Hames Sharley’s WA Studio Project Assistant Georgina Spooner with fellow graduates.
WA Studio Project Assistant Georgina Spooner pictured (second from the left) with fellow graduates Caroline Frey (Aus), Ellisa Brunato (UK), Kristjan Juks (SE), Alice Thompson (NZ) and Pontus Edman (SE) at the Global Grad Show opening night.

As part of Dubai Design Week 2019, the Global Grad Show brought together the world’s top Graduates in Dubai to showcase a diverse range of innovative design projects between 12-16th November. Hames Sharley’s WA Studio Project Assistant Georgina Spooner attended the event and presented her Honours thesis project in the ‘Planet’ category of the exhibition.

Artists Impression of the Expo 2020 Dubai.
Artists Impression of the Expo 2020 Dubai, running for 173 days and welcoming 190 participating countries, and millions of visitors from across the globe. The event aspires to create a meaningful legacy that will benefit generations to come, both locally and globally.

With Dubai hosting the Expo 2020, this year’s Dubai Design Week was a particularly significant event that pushed the importance of bringing ground-breaking design to the global stage. The six-day programme covered a range of design disciplines including architecture, product design, interiors, multimedia and graphic design, and consisted of a range of design-related events, exhibitions, installations, competitions, talks, workshops and networking opportunities.

The DXB Dubai Design Week main hub; the Dubai Design District
The DXB Dubai Design Week main hub; the Dubai Design District

Held in the vibrant innovation hub of the Dubai Design District, Dubai Design Week united key design professionals from around the world to share with and inspire each other. Key components of Dubai Design Week include the region’s leading Design Fair, Downtown Design and the Global Grad Show. Interactive design installations addressed key issues in the middle east were featured throughout the laneways of the district.

Malaab.Dhad Installation
Malaab.Dhad Installation

Malaab.Dhad installation by Akwan was a homage to the “language of Dhad”. It embraced the Arabic letter form and presented them in a fun and interactive design calling attention to the beauty of the Arabic language. Akwan is a social movement, platform and company with a mission to instil the love of Arabic in children’s hearts; through play, educational tools and workshops.

WAL(L)TZ installation featuring graduate Pontus Edman.
WAL(L)TZ installation featuring graduate Pontus Edman.

WAL(L)TZ installation by T Sakhi Architects focused on transforming a wall into an activator of connection, sociability and awareness. Lebanon is highly congested with both physical walls, such as security barriers and barbed wires embedded in the urban infrastructure and psychological walls imposed by sociopolitical norms and misinterpretations of religious and cultural values. The pavilion is a linear, bursting with life and energy, through cracks and ‘loopholes’ to overcome barriers, and to stimulate connection and interaction. There are glaring paradoxes between the rigid nature of a wall and the animation of WAL(L)TZ, crafted in recycled foam, providing hints towards the resilience of the Lebanese society in the face of adversity.

The main hall of the Global Grad Show.
The main hall of the Global Grad Show, featuring the project category of ‘The City’.

In partnership with Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), the Global Grad Show showcased a selection of 150 projects from the next generation of innovators creating solutions for a better world. Curated by Eleanor Watson, a member of the curatorial team of the Design Museum in London, each project of the exhibition was organised according to the scale on which it operated – from the human to the home, the community, the city and the planet. Design students of this century not only push the boundaries of technological advancement and innovation but present a forecast for things to come. The curation of projects discussed a variety of pressing world issues, with each designer presenting a design solution based on compassionate and intellectual engagement.

Kristjan Juks, a graduate from Umea University in Sweden.
Kristjan Juks, a graduate from Umea University in Sweden, engaging with young international students from Dubai.

The exhibition welcomed the public, as well as representatives of industry and academia who interacted with the graduates responsible for each one of these innovative ideas. Whilst the event provided emerging designers with industry connections and opportunity to further develop their projects, what was most paramount in the success of the exhibition was the facilitation of interaction between the designers and children; school and university students from all around the middle-east travelled to Dubai to see the exhibition, inspiring them to pursue a career in design and help shape the future.

Events of this kind will be incredibly important in the coming decades, where design will be an crucial tool in combating our collective world issues.

Hames Sharley congratulate Georgina on winning the opportunity to take part in the Global Grad Show and continue to strive to actively support and mentor our graduates in expanding their knowledge through exposure to events such as this.

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