Situated in Dubai’s Design District, the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI), designed by international architecture firm Foster + Partners, aims to create an immersive creative setting inspired by the school’s educational programme.
Announced last year as a collaboration between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The New School’s Parsons School of Design, DIDI aims to offer a student-centred learning environment that reflects the progressive system the school will nurture.
“Situated at the heart of the Creative Community, the design creates complex visual and physical connections between the various spaces within the building and its surroundings, and symbolises the growing importance of Dubai as a design destination,” said Gerard Evenden, head of studio and senior executive partner at Foster + Partners. Read our full interview with Evenden about the Creative Commuinity in d3 here.
Foster + Partners designed the campus as a ‘mega studio’ spanning across one million square feet. A “creative community”, the institution will act as a cultural epicentre with a number of flexible offices, co-working communal facilities, outdoor display venues and pedestrianised, landscaped spaces.
One such interactive workspace is the Super Fabrication Lab – a digital fabrication workshop equipped with a range of computerised tools that support the prototyping and production of student design work.
The versatility of DIDI’s campus extends to its exterior façade as well. Glazed screens and solid panels turn the campus into a stage for the student artwork. While also providing shade, the screens are made of interchangeable fabric that can also be printed on and used as a canvas.
“DIDI was launched last year in keeping with the UAE’s efforts to develop a knowledge based economy, and we have developed a curriculum that caters to the region’s design needs and empowers youth with the tools they need to tackle a future that is reliant on ideas and innovation,” said Dr Amina Al Rustamani, president of DIDI and CEO of the TECOM Group.
“The campus design, developed by the renowned team at Foster + Partners, is a significant contribution to the spirit of the DIDI curriculum, and we hope that by creating a state-of-the-art design education, we will attract young talent who will develop innovative solutions.”
DIDI will be accepting its first class of students by August 2018, with relocation to the institute’s main premises designed by Foster + Partners the following year.
The institute has recently announced the appointment of Founding Dean and Associate Dean for DIDI, Sass Brown and Lebanese architect Hani Asfour.
Foster + Partners has recently opened its office in Dubai, located in d3.