Participating in a two-day international forum intended to promote innovative thinking and creative problem-solving, Basem Al-Shihabi, the Managing Director of Omrania, shared insights from his early career as well as current projects that transcend ordinary thinking.
The second edition of the ‘Falak Unreasonable Thinking Summit’ was hosted by Falak Consulting, a Bahrain-based strategy and innovation consultancy, at the Diplomat Radisson Blu on April 25-26, 2018. Basem Al-Shihabi was invited to talk about his lifelong journey in architecture and what kept Omrania going for 45 years. His insights were especially welcomed“as a person whohas managed to think unconventionally and achieve great results,” according to Suhail Ghazi Algosaibi, CEO of Falak Consulting. The summit was attended by over 300 business leaders, government officials, startup entrepreneurs, and university students, who heard inspirational presentations by accomplished innovators from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the US, Canada, Estonia, Pakistan,and the Philippines.
In a five-minute recorded video interview that preceded his live presentation, Mr. Shihabi described key milestones in his early life and professional development. These include his childhood penchant for drawing and discovery of architecture as a young student, his studies at the College of Fine Arts in Cairo and the University of Edinburgh, lessons he learnt at his work with Doxiadis Associates in Saudi Arabia, and forming his partnership with Nabil Fanous after winning the competition to design the GOSI headquarters in Riyadh in 1973, which launched Omrania.
Mr. Shihabi then presented a selection of Omrania projects — past, present, and future — reflecting Omrania’s approach to architecture that is at once modern and contextual, responsive to climate, and respectful of culture, whichset Omrania apart from many in the industry.
The summit was held under the patronage of Dr. Ebrahim Janahi, Chief Executive of Tamkeen, and supported by the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), among other sponsors.