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Faculty Members


The university that is set to shake up design education here in the Middle East and globally, the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI), has appointed Carlos Montana, Mirko Daneluzzo, Raffi Tchakerian and Sayjel Vijay Patel and as part of its faculty ahead of opening this September.

The appointed faculty bring the best of the best in global design to Dubai, originating from all four corners of the world. The professors have experience working in design hubs such as the Canada, Italy, Australia, Singapore and Beirut. They join Dean, Sass Brown and Associate Dean, Hani Asfour, as the founding faculty of DIDI who will welcome the first cohort of students in Fall of this year.

Sass Brown, Dean of DIDI, comments,“At DIDI we have promised to nurture the change makers of the future, which means we need the best and most forward-thinking faculty in the world. The faculty we have appointed ahead of DIDI’s inaugural year have incomparable experience and their vision and belief in cross-disciplinary education makes them the perfect fit for DIDI.”

DIDI is a private, non-profit education institution and the first of its kind in the region to offer a four-year Bachelor of Design Degree (BDes). Following the direction of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, DIDI was established by Dubai Holding and Dubai Creative Clusters Authority.  DIDI is accredited by the UAE Ministry of Education and will welcome its first intake of students in the fall of 2018.

DIDI’s curriculum has been crafted in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Parsons School of Design and offers a unique program of cross-disciplinary courses that are firmly embedded in design-thinking and creative problem solving.

Mirko Daneluzzo – Cross Disciplinary Design

Mirko Daneluzzo is an architect and Co-Founder and Chief Design Officer of Nyxo ltd. He has taught Computational Design and Design Laboratory at the Academy of Applied Arts, LABA and industrial design in Rimini. He received his Masters Degree in architecture at the University of Applied Arts, Institute of Architecture in Vienna, where he was also a student of French architect, François Roche (R&sien) at the Crossover Studio UAA-IoA, titled “(n)certainties v.03”. Mirko has also taught alongside François Roche at the University of Architecture in Venice and his work has been exhibited internationally in several events including the ITNOA, Albertina Passage in Vienna, Beyond Media in Florence, at the 12th Venice Biennale of Architecture and at the 2010 Beijing Biennale.

Sayjel Vijay Patel – Design and Technology

An architectural designer, researcher, and lecturer, Sayjel Vijay Patel joins DIDI as Design and Technology Faculty. He is also a principle investigator with the SUTD Digital Manufacturing & Design Centre and has led ‘The 3D Sampling Project’, an initiative that explores new design and fabrication processes and combines mobile 3D scanning and advanced additive manufacturing. Sayjel is also the director and co-founder of CodeKitchen, an open educational platform, which promotes design and technology outreach through community-based learning labs and workshops. Sayjel holds a Masters of Architecture degree from MIT.

Carlos Montana – Interdisciplinary Design

Carlos Montana is an award-winning Industrial Designer and educator and joins DIDI as Interdisciplinary Design Faculty. His interest in multidisciplinary and cross-cultural approaches to design has seen him work in the health and sports, biomimicry and sustainability fields. Prior to joining DIDI, Carlos taught at universities in Australia, Singapore and Colombia and as a professional designer he has worked in numerous international design companies designing furniture, lamps, ceramics and electric appliances.

Raffi Tchakerian – Industrial Aerospace Design

Raffi Tchakerian joins DIDI as Cross Disciplinary Faculty and has experience in a vast range of design fields including aerospace, aviation, medicine, humanitarian design, product design, interactive design and robotics. Acquiring the ability to transform thoughts into tangible solutions, his work is nurtured through cross-fertilizations between these various fields, with the goal of improving the interactions between humans and the technology they use, and environments in which they live. As a visionary designer, Raffi’s projects are colorful in nature, touching on every imaginable design field from space to the developing world. Over the past decade, Raffi has collaborated with a large number of leading international designers including the design studio, Architecture and Vision, and space architects, Arturo Vittori and Andreas Vogler.