The #futureofliving Hackathon
The #futureofliving Hackathon

The members of the newly established EUNIC Cluster in Saudi Arabia: the Goethe-Institut, the Embassy of France, the Embassy of Italy, the Embassy of Spain in cooperation with the EU Delegation and AlMashtal Creative Space invite local practitioners and civil society to the #futureofliving 48hr urban hackathon to address the pressing issue of sustainable development of Riyadh and to create a bottom-up creative participatory exchange tackling local trends of urban sprawl and favouring green transition.

The solutions worked on during the hackathon should look at the applicability of the principles of the European Green Deal in the Saudi Arabian capital and orient themselves at the principles of sustainability in general, during construction as well as during site-work and end-user utilisation. The participants will be supported during the hackathon by the EU experts from France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

The ideas will be evaluated by the jury according to their potential to become a prototype and the most innovative solution will be awarded.

The Reading Corner available at AlMashtal Creative Space will function as a repository, a source of knowledge, and a resources hub for participants to educate themselves about sustainability and the European Green Deal in preparation for the hackathon.


5 groups of 5 people working together on the solutions mentored directly by the exquisite experts from Europe and Saudi Arabia.


The questions that are to be addressed by the groups (one question pro group):

How might we develop an approach to archive and reengineer existing buildings to inspire designers and architects To design sustainable and energy conservation building while maintaining the Saudi identity?
How can we optimize/ reuse building material for residential and commercial buildings to reduce construction cost and achieve energy conservation?
How can we manage our waste to improve the environmental aspect for our current and future generations while continuing our ambitious development plans?
 How can we use new technology to optimize water consumption/reuse to achieve sustainability development goals for the residents while conserving our natural resources?
How can we engage community to develop and support new livable and lifestyle design solutions that achieve the Quality of Life Program 2030?
The hackathon groups will be mentored by exquisite experts:


Dr. Israa H. Mahmoud

Israa H. Mahmoud is an Architect and Urban planner by education. She holds a Ph.D. in Urban regenerations. Since 2018, she is a post-Doc research fellow at the Urban Simulation Lab Fausto Curti, Department of Architecture and Urban Studies (DAStU), at Politecnico di Milano. Now she is the research team leader together with Prof. Eugenio Morello on CLEVER Cities Project – Funded by the European Commission – Horizon 2020 Funded Project – GA#776604 as an expert of Co-creation guidance for cities to implement Nature-based solutions in socially inclusive urban regeneration processes. She lectures about Nature-based solutions in Master of Science in Urban Planning and Policy Design, as well as Master of Sustainable architecture and Landscape design. Lately, she co-leaded the Greening Cities, Shaping Cities international symposium at Politecnico di Milano, October 2020.


Dr. Angelo Battaglia

Angelo Battaglia obtained his Doctorate (PhD) in 2005 at the II University of Rome “Tor Vergata” (Italy) with a focus on Regional Development, Cultural Heritage and Urban/Territorial Innovations. After having work as Senior Lecturer in Urban Development and Regional Geography in Italy for few years (2007-2012) at the Faculty of Architecture and Planning – University of Camerino, he worked at (Teluq-UQAM) as Research Associate in Montreal (Canada) in Knowledge Economy, Creative Cities and Urban Clusters of Innovation. In the last years, from 2014 until 2020 he worked in the Middle East Region (as Head of Tourism and Management Department and Assistant Professor in Regional Development, Sustainable Development and Tourism Strategic Planning) at OTC in the Sultanate of Oman. From 2017-2019, he has been working as Visiting Professor at the University Sorbonne Paris 1 (France).  He is currently working as Senior Lecturer (SL2) – Associate Professor at the Westminster International University of Tashkent (Uzbekistan) in the School of Business and Economics (SOBE). Since 2019, he is also Teaching-Fellow (International Master) at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata” (Italy) in Economic Diversification and New Tourism Scenarios in the Middle East and Gulf Region.


Alper Kazokoglu

Alper Kazokoglu studied scenography, exhibition design and media arts at the University of Design Karlsruhe. He has been working with umschichten since 2010 and has been a permanent member of the studio since 2019. In his work, he expands the engagement with built space through aspects from performative as well as visual art. Umschichten is an interdisciplinary practice at the interfaces of art, architecture and design. In temporary spatial installations, states of exception, secret desires, or existing problems are materialized, thus setting mental processes and discourses in motion. Their artistic practice is based on a careful handling of materials and a highly contextualized approach on site. Alper Kazokoglu studied scenography, exhibition design and media arts at the University of Design Karlsruhe. He has been working with umschichten since 2010 and has been a permanent member of the studio since 2019. In his work, he expands the engagement with built space through aspects from performative as well as visual art.


Mansour Al Sofi

Senior business analyst. Co-Founder of Saudi Architecture Initiative and social photographer attentive to document the architecture scene in Saudi Arabia.


Arch. Abdulaziz Al-Athem

Founder and principal lighting designer of DTS lighting consultancy.


The project is part of the Europe Readr - the future of living, initiated the occasion of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2021, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia together with other EUNIC members.

Europe Readr aims to foster the reading culture and critical thinking across societies on the future of living, support the creation of public spaces for exchange and debate on shared European values, and dialogue on the European Green Deal, sustainability and urbanism through a curated programme of activities. Europe Readr promotes reflection on the future of living by establishing a free selection of literature and using it as a starting point for a number of activities related to reading culture and literary practices. The project looks at the intersection of literature, sustainability, architecture, urbanism and digitalisation.