On June 27, the design team from Grimshaw - an international, architecture, planning and industrial design practice - presented their winning submission for Dubai’s Expo 2020 Sustainability Pavilion. Drawing inspiration from natural processes like photosynthesis, the winning design captures energy from sunlight and fresh water from humid air, creating a sustainable source of water in an extreme climate. 

Grimshaw shared the evolution of their submission, their development and design process as well as comprehensive research on how The Pavilion can be a global solution for the UAE to be a leader in sustainable water solutions.

The presentation featured the Grimshaw Team: Renua Itsueli, Architectural Designer, Aimee Duquette, Associate and Project Architect, Patricia McKee, Senior Landscape Architect and Project Manager, Jorge Salgado, Associate and Project Architect, Casimir Zdanius, Associate Principal and Head of Industrial Design. Moderated by Prentiss Darden, Innovation Generalist at Sherwood Design Engineers.


Grimshaw was founded by Sir Nicholas Grimshaw in 1980. The practice became a Partnership in 2007 and operates worldwide with offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Melbourne, Sydney, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai and Doha employing over 500 staff. Grimshaw’s international portfolio spans all major sectors, and has been honored with over 200 Design awards for its commitment to excellence and innovation including most recently the AJ100 International Practice of the Year Award in 2018.

The company’s work is characterized by strong conceptual legibility, innovation and a rigorous approach to detailing, all underpinned by the principles of human, enduring and sustainable design. The practice is dedicated to the deepest level of involvement in the design of its buildings in order to deliver projects which meet the highest possible standards of excellence.

Water Futures is a yearlong research program by A/D/O - curated by Jane Withers - that asks the question, "can designers solve the global drinking water crisis?" Learn more about Water Futures here.