As part of the Dubai Design Week that is taking place from the 13th to the 18th of November 2017, the College of Design at the American University in the Emirates, organized the 3rd International Design Conference under the title of “Design in a Digital World”, that tackled the recent trends and challenges that influences the design field; on Monday, Nov,13, 2017 on campus.
Professor Muthanna Abdul Razzaq, President of the university, inaugurated the conference by welcoming the attendees who came from different parts of the world including Switzerland, Denmark, Austria, and India in addition to the faculty, students, and admin of the university. Pro. Abdul Razzaq praised the initiative and considered it to be a creative opportunity for all students and attendees. He proceeds to highlight the achievements of the students focusing on the Underwater Fashion Show which he views as a very successful event and an example of how creativity shapes the university's practical work.
The conference commenced with Prof. Michael Krohn from Zurich University of the Arts of Switzerland, who is much interested in solving future design challenges with a scientific approach. Pro. Krohn who was fascinated with the history of objects and how each object has it’s own background and function, discussed his views concerning digitalization and culture and how digitalization is slowly erasing the identities of objects adding how people are more interested in the simplicity of the function of a certain object rather than the design of it from the outside.
Prof. Micheal reflected his views and opinion regarding the educational aspects and how students are being educated for jobs that do not exist at the moments but will be present in the near future. “No matter where you are in the world, the result is always the same: everybody wears the same sneakers” Pro. Krohn said regarding the disadvantages that technology and digitalization have brought to the design field.
Following into that, Mr. Talik Chalabi from Chalabi Architekten & Partner ZT GmbH Austria, fascinated the attendees with his outstanding projects which particularly featured the Sheikh Zayed learning center in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi. Mr. Chalabi had an interesting view of his projects, he believed that each region should have an architecture that is inspired by the culture and natural environment of it. For the Sheikh Zayed learning center, he wanted to create something that represented the dessert in a way, which is, in this case, burrowing animals and their underground holes, and that is why his architecture was partly underground. He also used colors and natural lighting, and ancient methods of cooling down the sustainable building.
Another speaker who presented a chain of impressive ideas was Prof. Douglas Stanley from the Geneva Art School in Switzerland, who shared with attendees a number of projects that he has done with his students under the name of Salon. " We all play games, whether they're electronic games or social game” Prof. Stanely said. He perceived games as objects of distraction that take the human mind to another world, to a different creative world.
Other presentations took place in the auditorium which practitioners, students, and faculty & admin of the university attended. The presentations discussed the process of infusing technologies in different domains and disciplines of design to create something innovative that makes people see, think and react.