4,500 UAE students to participate in DIDI’s Project Design Space

4,500 UAE students to participate in DIDI’s Project Design Space
Published: 23 January 2020 - 8:50 a.m.
By: Shalaka Paradkar

Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI) has announced the fourth season of DIDI Project Design Space (PDS), the UAE’s largest annual student design competition.

More than 4,500 students from 100 schools across the UAE are participating in the event – an increase of 26% on last year’s event. The contestants received five diverse challenges from Nike, LEGO Middle East, Emirates Nature-WWF, RAKBANK and Dubai Festival City Mall that span the fields of interior design, user interface design, retail, community engagement and the natural world.

Speaking exclusively to CID, Mohammad Abdullah, president, Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation, said: “Project Design Space was established more than four years ago with a simple goal: to inspire school children and provide them with a rare opportunity to solve real challenges facing different sectors in the UAE. At DIDI, we want students to embrace the dynamic and diverse world of design. We want to highlight that it is more than just an art form but a practice rooted in everyday functionality.

“In my mind, DIDI is the thin line between design, engineering and innovation. From the apps we use every day to the cutting-edge buildings materials we will need in the future; our unique curriculum aims to foster a sense of creativity and encourages students to take risks, push boundaries and create new ways of thinking and making. This will strengthen the economic contribution of design as the UAE builds a sustainable, diversified and knowledge-based economy.”

“Participation in Project Design Space has grown significantly since it was established and we are pleased to see a 26% increase in the number of people taking part compared to last year. We are always looking to the future and would love to attract more engagement from the public sector to complement our mix of real-world challenges. We would also like to explore the possibility of expanding Project Design Space to other countries in the GCC, as well as provide students with service-based design challenges to test their appetite for design and innovation.”

The innovative after-school programme was developed by DIDI, which offers a four-year design course with a curriculum crafted in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and The New School’s Parsons School of Design. The event offers a unique opportunity for students from grades 5 to 12 across different curriculums to solve real-world design challenges while enhancing their knowledge of design as an academic discipline and growing industry sector.


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