Design Knowledge Intermediary
Emerging designers redefine innovation at Dubai Design Week
Bright ideas and forward-thinking prototypes from some of the design world's most promising young talents will get their moment in the limelight next week, as the third edition of the Global Grad Show kicks off in Dubai, as part of the city's annual design week.
One of the world's largest showcases of student work, the Global Grad Show will display 200 projects pulled from the degree shows of 92 leading design and technology programs from 43 countries.
In addition to being the biggest edition yet, this year's show also includes a larger percentage of female participants compared to previous years, a welcome development in a male-dominated industry and an evolution that Global Grad Show curator Brendan McGetrick believes reflects the future of the field.
"Because you are talking about students and the next generation of design, it's far more diverse -- not only in terms of gender, but also in terms of race and nationality -- than what you would think of as the global design profession, which if you look at the top-level designers in most fields, they are generally male, European or American, and maybe a handful of Japanese (decent)," McGetrick says.
"This level of diversity allows you to have a much deeper sense of what young designers are working on in different parts of the world, and how their creativity and ambitions are shaped by the specific material and cultural circumstances that they live in."
Addressing themes of empowerment, connection and sustainability, the projects include both the purely conceptual and the physical, from life-changing innovations for the elderly and the disabled to life-enhancing furniture, lighting and toys.
McGetrick underscores that while the term "innovation" is most widely associated with technological applications, the kind of innovation that the Global Grad Show promotes focuses on the originality of ideas, the sensitivity with which a problem has been identified, and the effectiveness of the response to those problems.
"Innovation to us is actually a basic way of thinking about how to make the world better. It doesn't require anything but a good idea, and the time and effort required to turn that idea into some kind of working prototype," McGetrick says.