Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI) offers Bachelor of Design (BDes), the first multidisciplinary curriculum in the region with four disciplines: Product Design, Multimedia Design, Fashion Design, and Strategic Design Management. The 4-year program begins with an immersive year exposing students to basic visual, digital, and entrepreneurship skills. Then, from their second year onwards, students combine two disciplines to create their own educational journey.
With a world class curriculum designed in partnership with MIT and Parsons, DIDI’s vision is simple: to prepare students for a world where today’s jobs may not exist in the future. The program prepares students to seamlessly blur the boundaries between traditional fields of design, increasing their ability to practice empathy, solve complex problems, think critically, and develop a heightened level of emotional intelligence.
DIDI opened their first Graduate Exhibition at Dubai Design District (d3) on 25th May 2022. Presenting 32 innovative and thought-provoking projects by DIDI’s very first graduating class, this one-of-a-kind event showcased the future-thinking of DIDI’s students.
Hani Asfour, Dean of the DIDI commented, “It is truly a proud and defining moment as the first graduating class of DIDI showcase their final projects and we are confident that the ingenuity, inventiveness and thoughtfulness of our students will inspire and amaze visitors. Our rich and design-driven innovative DNA at DIDI seamlessly integrates design, technology and strategy and the projects on display demonstrate the diversity of subjects students explore, as well as the design thinking they embody to take their creations to the next level. From exploring fashion and child development to those advancing the design dialogue and tackling the metaverse, students are employing our disciplines of tech fluency, visual literacy and strategic proficiency to explore technologies and conversations that may well define the future.”
The exhibition truly showcased the university’s program of design and innovation-centric thinking at play across a variety of models, prototypes and digital interactive presentations. From the creation of an NFT fashion collection that was linked to a charitable foundation by one student to a phygital (physical plus digital) companion that assists children in developing emotional regulation skills through virtual experiences that replicate the “real” world. Other concepts presented by the students included: an application which aims to support early to mid-stage Dementia patients with reminiscence therapy using artificial intelligence and augmented reality; a speculative system and projects built for a plant and human bicentric society on Mars; an interactive physiotherapy solution for children; an option to customise high heels using a three-step process involving pressure identification testing.
Mohammad Abdullah, President of DIDI, said: “The demand for bright, courageous, innovative and empathetic minds has never been stronger, as we head to the fifth industrial revolution and see the working relationship between increasingly smart technologies and humans evolve yet further. Our students represent that future-focused cadre of thinkers, innovators and disruptors who will define the world of tomorrow and make an impact.”
DIDI was established in 2018 to nurture and empower a new generation of designers, innovators, and entrepreneurs in the Middle East and beyond, and this first Graduate Exhibition reinforced Dubai’s position as global hub for design and creativity.
Words by Saira Malik
Images supplied by the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation