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Global Grad Show

12 November 2019 @ 10.00 am - 16 November 2019 @ 10.00 pm


The Global Grad Show is one of the best reasons for Dubai Design Week, in magpie’s view. The young are always going to produce some of the most imaginative design thinking, even if they may not yet have the experience or the resources to realise their projects fully; that combination of good ideas and high potential is genuinely exciting. And while Dubai is still emerging as a global design hotspot, the exposure to alternative solutions from around the world is just what we need to demonstrate the possibilities.

The global gathering of young designers will return to Dubai 12-16 November with more than 150 graduates from 43 countries due to come to Dubai for the event (see the pic above: they’re fully funded to attend, so only perversity or adversity should prevent us seeing them alongside their work). They’ve apparently been selected from around a thousand applications received from more than 200 institutions, double the number of 2018 – clearly Global Grad Show is increasingly being perceived as an important addition to the young designers’ landscape.

The event claims to be “the world’s largest and most diverse gathering of universities and graduates working on social impact innovation” – the brief is to create “projects that will positively impact the planet” – and this year’s event has five ‘curatorial themes’: The Human, The Home, The Community, The City and The Planet.

The show’s curator, Eleanor Watson, joined the team this year from the London Design Museum. She explained the curatorial approach as showing the connections between different spheres of human existence: “As visitors walk through the exhibition, they will experience projects related to the human first, moving on to the home and community and finally the city, and planet. Our hope is that it will inspire others to think critically about how they live, while inspiring all of us to act consciously”.

There was a record number of applications this year and an expanded exhibition space houses the largest number of projects to date. Global Grad Show will have 150 of them, work from universities and colleges in emerging areas like including Chile, Uganda, Egypt, Pakistan and Thailand alongside the more established Western institutions such as Harvard, Stanford and Imperial College. And from the UAE, regional institutions such as Zayed University and NYU Abu Dhabi will present advanced solutions for problems ranging from ageing populations to food security.

The programme also includes an Entrepreneurship Programme for participating students and a conference on Innovating for Social Impact.

Global Grad Show is at Buildings 4 and 6, Dubai Design District to 16 November.



12 November 2019 @ 10.00 am
16 November 2019 @ 10.00 pm
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Dubai Design District
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