2016 lineup announced for Global Grad Show

The 2016 roster has been announced for the Global Grad Show, one of the best features of Dubai Design Week.

Claimed to be “the largest exhibition of student work from universities across the world ever to take place”, the Global Grad Show will have 135 projects from 50 universities in 30 countries. Alongside the exhibition there will be a design education summit including the designers and people from the participating universities.

Brendan McGetrick, curator (and initiator) of the Global Grad Show
Brendan McGetrick, curator (and initiator) of the Global Grad Show

Curated by Brendan McGetrick, the designer/writer/editor who initiated the Global Grad Show last show, the exhibition aims to showcase “the products, solutions and inventions that will shape our future” – a grand (and possibly grandiose) claim, but one that fits exactly the blend of free-thinking and chutzpah that the best students need.

The works on show will be categorised by theme rather than by school provenance; the themes chosen are health, construction, home, work, memory, mobility, and play.

“With each submission, I asked myself, ‘why does this need to exist?’” McGetrick said of the selection process. “My goal for the exhibition is to give visitors a glimpse of projects that identify poorly addressed problems, provide new tools, and demonstrate new ways of thinking.”

Some of the exhibited projects are prizewinners from the last 18 months, including a number of James Dyson and iF Student Design Awards, so their credibility has already been established internationally. Some examples of the projects to be exhibited:

algae▶︎ Algae Harvester (Fredrik Ausinsch, Umeå Institute of Design) – sea harvester that powers itself with biofuel produced by the algae collected from the water it cleans.

▶︎ Exacto (Patricia Landeta, National Autonomous University of Mexico) – social networking application that identifies and maps accessible spaces for people with physical handicaps.

bottle▶︎ Bottlelight (Christoph Kuppert and Helena Wendtat, University of Wuppertal) – combination water purifier and camping light.

▶︎ Favo (Núria Molina and Anastasia Melnikova, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro) – motion-operated shower system designed for communities that lack running water.

▶︎ Flat World (Yosra Gamal, German University in Cairo) – a set of maps designed to reveal that arbitrary nature of political borders.

growframe▶︎ Growframe (Philippe Hohlfeld, Royal College of Art) – system of collapsible hydroponic farms that can grow food in empty shipping containers returning to Asia (half of which go back empty).

▶︎ Hilla (Tilda Jyräsalo, Lara Jasim, and Jaakko Raami, Aalto University) – night light system to help the elderly and the visually impaired to move about their homes safely.

wind▶︎ Micro Wind Turbine (Nils Ferber, ECAL) – miniature wind turbine that can charge mobile devices in harsh conditions.

▶︎ Oud/Kanoun (Nesma Khodier, VCUQatar) – a device designed to make  traditional Arabic music more accessible.

▶︎ Shelters for Extended Families (Dina Samara of American University of Sharjah) – system of inhabitable roofscapes designed for refugee camps to provide communal spaces without compromising currently existing private and service spaces.

Oneware-3▶︎ Oneware (Loren Lim Tian Hwee, National University of Singapore) – modular housewares that make food preparation and sink use easier for people with only one hand.

▶︎ Ziggy (Mohololo Nkoana, Tshwane University of Technology) – personal hand-operated washing device based on an accordion.

SynchronyHero▶︎ Synchrony (Kenneth Tay, ArtCenter College of Design) – touch-based music therapy platform designed for autistic children.

▶︎ TippyTalk (Robert Laffan, Limerick Institute of Technology) – touchscreen app that allows a person with a verbal disability to communicate by translating pictures into text messages.


The 50 participants:

AustraliaRoyal Melbourne Institute of Technology
AustriaFH Joanneum
BrazilPontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro
Santa Catarina State University
CanadaEmily Carr University of Art + Design
ChinaAnhui University of Technology
Tsinghua University
CubaHigher Institute of Industrial Design
EgyptGerman University in Cairo
FinlandAalto University
FranceÉcole de design Nantes Atlantique
École Supérieure d’Art et Design de Saint-Étienne
GermanyUniversity of the Arts Bremen
University of Design Schwäbisch Gmünd
University of Wuppertal
Hong KongHong Kong Polytechnic University
IndiaSrishti Institute
IrelandLimerick Institute of Technology
ItalyIstituto Europeo di Design
JapanKeio University
Samsung Art and Design Institute
Ibero-American University
National Autonomous University of Mexico
University of Guadalajara
NetherlandsDesign Academy Eindhoven
Eindhoven University of Technology
New ZealandAuckland University of Technology
PeruPontifical Catholic University of Peru
QatarVCU Qatar
Saudi ArabiaKing Abdullah University of Science and Technology
SingaporeNational University of Singapore
South AfricaTshwane University of Technology
SpainUPC Barcelona Tech
SwedenUmeå Institute of Design
TaiwanNational Taiwan University of Science and Technology
TurkeyMiddle East Technical University
UAEAmerican University of Sharjah
American University in Dubai
NYU Abu Dhabi
UKCambridge University
Royal College of Arts
USAArt Center College of Design
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Northeastern University
Pratt Institute
Rhode Island School of Design
University of Illinois Chicago


The Global Grad Show will be at d3 building 6 during Dubai Design Week, 24-29 October 2016.


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