DIDI starts ‘digital bootcamp’ for UAE’s biggest student design contest

Virtual communication tools help keep Project Design Space in motion.

Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI) has adopted virtual communication and video conferencing to keep Project Design Space moving. DIDI has adopted a digital bootcamp-style format to help maintain momentum during the current exceptional circumstances.

Project Design Space is the UAE’s biggest student design competition – more than 4500 students from 100 UAE schools participate. The extracurricular contest challenges students to solve real-world problems through visual literacy, digital fluency and strategic proficiency.

The diverse challenges range from interior design to digital transformation, for competitors in school grades 5 to 12. Nike, LEGO Middle East, Emirates Nature-WWF, RAKBANK and Dubai Festival City Mall have all set design challenges.

A revised format

DIDI is the region’s first university exclusively dedicated to design and innovation. Its President, Mohammad Abdulla, said: “We are focused on supporting the UAE’s knowledge economy by developing students with hybrid skills. They will be able to thrive in a future world where today’s jobs may not exist. Project Design Space plays a vital role in demonstrating to students and parents that design matters more than ever before. Switching to a digital bootcamp reflects our commitment to help students unleash their creative innovation.”

Project Design Space’s revised format will see students send a video submission of their prototype to faculty members. Each submission will be reviewed digitally. The top 10 teams will receive detailed feedback from the DIDI faculty via video.

During April and May, a virtual open-house session will be held, helping students to tweak their designs ahead of the final.

This year’s Project Design Space contest is the fourth to take place; entries have risen 26% year-on-year. Schools from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Quwain, Ras al Khaimah and Fujairah are participating.