One of the highlight’s of the 2017 Dubai Design Week is the Global Grad Show exhibition, which will showcase 200 of the most innovative designs from 92 of the world’s universities.
The Global Grad Show aims to highlight how the next generation will shape the future through design, science and innovation.
The 2017 edition, which will be housed in a tent of its own, includes projects by 23 young creative minds from universities within the region.
Three graduate designers from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (Saudi Arabia) will present ‘Looking Without Seeing’ – a specially designed wearable device that enables visually-impaired users to detect obstacles and plan routes.
The device, designed by trio Seifallah Jardak, Mohamed Slim Alouini and Sajid Ahmed, uses the technology of a low-cost radar. The device is an affordable improvement on the common white cane. ‘Looking Without Seeing’ supplies visually-impaired users the tools to navigate their environment with confidence.
Students from NYU Abu Dhabi delivered multiple solutions, including a project called ‘Loga’ by Chris Wheeler, which enables refugees to earn a meaningful wage by digitizing Arabic language documents using their smartphones. The Loga app converts Arabic text images into highly accurate transcriptions that can be copied, edited, and searched.
Another project that focuses on the refugee crisis is Amal Atassi’s (American University of Sharjah) ‘Refugee Protection Guide’, designed to facilitate the efforts of NGOs in delivering assistance to refugees travelling in Europe.
A project called ‘The Burj Shadow’, features time-lapse videos of Dubai shot from the Burj Khalifa by trio Koh Terai, Vasily Rudchenko, Matthew Karau. The videos encourage a greater understanding of our positioning within the solar system.
From the American University in the Emirates, designers Yaseen Mekki, Amira Abbas, Ammar Ali Bilal Siddik, Ali Khalid Jalal created a mixed reality system for simulating travel. Users experience ‘DreTrav’ by entering an enclosed space that provides a 360-degree view of locations around the world.
Another project from the UAE is Alia Mazrooei’s of Zayed University, who has designed a ‘Shelter Bench’, which is essentially a resting place in the form of temporary public architecture for migrant workers in industrial areas, specifically in the Gulf.
Also tackling the issue of space, designer Rijas M. P from the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati looked at major cities in the world that are dense and highly populated, and focuses on the lack of space and choice of furniture, resulting in a concept for modular furniture called ‘DOT’, as part of a master’s thesis.
Child Abuse is another issue highlighted during this year’s Global Grad Show, by Aprajita Chaudhary, who believes that her design can contribute towards the solution and make an impact.
Focusing on creating and spreading awareness to help children understand abusive behavior in a contextual manner, ‘Do-da-deed’ changes the way children are informed about child abuse by providing information through a playful medium, thus, making it easy to comprehend.
Another project from India, the ‘Solar Lamp for Rural India’ designed by Nishith Parikhis is an alternative solution to current, government-issued study lamps in rural India. Storing and converting solar energy to be used during the dark hours, this multi-purpose light source improves upon the restricted use of the conventional solar lamp, while reducing both the manufacturing and maintenance costs.
German University in Cairo will showcase two projects, including a project called “MusiPants, can I drum on that?”- inspired by observing people unconsciously patting their thighs rhythmically while following a certain beat.
The second project is called The Loss of Words’, and is designed by Basma Ayman El-Naggar. It is an online platform that preserves the cultures of endangered languages by documenting and preserving indigenous dialects.
The Art University of Isfahan in Iran presents a project that combines playful elements with education. Mohammad Ghasemi and Nima Sharifi have designed the ‘Puppy Light’, a fantasy reading lamp and toy for children to play with and also use for studying purposes at refugee camps.
Middle East Technical University introduces a reusable epinephrine auto injector for allergic patients in the form of ‘Epilink’ by Damla Özekici. Another project from the same university is ‘Fellow’ by Mert Yıldız- also a medical product that tracks down 1-4 year-old children’s fever and notifies parents in emergency situations.
Hailing from the Notre Dame University Louaize, Badih Rameh aims to reuse and transform oil silos into a center for the public. ‘The Waterfront Tanks’ is an adaptive-reuse design of abandoned oil silos, transforming them into efficient, exhilarating, and comfortable places where people can enjoy themselves.
Look out for more in-depth coverage of projects from the Global Grad Show during Dubai Design Week