Design students at the American University of Sharjah will have their mid-term critique virtually this semester.
Usually the session is held with local designers and architects in person, on campus, but as the UAE is currently observing closures and self-isolation do to the global coronavirus outbreak.
But, taking advantage of the unprecedented situation, assistant professor at the university, Cristiano Luchetti, has invited experts from around the world to take part in the online review.
He said: "I thought, why not extend the invitation to architects and academics from around the world? It took only a couple of hours, after posting a call for critics on my SPACE[LESS]CITY blog on Facebook , to have some well-known architects and professors enthusiastically signing up for this initiative.
"I think this is great, and I am incredibly thankful to those that will take part."
Luchetti said he hoped the current situation would make educators come up with ways to make students' experience even more valuable.
The mid-term review will take place now take place on April 5th at 1pm local time on Google Meet. Up to 100 participants can join the review.
Some of those taking part in the review are:
Jean-Pierre El Asmar who holds a Ph.D. in Sustainable Built Environment from the De Montfort University, Leicester, United Kingdom (2008) and is a Full Professor at Notre Dame University, Louaize, Lebanon where he has been teaching full-time in the Faculty of Architecture Art and Design since 1994.
Taymoore Balbaa, co-founder of AXIA Design and an associate professor at the Ryerson School of Interior Design (RSID) in Toronto. He is the recipient of 2 major Canadian awards, the Young Architect Award, and the Prix de Rome.
Tiago Saraiva, invited professor of architecture at the Universidade de Lisboa and managing partner of ateliermob - arquitectura, design e urbanismo lda. He is the director of the European association of "city makers" among other accolades.
Steven Velegrinis, director of operations for the Design, Planning and Economics Group and Head of Masterplanning at AECOM Middle East and Africa. His recent work has included urban design projects such as the Dubai Expo and Dubai Design District Masterplan.
Raha Milani, who received her B.Arch from the American University of Sharjah. She co-founded archiSENSE studio with Maryam Karji in 2018 in Dubai. Prior to her practice, Raha worked at Naga Architects.