DUBAI: Dubai Design Week (DDW) kickstarted its seventh edition on Nov. 8 with a packed program for art and design enthusiasts.
One of the key exhibitions at DDW is the MENA Grad Show, which exhibits innovative projects in the fields of technology, science and design from universities across the region, with a smattering of projects from further beyond.
The show spotlights projects focused on improving and transforming lives and the planet, while the wider Global Grad Show highlights projects from beyond the region in a virtual exhibition.
The physical exhibition, running until Nov. 13, will allow visitors to meet the graduates, learn about the ideas behind their work and understand how students in different disciplines, from architecture to chemistry and electric engineering, approach complex social and environmental problems.
In an interview with Tadeau Caravieri — the director of the wider Global Grad Show, which is an initiative by the Art Dubai Group — he said that this exhibition boasts three main benefits for students: “Promotion,” “understanding the possibilities” and “professional development.”
“Since 2015, we have been showcasing these ideas on an international stage, which gives visibility to people and researchers that are developing solutions that wouldn’t otherwise be seen outside the university campus,” said Caravieri.
When it comes to “understanding the possibilities,” he explained that “for the students that make it to the final selection, understanding what the other 150 people are doing and researching is quite empowering because they get to see the different angles people are using to approach the same type of problem.”
He added: “Since 2019, we have had our own entrepreneurship program that helps the students take their innovations forward to follow a structured process to go to market.”
Caravieri said that this was a record year in terms of applications and diversity, with organizers receiving more than 2,600 applications from over 70 countries, representing over 460 universities. For the online exhibition, they selected 150 ideas by 211 students representing 52 countries.
The MENA Grad Show had 300 applications from 41 universities in the Middle East and North Africa region, and 60 of those are being showcased at the physical exhibition in Dubai Design District.
Caravieri said that some of the highlights from the Global Grad Show include an innovation by students at Zhejiang University in China. It is a ball that can detect signs of life in areas affected by natural disasters.
From the MENA Grad Show, he said an interesting idea was created by students at the American University in Cairo. It is an application that organizes the routine of dementia patients and supports therapy.