Dubai welcomed the Global Grad Show back for another year as a part of 2017 Dubai Design Week. Dubai Design Week is one of the world’s newest and most ambitious international design events, conceived to shine a spotlight on Dubai as a leading design hub, and share the UAE’s thriving design scene with the world at large.
The third edition of the acclaimed annual exhibition of life-changing inventions from graduates of the world’s leading design and technology universities presented 200 innovative projects selected from over 470 global entries.
A not for profit initiative curated by renowned author and designer, Brendan McGetrick, the Global Grad Show welcomed graduates from 92 universities to Dubai to present forward-thinking prototypes around the themes of empowerment, connection, and sustainability. Graduates hail from universities far and wide, including leading institutions such as Design Academy Eindhoven (Netherlands), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, (USA), Royal College of Art (UK), and National University of Singapore. Furthermore, work from emerging markets rarely seen on a global scale were on view, including projects from designers based in Serbia, Uganda, Peru, Malaysia and New Zealand.
McGetrick curated the projects based on his personal interpretation of design that emphasises four categories: innovation that transcends technology and exists independent of wealth; equality without hierarchy amongst universities, regions and designers; universal design opens to all types of projects; and impact on the world at large through solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems.
“We organise Global Grad Show to be a celebration of beautiful ideas,” McGetrick explains. “It features projects that are designed to directly benefit social and environmental causes. By presenting a cross section of design programs from around the world, we try to demonstrate how the brightest young minds are designing the future. The variety of programs offers a unique view to the ways in which designers in different places, with different budgets, cultural contexts, and tools develop solutions to the problems and opportunities of our time.”
This year, Global Grad Show announced the inaugural Progress Prize, which was awarded to Ewa Dulcet & Martyna Świerczyńska from School of Form for their design ‘MIKO+: Physiotherapeutic Jewellery’. The winning prototype was selected by an international jury from fields of journalism, design, manufacturing, innovation and investment and demonstrate originality of idea, social impact, international relevance and feasibility.
Examples of design projects presented at this year’s Global Grad Show:
- All PET Shoe – a football boot made entirely of recycled plastic bottles, designed at ECAL/ University of Art and Design,
- The Loss of Words – an online platform that preserves the endangered languages, by documenting the languages Culture, Art and Literature, designed at The German University, New Cairo;
- Trabecular Tectonics – a lightweight architecture inspired by the structure of bones, designed at the Politecnico, Milan;
- Folks Kitchenware For The Blind – a system of kitchen utensils designed to aid the blind, designed at National University of Singapore, Singapore;
- Out of sight drawer – a drawer that hides dangerous tools from dementia patients under a tray, which creates a false bottom to the drawer, designed at Pratt Institute, New York.
- Kanga – a mobile resuscitation kit for new-borns, designed at Umeå Institute of Design, Umea.
- Bee2Bee – a mobile, lightweight and quick to assemble culture system for bees, designed at Offenbach University of Art & Design, Germany;
- Guma – a multipurpose rubber like substance made from waste objects and tyres for use in shows, stools, etc., designed at Centro University, Mexico City;
- Scroll – a ring to control an everyday Augmented Reality, designed at the Royal College of Arts, London.