Real World Challenges
Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI), in partnership with Dubai Design & Fashion Council (DDFC) announce the launch of Project Design Space (PDS) following its successful pilot in the Spring of 2017, where 5 schools from across the UAE competed. PDS is an innovative after-school program, developed by DIDI for high school students, offering a unique opportunity to solve ‘real world’ design challenges with the aim of developing their knowledge of design as an academic discipline and growing industry sector.
Dr. Amina Al Rustamani, President of DIDI and Group CEO of TECOM Group, said: “Our goal is to nurture the next generation of designers in the UAE, and together with the other entities supporting this, students will receive invaluable experience to solve real world challenges and ignite their passion for design. We saw a tremendous response to the pilot Project Design Space challenge and as a result have enhanced this real-world learning experience to reach more students.”
Project Design Space offers student teams the rare opportunity to work on real design projects for actual clients. Students will receive design briefs from Expo 2020 Dubai, the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region.
adidas, IBM, Alserkal Avenue and Splash will also supply briefs to the students.
The real-world challenges include; designing a car showroom of the future, designing outdoor solutions to drive pedestrian traffic, creating an experience for multi-nationals to connect easily, developing an environmental campaign, which inspires the public to take action and designing smart tech clothing.
There has been an overwhelming response from over 75 high schools from across the UAE, to take part in this year’s Project Design Space challenge. Each participating school will receive specialized training and program materials for their teachers who will lead the student’s through the design challenge. The teacher sponsors will then work with student teams during after-school club meetings to coach them as they design solutions for their clients.
Following successful application, schools will then submit their prototypes to DIDI by February 8th, 2018. Finalists will be invited to a special event on February 24th, 2018 at the Dubai Design District (d3), where teams will pitch their design prototypes to their clients and attend an award ceremony.
Alya Al-Ali, Expo 2020’s 24-year-old Director of Youth Connect, welcomed the initiative. “One of our key drives is to engage successfully with students and educators throughout the UAE and this offers us another wonderful opportunity to do so,” she said. “World Expos offer everyone the opportunity to learn, innovate, create progress, and have fun by sharing ideas and working together and these will all be possible through our involvement with Project Design Space.”
Speaking on the program, Robert Bock, Senior Brand Activation Director – adidas said, “This initiative is a great way to inspire the next generation of creators in the UAE. Design is a fundamental component of the adidas world and we are proud to be supporting an initiative that recognizes and fuels design and innovation.”
Kate Acheson, Head of Arts at Dubai American Academy said: “Our school is really integrating design thinking, innovation and project based learning into our curriculum. DIDI provides an amazing opportunity for the students to apply this knowledge and their skills into a real-world situation. Gaining experience from top companies in learning how they process design and working with peers in other schools is a one-off opportunity for many of our students. It is something that I am sure will carry them in their future university and career choices. It is great to see this type of exciting opportunity being offered in Dubai.”
DIDI is the first private, not for profit design school in the region, and was established following the direction of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. DIDI plans to enroll the first class of undergraduate students on to its Bachelor of Design program in September 2018.