United Arab Emirates

Date: November 11 · 2017

November 11 · 2017


On November 11th, Roca organised the second UAE edition of the Roca One Day Design Challenge. The competition was part of the Dubai Design Week, and garnered heavy interest from the nation’s design students and young professionals. With the participation of over 210 students and professionals from the architecture and design fields.

The challenge posed to the Dubai participants has been to create a bathroom product that not only covers the basic hygiene and sanitation needs, but also provides an experience related to wellness. The challenge focused on the redesign of traditional bathroom products to help users follow a healthy lifestyle in their homes. The proposal could include new features or functions such as the monitoring of body parameters, inspiring activities or the improvement of basic needs, with the aim of promoting healthy and wellness habits in the private bathroom.

The three sets of winners walked away with a first, second and third prize of 6.000 AED, 4.000 AED and 2.000 AED respectively. In addition, the We Are Water Foundation has awarded an additional 2.000 AED award to the project that significantly represents the value of sustainability. The first place went to Rethinking Red, Blue & Everything in between devised by Reem Elwazeer, Reem Jeghel and Habiba Khalifa of the American University of Sharjah. The second award went to Intelligent Recovery Shower, created by Andrei Razvan Baluta, and the third to Re-invention of the Arabian toilets conceived by Rami Shatat. The We Are Water Foundation price went to Dúo, from Nihala Hashir, Aman Sasan and Zahrin Judith, of the Manipal University of Dubai.

Awarded projects

3rd prize

Re-invention of the Arabian toilets



Laura Bielecki

Senior Interior Design Manager, Ellington

Laura Bielecki is a professional interior designer and Senior Interior Design Manager with Ellington Properties in Dubai.

The recipient of the ‘2012 Middle East Young Interior Designer of the Year’ at the 2012 Commercial Interior Design Awards, Laura has extensive experience in this sector that underlines her pivotal role in the ongoing success of Ellington.  

A graduate in Applied Interior Design from Mount Royal University in her native, Calgary, Canada in 2006, she has worked on a number of prestigious projects including high-rises in New York and Montreal. She also has commercial and government design/project management experience in Western Alberta and residential, hospitality and education experience in Qatar and the UAE.

Laura sits as a judge on several panels relating to key industry awards in the Middle East.



Sneha Divias

SNEHA DIVIAS ATELIER is a boutique interior architecture studio based in Dubai specializing in commercial, hospitality and residential projects.

Born in Portugal, Sneha holds a Master Degree in Architecture from the University of Porto and has attended courses at Delft University of Technology and Istanbul Technical University. Sneha specialized in Interior Design at New York University and has experience working with renowned architecture and design consultants in Lisbon and Dubai working on projects globally prior to founding the Atelier in Dubai. In 2017, the Atelier was a finalist at the Index Design Awards, shortlisted for SBID Awards, won the CID Awards Residential category and Sneha won the CID Designer of the Year award.

This background that spans across borders, has proven an innate skill for successfully delivering projects with very high standards of demeanour and intuitive elegance. Sneha is able to integrate the business objectives of the clients into strategic solutions with an approach that is both creative and pragmatic.

A passionate and urbane architect with a highly creative brain and detail oriented, Sneha has a true entrepreneurial vision in how she helms the Atelier. Sneha is a travel junkie, art and nature enthusiast and yoga practitioner who loves to be actively involved in the design community.



Hazem El-Khatib

Managing Partner and Lead Designer. Hazem’s career is marked by many distinctions, not least of which are his frequent invitations to be a guest speaker at international design conferences and regular contributions to interior design forums on televisions and radios. Hazem is a founding member of APID in Dubai UAE (The Association of Professional Interior Designers). In addition to his extensive experience in the field of professional practice, Hazem taught many subjects of Interior Design at Western Carolina University (USA) and at The American University in Dubai (UAE). Hazem served as a member of the Board of Directors for TECHNOGYM Emirates in the UAE.



Kevin McLachlan

Kevin McLachlan has more than 25 years’ experience in designing destinations from the UK to North Africa and the Middle East developing successful concepts for the hospitality industry, residential and corporate sectors. He has been involved in numerous projects in the hospitality and leisure industry from small scale food and drink outlets to large master-planned mixed-use developments, from Glasgow’s Groucho Club Hotel to Ibiza’s Café Mambo and Dubai’s Madinat Jumeirah.

Scottish born Kevin joined GAJ in 2012 as Head of Interior Design and currently leads a 45-strong team. Under his leadership the team have delivered many exciting projects from the Fairmont in Ajman, the Sheraton Hotel Mall of the Emirates and the Hilton Garden Inn Dubai Mall of the Emirates with a number of ground breaking projects across the region still under construction.

Kevin has designed more than 180 restaurant, hotel and leisure interiors during his career including some of the region’s most recognised landmarks. His design ability, vision and conceptual work transcend all areas of design but it is his passion and creativity that he brings to each project that makes him a highly respected industry leader.

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Victor Schoone

Victor Schoone Msc Business Administration Erasmus University Rotterdam (Rotterdam School of Management) and CEMS Master ESADE Business School. Born in Rotterdam, Netherlands (1972), is the Country Manager for the Middle East region and surrounding countries since 2006 when he established the Roca Sanitario, S.A. Representation Office in Dubai, UAE.

Employed by Roca since 1998, his mission has been in the Middle East region to work towards achieving a leadership position for the Roca brand and pursue the recognition of the market of the key values defined by the Company: Sustainability, Innovation, Design, and Wellbeing.