Under the patronage of the President of Beirut Arab University, Prof. Amr Galal El Adawi, the Faculty of Architecture - Design and Built Environment organized the 10th international scientific conference (ASCAAD2022) entitled “Hybrid Spaces of the Metaverse - Architecture in the Age of the Metaverse: Opportunities and Potentials” in partnership with the Arab Society for Computer Aided Architectural Design (ASCAAD).
The conference aimed to provide an in-depth insight on the future of architecture in the age of the Metaverse by discussing a range of topics related to artificial intelligence, information management, parametric design, digital manufacturing, real and virtual environments, computer design theory, and hybrid cities. The conference also intended to find practical solutions for the emerging issues in the discussed matters, which could benefit a large number of researchers, architects, design professors and consulting firms working in the fields of planning and the construction industry.
The number of researchers participating in the conference exceeded 100 researchers from the Middle East, Europe, Asia, North America, South America and Australia. In addition to researchers, the conference hosted a group of global experts in the fields of Metaverse and Artificial Intelligence from the United States and Britain as keynote speakers. The conference activities extended over two days and included five specialized workshops in the field of Digital Design and Geographic Information Systems.
In the opening session, BAU President Prof. Amr Galal El Adawi spoke about the importance of the rapid technological development and its implications for all fields, as well as the pioneering role of the university in keeping pace with this development through determined work to support all faculties with the latest programs, equipment, and all technical means and expertise in order to provide an outstanding level of higher education at a global level.
Prof. El Adawi also stressed that this conference serves the university’s educational objectives as it discusses the future transformations of architecture and architectural education and the development of the design process for buildings through enhancing the cooperation among the stakeholders. He notes that this development helps produce new economic models through enhancing the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship.
The Dean of the Faculty of Architecture - Design and Built Environment, Prof. Ibtihal Youssef El-Bastawissi, admired the impressive developments that the world has witnessed in the use of information technology and digital transformation since the beginning of the 21st century. She pointed out “The Faculty of Architecture organized this conference in partnership with the Arab Society for Computer Aided Architectural Design (ASCAAD) with the aim of exploring the possibilities of using the Metaverse in architecture and advancing architectural education in line with current challenges.” Prof. El-Bastawissi greeted the attendees and expressed gratitude to all those who contributed to the success of this conference despite all the difficult circumstances “that our beloved Lebanon is going through”.
Dr. Sherif Abdel Mohsen, the President of the Arab Society for Computer Aided Architectural Design (ASCAAD), presented an overview of the association, its activities, and the conferences that have been organized in a number of Arab countries since its founding in 2005. In his speech, Dr. Abdel Mohsen stressed the importance of the partnership with Beirut Arab University in the success of the launch of this year’s conference in Lebanon.
In addition to these notable speakers, the opening session was hosted by the Director of Programs at the Lebanese Radio, Mrs. Rita Najim Al-Roumi, who presented the long process of development led by the President of Beirut Arab University, Prof. Amr Galal El Adawi since his election as president in 2006. She highlights Prof. El Adawi’s massive contribution in keeping Beirut Arab University on track with global technological developments and opportunities, which aided in supporting and developing higher education in Lebanon and the region.