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DIDI Starts Digtal Bootcamp for UAE’S Biggest Student Design Contest

Leading companies have praised the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI) for swiftly implementing measures to maintain momentum for Project Design Space – the biggest student design competition in the UAE.

Participation in Project Design Space has grown year-on-year with more than 4,500 students from 100 UAE schools taking part. And with schools adopting online learning due to exceptional circumstances, Project Design Space remains in full swing thanks to the adoption of virtual communication and video conferencing.

DIDI, the region’s first university exclusively dedicated to design and innovation, has adopted a digital bootcamp-style format for the extracurricular contest that challenges students to solve real-world problems by merging visual literacy, digital fluency and strategic proficiency.

The switch was praised by Nike, LEGO Middle East, Emirates Nature-WWF, RAKBANK and Dubai Festival City Mall, who have set diverse design challenges ranging from interior design to digital transformation for competitors from grades 5 to 12.

Mohammad Abdulla, President of DIDI, said: “We are focused on supporting the UAE’s knowledge economy by developing students with hybrid skills who can thrive in a world where today’s jobs may not exist in the future. Project Design Space plays a vital role in demonstrating to students and parents that design matters more than ever before and switching to a digital bootcamp reflects our commitment to help students unleash their creative innovation.”

Urszula Bieganska, Head of Marketing at LEGO Middle East and Africa said: “DIDI’s digital bootcamp will ensure every student who invested time after school on Project Design Spaces receives the recognition they deserve, and we are thrilled with this commendable decision. Our strategic collaboration with Project Design Space matters because it is through initiatives like these that we encourage our youth to develop their creativity and put it to use in solving various types of challenges, and this is what The LEGO Group is well known for. We look forward to contributing to continued growth of the UAE’s innovative education design industry.”

Laila Mostafa Abdullatif, Director General, Emirates Nature-WWF, added: “In light of the COVID-19 outbreak we are all learning to adapt and deal with situations that were previously unthought-of. I am proud of our strategic collaboration with DIDI and applaud their commitment to keeping the momentum going and the decision to host the biggest student design competition in the UAE as a digital bootcamp embodies the innovative spirit of the competition. Our youth education team at Emirates Nature-WWF is excited about empowering young people in the UAE to build their knowledge and understanding of the environmental challenges facing our planet and develop the skills to do something about them. Our work towards a sustainable future and a balanced relationship with the planet is more important than ever before, and the UAE’s innovative education design has a key role to play in this global effort.”

Project Design Space’s revised format will see students send a video submission of their prototype to faculty members, who will review each submission digitally. The top 10 teams will receive detailed feedback from DIDI faculty via video.

A virtual open-house session will be held during April and May on a virtual collaboration platform with DIDI faculty for students to tweak their designs ahead of the final.

Schools from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Quwain, Ras al Khaimah and Fujairah and are participating in the fourth annual Project Design Space – which has seen entries rise by 26% year-on-year.