Every two years the International Federation of Interior Architects and Designers (IFI) convene global industry representatives and invited keynote speakers to share progressive ideas, knowledge, and developments which affect and shape the evolving practice of Interior Architecture/Design worldwide.

Hosted by IFI member organizations and a partner city, this biennial event has collaborated with design communities across the globe including most recently Lagos, Nigeria and Gwangju, South Korea. IFI CONGRESS participants reflect the federation’s global reach and diverse network, with delegates including IFI members and supporters, interior architects/designers, educators, policymakers, industry representatives and stakeholders from across the globe.

The IFI Congress program seeks to identify and debate challenges affecting the field of interiors, as well as the potential for design to impact and promote positive change in society. It provides an important platform for sharing current research and design solutions advancing innovation at both local and global levels and features premier thought leaders from the global interior architecture and design profession.

A multi-faceted, multi-day experience, the IFI CONGRESS program evolves to reflect its host city, but generally includes the following components:

  • Key-note sessions and panel discussions – Over twelve hours of mainstage talks and conversation on the topic of Interior architecture and design, featuring a mix of international and local speakers.
  • Industry workshops – Smaller, more intimate sessions dedicated to debating advancements in policy and practice that impact the Interiors profession.
  • IFI Global Awards Program Gala Dinner – A prestigious industry event featuring the recipients of the coveted IFI Prize, the IFI Design Journalism Award, and new IFI Fellows, alongside the live announcement of IFI’s Design Distinction Award winners.
  • Cultural Tours – Explore the host city on a curated program of local tours and visits, ranging from cultural landmarks to hidden design discoveries.
  • IFI General Assembly – The official meeting of IFI’s international members to discuss the federation’s strategic planning, programming and governance.
  • Opening Ceremony and Receptions – Delegates are invited to attend a number of social events organized by the host organization, city and CONGRESS partners.




25-28 February 2020  |  Dubai, UAE

Thank you for joining us on 25-28 February 2020 in Dubai for the 2020 IFI CONGRESS and IFI General Assembly.

The 13th IFI CONGRESS – DESIGN 2050 – Technology. Design. Education. – was organized in collaboration with the Association of Professional Interior Designers (APID) and hosted by the City of Dubai, UAE.


With today’s rapid pace of change and innovation, comes an evolution in our everyday lifestyles, environmental concerns, and relationships to both place and fellow peoples. Our built environment is of fundamental importance to design considerations seeking to keep abreast and ahead of these transitions, to promote quality of life and benefits to all. Engaging this spirit of innovation and ambition, IFI CONGRESS 2020 proudly embraces one of the most contemporary cities of our time – Dubai. 

Established as a city built beyond traditional patterns, Dubai is seen as a laboratory for new technologies and exploration of ideas for the advancement of human experience. Its ambitious frameworks for a fully supported society, in which technology and design shape the human experience and occupied environment, are filled with both possibilities and challenges. In dealing with our ever-more extreme environmental conditions, Dubai also offers opportunities as a testing ground for new sustainability-led design learning.

With this exciting city as its backdrop, IFI DESIGN 2050 – Technology.  Design. Education probes our collective future, targeting a new and deeper understanding for these three foundational aspects shaping our future.

At the request of APID, this event was rescheduled from 13-15 November, 2019. –>



The 2020 IFI CONGRESS program included the following sessions: 
Wednesday, 26 February 2020 and Thursday, 27 February 2020 I Park Hyatt Hotel
IFI DESIGN 2050: Technology·Design·Education: Over two days we hosted a series of mainstage talks and conversations on important topics shaping Interior architecture and design today and into the future. Key-note speakers and responding panelists featured a mix of international and local practitioners, thinkers and commentators. 
Wednesday 26 February 2020 | 19:30 – 22:30 | Zabeel Saray Hotel
As part of their IFI CONGRESS experience, we encouraged all delegates to join us for the primary social event of the program – the IFI GAP Gala Dinner. This prestigious industry event offered an evening of celebration where we acknowledged exceptional leadership and talent in the Interiors profession, in the company of international peers and colleagues. In addition to featuring our esteemed IFI Prize and IFI DJA winners, the evening included live announcement of IFI’s Design Distinction Award winners.
IFI XXIX (29th) General Assembly (IFI GA)
Thursday, 27 February 2020 I 13:30-18:00
This official business meeting brought together IFI’s international members to collaborate and vote on key organization legislation, programs and initiatives. This was open to official IFI Member delegates and invited observers only.
IFI Interior Architecture/Design Education Policy (IFI IA/DEP) Workshop 
Friday, 28 February 2020 I 09:00-12:30
The IFI Interior Architecture/Design Education Policy (IFI IA/DEP) Review 2019-2020 is an initiative to examine and formulate, through global consultation, an updated and progressive education policy statement for IFI. At this session, the IFI IA/DEP Taskforce tabled their research for discussion and workshopping ahead of drafting a final new policy statement.  This was open to official IFI Member delegates and invited observers only.



25-28 February 2020
IFI CONGRESS 2020 & IFI GAP Gala Dinner

25 February 2020
2020 IFI CONGRESS Opening Reception

26 February 2020
09:00 – 16:00: IFI CONGRESS 2020 Day I
Featuring keynote speakers: Ashley Hall, Arturo Dell’Acqua Bellavitis and Rosanne Somerson

19:30 – 22:30: IFI GAP Awards and Gala Dinner
(Event ticketed separately)

27 February 2020
09:00 – 13:30: IFI CONGRESS 2020 Day 2
Featuring keynote speakers: Kumar Ravindra and Sonia Ashoor

13:30 – 17:45: IFI General Assembly – Session 1
(IFI GA Delegates + Invited participants)

28 February 2020
09:00 – 12:30: IFI General Assembly – Session 2 – IFI Interior Education Policy Workshop
(IFI GA Delegates + Invited participants)




Congress Venue
Park Hyatt Hotel
Dubai Creek Club Street
Deira, Dubai, UAE

Gala Awards Dinner Venue
Music Hall, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray Hotel
Palm Jumeirah
Dubai, UAE


Arturo Dell’Acqua Bellavitis
Professor of Industrial Design, Politecnico di Milano; Former Director of Milan Triennale Museum (Italy)

Arturo Dell’Acqua Bellavitis is an Architect, Professor of Industrial Design and Dean at the Design School of the Politecnico di Milano.  For ten years Arturo was President of the Triennale Design Museum in Milan, during which time he developed a new concept for the evolving museum, advanced editorial lines on new Italian design, the masters and international design movements. He is also Founder and President of the Milan Fashion Institute, a cross-university partnership supporting the field of fashion management and design. Artutro recently became Director of the new International Art and Design Center in Shenzhen, China, where he leads the soon to open Design museum.


Ashley Hall, Ph.D.
Professor of Design Innovation at The Royal College of Art – RCA (United Kingdom)

Ashley Hall is Professor of Design Innovation in the School of Design at the Royal College of Art. With an MA from the RCA and PhD from the University of Technology in Sydney he has a background in design practice, teaching and research. He joined the Royal College of Art in 2006 lecturing and researching on the Innovation Design Engineering program. He now leads postgraduate research for the school of design and the MRes in Healthcare Design with Imperial College. Ashley researches in design innovation ranging from innovation strategy to design thinking, design for safety, experimental design, design pedagogy, globalization design and cultural transfer.


Rosanne Somerson
President, Rhode Island School of Design – RISD (United States of America)

A designer, professor and academic leader, President Rosanne Somerson has been advancing art and design since she was a student at RISD in the 1970s. She returned to the College in the 1980s to teach and in 1995 founded the Furniture Design Department before serving as Provost and chief academic officer. As RISD’s 17th president she is committed to expanding inclusion, equity, and access in order to enhance a genuinely rich learning environment that consists of diverse experiences, viewpoints, and talents. President Somerson also maintains a creative practice, designing and creating furniture for exhibitions and commissions, and frequently speaks and writes about the power of critical thinking and making, underscoring the value of art and design to advancing life in the 21st century.


Dr Ravi Kumar Ravindra
Design Director at Venkataramanan

Ravindra Kumar (Ravee) heads Design at VA. His strength has been in providing innovative design solutions to emerging project trends & typologies in India. He has a keen understanding of the complex needs of new laboratory facilities and other building types and understands the need to integrate with building and landscape aesthetics. He has designed many of VA’s large and complex projects. He has more than two decades of experience in this field.

He has been a visiting faculty member at various Departments of Architecture. Currently is the reader and chair for long distance studies program at Educational Praxis, Maloboro University, USA. He has a keen interest in primary and secondary education and is the president of the T.B.S. foundation, a school for 400 rural children and Rangaloka, a not for profit organization. Ravee has been nominated as the brand ambassador for sustainability initiatives towards green architecture namely Earth Matters, IAB India, Activism Architecture, Design Quest India. He has lectured as an invitee in many of these events in India and overseas. He has done extensive documentation on vernacular India for various work groups including INTACH, Madras Craft Foundation. He has lectured in various cities in India & around the world, sharing an experience on his ideation of architecture.


Sonia Ashoor
Founder & Principal, SACD (Bahrain)

With her roots spanning the Islamic world, from a paternal Hajj pilgrim ancestor from Samarkand to an Ottoman grandmother and a Persian mother, Sonia Ashoor grew up in a world of diverse cultures, family tales, treasured objects, legends and art. The many-colored strands of her history are woven into her work, her view, and her belief that we are all connected through culture. Sonia is a passionate advocate of ‘cultural identity’, and speaks at universities and international conferences. She also acts as an advisor influencing major cultural projects in the Gulf.

She is a celebrated interior designer and a cultural ambassador for Saudi Arabia, having created a series of stunning embassies and royal residences all over the world. Her commissions whether for a UNESCO project, a ministry, or a home, all reveal her innate love of beauty and reflect the radiance of Islamic art and design. Everything she designs reflects a shared purpose and philosophy, this gives her work its signature serenity and timeless harmony.


See list of all Past IFI General Assemblies & CONGRESSES








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To purchase tickets, visit IFI Design 2050.–>

Image Source www.dubaibritishschool.ae


See list of all Past IFI General Assemblies & CONGRESSES