Dubai, UAE: The Architecture department under the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society (EGIS) at Heriot-Watt University Dubai today launched ‘CMYK’ – a unique and innovative virtual showcase of students’ projects. In light of the current pandemic, the live exhibition that traditionally takes place annually has been reimagined as an online virtual space.
The title of this year’s showcase is inspired from the CMYK colour model; an abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black), which is a method for mixing primary pigments to create nearly any colour on the visible spectrum. Just as the colours of CMYK, the virtual showcase is divided into four-colour sections each representing years one to four of the 2019/20 cohort of BA (Hons) Architecture.
Projects on display represent the analytic, artistic, and spatial development of the students who approached various themes including Elderly Care, Space Research, Living Complex, and Crisis, to address specific design challenges. To help them develop their design ideas, students were taken on field trips to significant places of interest in the UAE such as the Dubai Astronomy Centre, Mleiha Archaeological Centre Sharjah, Dibba Al Fujairah, and Al Khor Creekside during the course of their academic year (pre COVID-19).
Alida Bata, Assistant Professor of Architecture at the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society (EGIS) said, “Heriot-Watt University Dubai said, “We are very proud of our students who have extended their innovative spirit beyond their projects to create this virtual showcase. Presenting work from across the four years of undergraduate design studios, this exhibition is a testament to the dedication of our students and their creativity that flourished during the unexpected challenges of 2020.”
Shameel Muhammed, Assistant Professor of Architecture at EGIS added, “Our values are deeply rooted in shaping the future and by launching this virtual exhibition, we wanted to provide a platform to enable the next generation of architects showcase their talent on display and get noticed by industry professionals for future career prospects. Our endeavour is line with the strategic vision of our University, and we hope to inspire and help grow the design movement in the region.”
In response to the problem of social isolation faced by a rapidly growing ageing population across the globe, first-year students were tasked to create more inviting and accessible urban public spaces that can increase the interaction of the elderly with the youth or children to share their experiences. Following this, the students were challenged to design a 250 sqm residential cabin for a small fishing town at Fujairah as a synthesis of comfort, nature and design that also helps preserve the country’s rich maritime legacy. In line with Expo 2020’s theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,’ second-year students proposed designs for an ecosystem of co-working spaces that facilitates collaboration, embedded with innovative technology and sustainability. Inspired by the UAE’s ambitious space programme, the other group of second-year students were to design a space research institute that houses three main sections: Space Exploration, Astronaut Training, and Living on Mars.
Third-year students were tasked with developing a living complex that factors in the dynamic variety of ways people live in Dubai. One group of students interpreted a brief that asked them to design a cluster housing responsive to the needs of local families, workers and students. They were subsequently challenged to design a ‘House of Architecture’ as a future home of architecture in the UAE within the highly intensive urban context of Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC), the region’s leading financial hub. Inspired by the ambitious agendas of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement, and RIBA’s Ethics and Sustainable Development Action Plan on climate change, the brief for fourth-year students asked them to respond to the theme of crisis with more resilient and durable architecture.
Led by Assistant Professors Shameel Muhammed and Alida Bata, students and graduates combined forces to create this special platform that provides an immersive experience and enables visitors to navigate the virtual exhibition space using an avatar. CMYK is a platform for the students to share their ideas and contribute to the global design discourse. CMYK is also open to industry professionals looking to identify and connect with budding talent and for those aspiring to build a career in architecture.
The BA (Hons) Architecture course at Heriot-Watt University Dubai equips graduates with the key analytical and practical skills and knowledge required to work for consultants, contractors or government at an entry-level. Graduates are highly sought after by employers worldwide with many going to enjoy impressive careers at reputed firms across the region and internationally.
The exhibition is currently live and running until the 11th of September 2020 at hub.link/GUsEBPn.
© Press Release 2020