Hosted in Dubai’s Design District (D3), the 2016 Global Grad Show featured 135 projects by recently graduated students around the world. The collection, curated by Brendan McGetrick, include a huge set of works ranging from highly conceptual to fully realized. Participating designers and their families were invited to travel with their presentations, answering questions and sharing ideas throughout Dubai Design Week.
Among the projects certain themes emerged, often reflecting international wants and needs. Mobile recharging methods for battery-powered devices, for instance, came up in multiple formats (generally driven by solar or wind technology).
At the same time, many of the designs reflected region-specific issues, addressing problems faced by students or those around them. Designers tackled questions of refugee housing, sanitation and education, often with very specific user groups in mind.
Created by pre-professional designers, the solutions varied in terms of feasibility, liberated (for better or worse) from many practical constraints. Some will simply become portfolio pieces while others are already raising funding for further development.
Even solutions that seem far-fetched, though, deal with the problems that remain very real. “With each submission, I asked myself, ‘why does this need to exist?'” curator McGetrick said of the selection process.
“Different localities bring new and exciting solutions based on their particular cultural and material conditions. My goal for the exhibition is to give visitors a glimpse of projects that identify poorly addressed problems, provide new tools, and demonstrate new ways of thinking.”
As the Global Grad Show grows from year to year, its organizers are moving to expand beyond simply showcasing these works. This year, for instance, they offered workshops and seminars to visiting graduates about how to take their designs into the real world. As with any idea, good design is just part of the equation: securing support and running a business requires additional skills and dedication.
Check out more projects online at Dubai Design Week.