Global Grad Show kicks off with diverse student innovations

Updated 12 November 2019

Global Grad Show kicks off with diverse student innovations

  • The 5th edition of Global Grad Show at Dubai Design Week kicked off on Tuesday with a showcase of more than 150 student innovations from around the world
  • The most diverse edition to date features projects from more than 100 universities

DUBAI: The 5th edition of Global Grad Show at Dubai Design Week kicked off on Tuesday with a showcase of more than 150 student innovations from around the world. 

The most diverse edition to date features projects from more than 100 universities, including established names such as the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University and Goldsmiths, alongside new entrants from the Philippines, Colombia and Kuwait.

That diversity is something that was extremely important to the show’s new curator, Eleanor Watson.

 “The quantity is just a reflection of our aims for diversity, which I think is tremendously important because there is a tendency in design showcases to always end up showing material from the same schools and the same regions,” she told Arab News. “And that’s painting a very particular picture of the design landscape that’s not actually reflective of all of the work that’s out there and of different people’s lived experiences and what they expect from design.”

This year’s curatorial themes will explore the spheres where innovation can create a positive impact and Watson chose to split the show into areas named The Human; The Home; The Community; The City and The Planet.

 The aim, according to the curator, is all about “showing different systems of scale and showing what scale those designs operate on, just as a way to help people make sense of the incredible variety of designs and how it impacts all of our lives in very different ways.”

Graduate projects from 43 countries — in the fields of design, science, technology and engineering — are on show at the exhibition, which runs until Nov. 16.

 “That’s part of what’s very nice about (it) — seeing work from students in parts of the world you maybe would not get the chance to visit and to be exposed to issues that you didn’t realize were out there,” Watson said of the conscious push to ensure diversity.

And it’s not just about showing off their work, students and professors descend on Dubai for the opportunity to meet with similar minds from across the globe.

“There is this sense of creating a global design network, where people can share ideas and can share problems or challenges and see how they can help each other,” Watson said.


Reggae star Koffee keen to perform in UAE again

Updated 09 December 2019

Reggae star Koffee keen to perform in UAE again

  • “Oh yeah! I would come back here to live, what do you mean!”

DUBAI: Jamaican artist Koffee has said she would love to perform in the UAE again after being mesmerized by Dubai.

The 19-year-old singer, who has been making waves with her reggae sounds internationally, belted out her top hits during the city’s annual urban festival, Sole DXB, and during her stay toured iconic landmarks including the Burj Khalifa skyscraper and Dubai mall.

Asked if she would return to the UAE for another performance, Koffee said: “Oh yeah! I would come back here to live, what do you mean!

“I’m happy that I got to spend a few days and see the place and enjoy the scenery a bit before the show. I don’t get to do that often, so this was special for me,” she told Arab News.

The rising young star, whose real name is Mikayla Simpson, prefers to be known by her stage name gained from high-school friends after drinking coffee on a hot summer’s day.

She brought her reggae melodies to Dubai for the first time to link in with Sole DXB’s Jamaican theme.

“Jamaican culture is very strong, very unique. It is a unified culture in terms of we all kind of like to get along. It is a very down-to-earth and irie (Jamaican term for all is good and at peace) culture,” she added.

Koffee, who was performing at the festival alongside her idol Protoje, had also been looking forward to being the opening act for one of her favorite artist’s Burna Boy, until the Nigerian singer cancelled his performance on the day.

However, Burna Boy’s cancellation gave Koffee, who described herself as a “sing-jay-guitarist,” to be the headline act on Friday. Hundreds of concertgoers sang along to her top hits “Toast,” “Rapture” and latest single “W.”

Koffee set the crowd ablaze when she returned to the stage for a final performance with her cover of Burna Boy’s hit “Ye.”

The teenager shot to fame after Jamaican Olympic athlete Usain Bolt shared her YouTube recording of a tribute to him called “Legend,” in 2017.

Since then she has been described as an artist who has modernized reggae. “I bring a newness to the genre … a new reggae awakening.”

Koffee, who said her music was inspired by her experiences, added that she felt “proud” to bring the genre to a new generation.

“Reggae is a very positive genre, it is surrounded by positive words, lyrics, people and it is known for that. I’m proud to use my talent to bring positive attention toward my country, that’s definitely good for me.”