To encourage upcoming local talent, the challenges that are hosted at the Student Zone will require students to develop creative design concepts – the Al Habtoor & ISG Design Challenge and the Fekra Design Competition.
The Al Habtoor & ISG Student Challenge is an event that has long been a highly successful show feature at Index. This year, for the second time, the challenge has been developed in conjunction with TASMENA, a non-profit organisation committed to supporting innovation in art and design. The challenge ‘Urban Playground: Active Design for a Healthy Urban Environment’ will have a strong focus on social responsibility, with an aim to tackle the growing epidemic of obesity in the UAE. Students from a number of the top universities across the UAE are competing to design a piece of public playground equipment. The brief suggests that the equipment should not only inspire the user to take part in physical activity but should utilise recycling elements and should also harness the physical motion of those playing to create enough energy to power an additional device/product.
Index Vice President, Lu Buchanan, said, “These challenges are a great opportunity for the upcoming local design talent here in the UAE. Not only does it provide them with a platform to display their work but it also allows students to have access to working alongside industry experts to gain an insight into how the design industry functions from a business perspective. We hope that by participating in the challenge the students gain invaluable experience that will help them to establish successful careers in the design industry.”
“The Al Habtoor & ISG Student Challenge has been one of the great success stories of Index’s talent development programme and we are thrilled to include the Fekra Design Competition this year that will allow the winning team to bring their concepts to fruition in the real world long after the show has ended. We thank the industry for supporting these initiatives and we are sure it will result in some truly innovative designs and excitement on the show floor. We can’t wait to see the results,” added Buchanan.
In regard to this year’s challenge theme, a spokesperson from TASMENA, added, “The cities and communities of the UAE have evolved dramatically over the past several years and we are keen to move the design industry forward in a way that caters to the changing demands of its cities and inhabitants. With the rapid rise of obesity and diabetes a major concern, we wanted to create a challenge that really hits at the heart of what the community needs in encouraging more active play for children. We look forward to seeing the solutions our participants design to meet the brief.”
The Fekra Design Competition – created through a partnership with Switch Restaurant and Al Ahli Holding Group – is focused on public-space design. A multidisciplinary challenge, the competition requires participants to design a state-of-the-art centre for the community to encourage the exchange of knowledge and inspire creativity. The competition consists of three challenges including ‘Creating a Brand Identity’ for the project; ‘Urban Planning and Architecture’ as well as ‘Interior Design and Molding’ the project. The winners will receive a cash prize in addition to having their creation implemented into the construction of the Art and Culture centre for the creative community in Dubai, where they will have the opportunity to work with the best in the industry to bring their art and dreams to reality.
Nasreen Al Tamimi, the Projects Development Manager at Al Ahli Holding Group, said, “Fekra is a celebration of the best in design, architecture and art that the UAE has to offer. We are pleased to have been invited to display our work at Index, where the local and international design community can see what the UAE has to offer in terms of contemporary design.”
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