"Oxygen" - the School of Architecture, Art and Design Graduate Showcase at Dubai Design District
Dubai Design District, d3 hosted the Ameriacn University in Dubai at its design quarter last week. The School of Architecture, Art and Design at the American University in Dubai curated its graduate show, presenting thesis projects across the disciplines offered at this school. The show was organized with the extensive support of AUD’s strategic partner: Dubai Design District, d3.
Over two days, May 17 and May 18, the atrium of building six, at d3, hosted “Oxygen: the AUD Grad Show”. The concept of the show compares creativity to Oxygen, as both are equally crucial for the survival of humanity.
Over 20 graduates specializing in Architecture, Interior Design, Advertising, Digital Media, Graphic Design and Studio Art participated in this event, presenting their graduation projects to the public. Creative solutions ranged from the digital to the spatial, from the realistic to the fictional and from the current to the futuristic. All solutions addressed real problems, and made brave statements.
Led by their Chair, Dr. Georges Kachaamy, graduates from the Department of Architecture showcased a variety of nine architectural projects that offered well designed creative solutions such as “The Social Pier” by Omar Abou Nader, “One Hour” Architecture by Sally Al Jaderi, “The Laboratory of Supernatural” by Siyamak Khodayar“Ephemeral: The Architecture of Social Media” by Oana Amira Fayyad and “The Shackles Within” by Raya Bechara. All visualizations and physical models represented the professional level that is the reflection of the well balanced architectural curriculum that generates innovative architects who are well rounded pragmatic designers that manifest their ideas into feasible designs.
From the Department of Visual Communication, over ten graduates participated in the show, exhibiting either their full portfolios or their thesis projects across the different majors: Advertising, Digital Media, Graphic Design and Studio Art. Work comprised award-winning advertising campaigns, digital animations, graphic design studies and solutions as well as paintings, photography and sculpture. Professor of Advertising, Ms. Dina Faour, stated:  “Each within their area of expertise, our VC graduates continue to display excellent skills that encompass ideation and conception, execution and crafting as well as delivery and presentation. These skills qualified AUD to be named University of the Year by the Dubai Lynx Festival of Creativity 2017. Today, AUD stands as the only university in the MENA region to receive this title twice. We are obviously proud of these accomplishments and we are grateful for Dubai Design District for this opportunity to share beautiful work. What an exciting community to be part of!”
Professor Kristin Lee, Chair of the Interior Design Department also commented: “Each of our programs are intensive and our students need to be focused to do well. Likewise, often professors have little time to collaborate with one another outside our disciplines.  This show allowed us to exhibit work across disciplines, which was gratifying to behold. Speaking on behalf of the Interior Design Department, the breadth of topics students chose to tackle is a glimpse of their interests, what motivates them most. The topics of Interior Design student work 2017 featured in the d3 show were: a development center for autistic children, a culinary school, a botanical conservatory research and educational center and hotel, a music space based on the symantics, a community center based on the idea of The Street, a planetarium and research labs for the UAE’s mission to Mars, a student community, and a space for hearing impaired individuals to connect as well as receive therapy.  Given this vast list, I am both proud of our students and assured that the next generation of Interior Designers will have much to say and give back to their communities.” 
Dr. Chenaf, the School’s Dean, expressed his views in the following statement: “We are very proud to introduce yet another batch of creative problem solvers. No matter what major, the school encourages the same critical thinking approach. Solutions that prove feasible, original and effective have never been more needed. We want to thank our partners at Dubai Design District. This partnership stands as evidence for the truly inclusive design community that d3 has built. This is a partnership that brings us pride for sure.”
Mohammad Saeed Al Shehhi, COO of Dubai Design District commented: “d3 is pleased to support American University in Dubai’s graduate show once again this year as it presents the incredible, inspirational work of its Architecture, Interior Design and Visual Communications students.  We are committed to supporting talent in education and thereby helping shape the future of young designers emerging in Dubai and the Middle East. Our design community provides a unique platform where young designers can unite, co-create as well as establish important links with businesses across the design industry.”
The show received excellent reviews from design professionals and other visitors.