The Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI) is offering two full scholarships - one from Dubai Holding and another from Dubai-based interior designer, Mustafa Khamash, founder of Kart Group - to potential students, in collaboration with Dubai Design District (d3).
Applicants for Fall 2019 will be invited to participate in the challenge, a test of creativity, to design a space-compliant game for astronauts or future explorers of Mars to play either on their journey to Mars or during their time in space.
The scope is unlimited in terms of the type of game future designers can create, but designers must ensure the games promote the physical and mental wellbeing of future space travellers and colonisers, enabling them to perform athletic activities, to maintain muscle capacity, bone density as well as cardiovascular health especially during lengthy space travels.
This is in line with the UAE's Mars exploration mission which will kick-off in 2020 and expected to arrive on the Mars in 2021, the 50th anniversary of the founding of the UAE.
The concepts could include a toy reliant upon zero gravity conditions, a video game that uses VR, or a sports game that encourages physical activities such as extreme football.
The game will be the pathway for students to showcase their creativity and skills with the possibility of winning one of the two full scholarships on oﬀer, giving them four years of fully subsidised fees. All accepted students stand the chance of receiving up to 50% scholarship based on their high school grades and financial need.
As the UAE’s ﬁrst institution dedicated exclusively to design and innovation, the university’s mission is to foster talent across a broad range of areas from product design to app design, futuristic fashion and gaming.
Mohammad Abdullah, President of DIDI said: “With the upcoming UAE space mission to Mars, this is a way to engage students in a very contemporary topic. They can see this coming to life here and to be able to contribute ideas to this exciting project, is a way for them to see the many applications of design and innovation to the careers of the future.
“One of the most important messages we need people to understand is the huge applicability a design and innovation degree can provide, to so many careers from virtual reality to multi-media. There’s an obvious demand for talent in areas from user experiences to apps, wearable technology to textiles.”
Mustafa Khamash said: “As a designer myself, I realise how hard it can be for students to ﬁnd their way in this ﬁeld. As a student, I was given a scholarship to pursue my own studies and this is a way for me to pay that back, as I know how life transforming it can be.
“This region has a lot of talent, but with many of the schools not even having a true understanding of the potential found in this ﬁeld and how relevant it is in terms of future technologies, we need to do all we can to not only foster that talent but to raise the awareness of how relevant this is to the careers of tomorrow.
“The Kart Scholarship, in collaboration with Dubai Design District (d3) aims to motivate the design community to invest time and money in the development of young design talent to consider this field as a viable and rewarding career. We hope that this scholarship challenge will be a way to make the competition not only fun, but relevant to something the students can see unraveling right here in the UAE, speciﬁcally with the UAE’s Mars project.”
Students must ﬁrst apply for admission to the university to be eligible for the scholarship challenge, and applications are assessed based on both merit and ﬁnancial need. The scholarships are open to both Emirati and expatriate students. Submissions must be in by 7 July 2019.
Find full details of the scholarship criteria here