Zayed University Unveils Innovative Students Exhibition Concept

09 Jun 2020

Reaching out to the community and the creative industry to show their work despite the health restrictions, faculty and students from the Zayed University College of Arts and Creative Enterprises (CACE) have computer-generated their exhibition to showcase their graduation projects.

The Virtual showCACE: Interior Design Exhibition, runs for the very first time on a digital platform. It was launched back in May 2020 and resumes throughout the upcoming Summer and Fall semesters. The project was planned to be an aid for Internship placement employers to access and view the work of candidate students going out on their interviews.

This milestone achievement celebrates young talent as they take their place, not only in leading the cultural development of the UAE to establishment of a global identity, but also for being right brained, resilient and productive in the face of adversity, to ensure the continuation of their education.

Despite the restrictions imposed on society by the COVID-19 virus pandemic globally, faculty members explored alternatives for the students to exhibit their work to a wider audience through new methods of virtual expression. “The lockdown however, provided this opportunity. We wanted to show the community and industry how creative and adaptive faculty and students are at Zayed University,” said Dr. Kevin Badni, Dean of CACE.

“I am very proud of how the College has adapted in such a short time. A great example is the Interior Design final year submissions. These were not only evaluated with external reviewers through video conferencing, but the Interior design faculty also created a virtual exhibition based on our own gallery space. The student work, both 2D and 3D is displayed in this virtual environment where visitors can easily navigate and review the students’ hard work. It is a great example of the adaptability and creative thinking within the College during these difficult times,” Badni added.  

Lina Ahmad, Assistant Chair of Design and Associate Professor at CACE, said: “This year’s designs vary from the socially responsible, communal, educational, tolerant, commercial and culturally sensitive designs. We look forward to seeing our graduates as leaders and innovators in the field of Interior Design practice, who will inevitably have a significant contribution to the nation’s cultural fabric and to the UAE development of the creative industries.”

Karim Musfy, Coordinator of Interior Design and Assistant Professor at CACE, said: “As educators, we are extremely proud of our students and their willingness to dig deep within themselves and to stay self-motivated in order to deliver the highest quality work they can.”

Marco Sosa, Chair of Design and Associate professor at CACE, said: “We believe the set of skills gained at CACE will prepare them to enter the Creative Industry in the UAE, which with the current social changes, will make them great contributors to the emerging creative economy”

Omid Rouhani, Assistant Professor at CACE, said: “The initiative taken by the Abu Dhabi Interior Design faculty to create a virtual senior exhibition was not only a great homage to four years of hard work and dedication by our interior design students, but also a great opportunity to showcase their senior project to potential employers and design firms. The virtual senior exhibition was especially timely considering the challenges our 2020 graduates are going to face not only during but also beyond COVID-19. I can very much envision the virtual exhibition becoming an integral addition our regular CACE senior exhibition.”

Walter Willems, Exhibitions Curator, said: “The graduates of 2020 tackled the enormous challenge of adapting their capstone projects to fit an entirely different viewer experience than what could possibly have been imagined at the outset of the academic year. The agility, inventiveness and determination of our Interior design students and faculty is evidenced by their eager shift to the virtual space, ensuring a large audience for their thesis projects.  The virtual exhibition is an innovative way to expand the university’s platform to promote the talent of the students.”

Maryam Tahir Abdulrashid, CACE student, “It is a privilege and honour for me to have my Senior Project be a part of the Interior Design Virtual Exhibition. To have my project accessible to family members and friends abroad without them having to fly down and see my exhibition in person is remarkable. As a designer who completed their senior project in such extraordinary times, I feel lucky to have gone through such an experience, with many lessons learned to carry with me into the future. The Virtual Exhibition would not have been possible without the hard work of our professors, who strived for their students during these unprecedented times of a global pandemic. This whole experience will be quite an eventful memory to look back at.”

Afra Khalil Al Malki, CACE Student, "I find great interest in being part of an institution that provides me with the experience of self growth and development. I have witnessed animal brutality in some of the animal shelters I have visited and that inspired and motivated me to design my own animal shelter called “Difa’a”. Difa’a is not only an animal shelter, but it is a home for these innocent animals. It is a place to spread positivity and encourages people to make impactful changes."

The virtual exhibition includes the artwork and designs of the following graduates:

Rana Zaid, Alreem Mohamed Al Jneibi, Najat Saif Albraiki, Mouza Alfalasi, Maryam Tahi, Khawla Ahli, Naouf Mohamed Saif, Zainab Alblooki, Alya Naser, Fatema Obaid, Shamma Hasan, Shamsa AlMazrouei, Zainab Ashoor, Afra Khalil Al Malki, Hind AlJaberi, Maryam Al Ameri, Mira Yousif, Fatima Alketbi, Ayesha Almheiri, Sadaa Mubarak Almansoori, Maitha Mohammed Alrayssi, Aysha AlHashmi, and last but not least Moza Abdulla Al Mansoori