ADMAF’s TotalEnergies Sustainability Design Award 2023 Winner Announced!

ADMAF's TotalEnergies Sustainability Design Award 2023 Winner Announced!

Discover the remarkable winners of the TotalEnergies Sustainability Design Award 2023 and their outstanding ‘Temporary City Project.’ Learn how this award promotes sustainability and innovation in design.

In 2014, the TotalEnergies Sustainability Design Award, formerly known as the Design Commission, was established as a beacon for recognizing the remarkable innovation and achievements of young Emiratis in design and architecture. This prestigious award celebrates outstanding projects that align with global imperatives, focusing on sustainability and addressing climate change challenges. In 2023, the award honoured the ‘Temporary City Project’ by Sara Ali Mahmoud and Mariam Hisham Al Qasim, students at the American University of Sharjah. This article delves into their exceptional project and the broader significance of the TotalEnergies Sustainability Design Award.

The TotalEnergies Sustainability Design Award: A Legacy of Excellence

The TotalEnergies Sustainability Design Award, established in 2014, has a rich legacy of recognizing and promoting excellence in design and architecture among young Emiratis. This prestigious award has become a symbol of innovation and a testament to the dedication of emerging talents in the United Arab Emirates.

Fostering Innovation in Design

Over the years, this award has been a platform for nurturing innovative ideas and groundbreaking projects. It has encouraged young designers and architects to push the boundaries of creativity and sustainability, addressing pressing global challenges.

Embracing Sustainability as a Focus

The 2023 edition of the award emphasizes sustainability, aligning with global efforts to combat climate change and promote environmental consciousness. The ‘Temporary City Project’ embodies this commitment to sustainability, setting a shining example for young Emiratis.

The ‘Temporary City Project’: A Glimpse of Innovation

Sara Ali Mahmoud and Mariam Hisham Al Qasim, two bright minds from the American University of Sharjah, secured the TotalEnergies Sustainability Design Award 2023 with their visionary ‘Temporary City Project.’ This project reflects their determination to address the multifaceted challenges of climate change and sustainability.

Unveiling the Vision

The ‘Temporary City Project’ envisions an innovative approach to address the needs of lower-income residents. It proposes the creation of an ideological community that harnesses surplus resources to enhance the well-being of its inhabitants.

Governmental Involvement for Community Betterment

The proposal suggests that governmental service providers, exemplified by SEWA (Sharjah Electricity, Water, and Gas Authority), establish community centers within district sub-stations. These centers would offer essential services such as drinking water and electricity, communal amenities like bathing facilities, laundry rooms, and farming, recreation, and leisure spaces.

A Symbiotic Relationship

In a symbiotic relationship, the utility company gains from a new drinking water treatment plant, supported financially by commercial rental incomes from the community center. This innovative approach demonstrates how public and private entities can collaborate to address pressing social and environmental issues.

Aligning with Sustainable Development Goals

The ‘Makeshift City’ project aligns with key United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly those related to public health, economic mobility, and environmental sustainability. This initiative aligns seamlessly with Sharjah’s vision for a more inclusive and prosperous future by uplifting public health and economic mobility within underprivileged communities.

Her Excellency Huda Ibrahim Alkhamis: A Visionary Supporter

Her Excellency Huda Ibrahim Alkhamis, the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation founder and Artistic Director of the Abu Dhabi Festival, has played a pivotal role in supporting young talents in the UAE. She emphasizes the importance of nurturing emerging artists and appreciating their efforts.

The Significance of Recognition

Her Excellency highlights the numerous awards presented by the group in collaboration with leading local and global institutions and partners. These recognitions not only celebrate talent but also serve as a source of motivation for young Emiratis to continue their pursuit of excellence.

A Shared Vision for Sustainability

Regarding the Total Sustainable Design Award, Her Excellency states, “This award is a translation of our shared vision on the priority of climate action and preserving natural resources as key pillars of sustainability, especially after the success achieved by the country in hosting COP28 and signing the historic UAE Global Sustainable Climate Action Agreement.”

Samir Oumer: TotalEnergies’ Commitment to Culture and Sustainability

Samir Oumer, TotalEnergies Country Chair in the UAE, underlines the company’s commitment to culture, dialogue, and heritage as one of its primary missions. He emphasizes the role of TotalEnergies Foundation in promoting culture and sustainability in the UAE.

Supporting Emerging Artists

“We are proud to support young emerging artists in the UAE through our longstanding partnership with Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation. Promoting culture is at the heart of TotalEnergies commitment to sustainability in the UAE.”

Prominence and Recognition: Displaying the Winning Submission

The winning ‘Makeshift City’ project, selected through a rigorous evaluation process, will be prominently displayed in one of the prestigious Abu Dhabi Festival venues in 2024. This platform provides unparalleled visibility and recognition for the project, further amplifying its impact.


The TotalEnergies Sustainability Design Award 2023 celebrates innovation and sustainability in design. The ‘Temporary City Project’ by Sara Ali Mahmoud and Mariam Hisham Al Qasim exemplifies the spirit of this award by addressing climate change challenges and promoting sustainability. With visionary leaders like Her Excellency Huda Ibrahim Alkhamis and committed organizations like TotalEnergies, the UAE’s future shines brightly in the realms of art, design, and sustainability. This award not only recognizes talent but also inspires the next generation of Emirati designers and architects to make a positive impact on their communities and the world.

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