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United Arab Emirates

Date: November 17 · 2018

November 17 · 2018


On November 17, Roca One Day Design Challenge held its third edition in the city of Dubai as part of the Dubai Design Week. The contest thus consolidates its presence in the Middle East with the participation of 135 young professionals and students in Design and Architecture.

This time, the briefing consisted in redesigning a bathroom product by adding new technological applications. This topic was especially challenging for attendees, who reside in a city where technology has a great importance.

"Eco-nnect" was the winning project of the first prize. Amur Abdelaziz and Marco Maximus proposed a technological solution to the bathtub where the device was perfectly integrated into the final design. The second prize went to Mai Ghazala and Nada Eleman for their project "Visage"; an elegant design mirror that incorporates a large number of functionalities through technology. "Barefoot Wellness" project won the third prize; designed by Farah Ahmed, Habiba Al and Rajwa Taifour, who offered a technology focused on communication through the feet. The Special We Are Water Foundation award went to "The Resevoir", for its sustainable proposal taking into account a social context in which water is a precious commodity. Beman Takla is its designer.

Awarded projects

3rd prize


Farah Ahmed

Habiba Aly

Rajwa Taifour



Aleksandra Nastik

Aleksandra is a designer and architect born in Serbia with more than 20 years of experience in these sectors. She graduated from the School of Architecture of the University of Belgrade in 1997. She has worked for different architecture and design studios in projects for some of the most important international hotel brands in the world, such as Marriot, Sheraton and Hilton Hotels, among others. She is currently based in Dubai, where she is working for the American architecture and design firm Gentler.



Ben Piper

Ben Piper is a Principal and Partner with Killa Design with 18 years of professional experience in architecture. He is an experienced leader with an excellent ability to lead multidisciplinary teams in the delivery of building projects. He has held senior roles in a variety of global practices including Gensler, Halcrow, Atkins, Perkins+Will and Killa Design in designing hotel, residential and mixed-use developments in the Middle East, India, China, US and the UK.

Ben holds several technology patents from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology based on his research into the field of computational design tools. He has an expert understanding of REVIT and other software that support the efficient production of fully coordinated design packages.  As a LEED Accredited Professional Ben is deeply committed to sustainable design and has implemented numerous energy, water and waste saving principles into his LEED Platinum rated design work.



Justin Wells

Justin is a registered architect who manages the Lifestyle Interiors Sector in the Middle East. Having taken up Senior roles for over 25 years of experience, Justin leads exemplary design outcomes in his projects throughout Australasia and Middle East. Experienced in award winning projects across all sectors of architecture and interior design, Justin’s focus is on strategic growth and design quality. 

Justin’s understanding of crafting long term relationship with owners and operators, is critical in the creative collaboration process. As a hospitality specialist, his reinvention of space and regular planning paradigms are explored to promote uniqueness of design for the client and operator. His affinity with each brand story is critical to this design process.

Celebrated in the industry and media for his influence on MENA Hospitality, Justin has twice been accoladed in the top 10 Commercial Interior Designers in the Middle East and is a regular speaker in the region.



Rama Keilani Sönmez

Rama is a Jordanian-Turkish Architect and Interior Designer with more than 15 years of experience in the sector. In 2003, she finished her BSc in Architectural Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering and Technology, University of Jordan. 

A few years later, she moved to Istanbul, where she started working as a Design Manager for the renowned real estate company EMAAR Properties. In 2014, she transferred her residence to Dubai, city in which she currently lives, to start working as Head of the Interior Design Department at Square 8.

Since 2017, she works for EMAAR Development, managing the Interior Design team under EMAAR and reviewing Hospitality developments and Residential projects for the main 3 Developpers: Emaar, Eagle Hills and Nshama. 

Apart from her wide professional experience, Rama has also been involved in different activities related to the awareness and protection of archaeology in Amman. She is a member of the FoA (Friends of Archaeology Society) and has actively participated in different initiatives related to the protection of archaeological sites in her city of origin.

File #39563


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.


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