established professionals.

To give you a better understanding of the number of fresh graduates entering the design industry, yearly, consider this: In KSA alone, there are around 17 universities & colleges, both of public & private institutions dedicated to the design profession. There are over 30 programs offering bachelor, masters and PHD degrees across the fields of architecture, interior design, urban planning, industrial design and other related fields.

On the other hand, outside academia and internships, there is very little room for fresh graduates and design students to engage with, gain insight and practical skills from design professionals. With more graduates being added to the industry year after year, the gap keeps widening.

ArchiNet was founded to meet this demand for socialising the profession of architecture and design and build a community around it.  Encouraging creatives to exchange their knowledge and share their experiences to empower others, Archinet also serves as a platform for career advancement.

Since it was founded in 2017, ArchiNet has grown to be amongst the region’s largest professional platforms with more than 20k members from Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries. Their first initiative, a Q&A series delving into the technical aspects of the profession is still one of the region’s most focused insight-sharing platforms. A travelling programme of talks and workshops connects design professionals across five Saudi Arabian cities with a year-long schedule of talks & lectures. The current climate has allowed Archinet to strengthen its engagement across the Middle East with a digital programme feature industry leaders.

A key Industry Partner of Downtown Design, ArchiNet continues to grow its programme, connecting and empowering design professionals in the Middle East and beyond. For more information on Architnet and their upcoming events and talks, please click here.