AUC Graphic Design Graduates Shine at Dubai Design Week's MENA Grad Show


Four fresh graduates from The American University in Cairo (AUC) showcased their work recently on the international stage at Dubai Design Week's MENA Grad Show, among 200 works from 92 universities in 40 countries worldwide. Lama Adham ‘21, Donia Elshimy ‘20, Amanda Ioannou ‘20 and Reem Hasebou ‘20 traveled to Dubai along with Ghalia Elsrakbi, associate professor of practice and director of AUC’s graphic design program, to share with the public their final products, or prototypes, that were a year in the making — each one providing a creative and innovative solution for a problem facing the world. Their projects vary from applications that support dementia patients and promote the upcycling of biodegradable materials to anti-air pollution kits and a board game that educates players on internet privacy. “The event aims to support students and their ideas,” says Elsrakbi, explaining that participating at the show can open the door for students to turn their products into reality.

Although the prototypes were born out of the quartet’s graduation projects for the same subject – graphic design – they all differ greatly. They include Waft, a sustainable wearable technology kit designed for protection from air pollution; DemiCare, a mobile application that supports dementia patients and informal caregivers; Al Madda, a website and app aimed at promoting the upcycling of biodegradable materials; and Terms & Conditions, a board game that educates players on privacy, security and data consumption.

During the weeklong event, two projects from AUC — Waft and DemiCare — were selected for the show’s Entrepreneurship Programme, which will provide them with mentoring, funding and business development support for their products.

In order to develop the prototypes for their projects, graphic design students at AUC must conduct a semester’s worth of extensive background research, followed by a semester dedicated to the meticulous design of the final product itself. “For example, in her first semester, Donia, who designed DemiCare conducted research on dementia patients. “She then [in her second semester] designed the application, tested it, made a prototype and presented it,” explained Elsrakbi. 


Lama Adham did the research and design of Waft in collaboration with AUC's Department of Chemistry, focusing on the material, technology and design to develop the optimum comfort for the user within their day-to-day usage. "I have always been fascinated with the idea of merging technology and design together and I have always wanted to use my work in design for the greater good, " Adham explains.


Donia Elshimy’s project DemiCare aims to support dementia patients. “As a former caregiver myself for four years, information seeking [on dementia] was very difficult,” she said. “I hope that DemiCare can support and guide the caregivers to be able to support their loved ones with a comfortable daily life,” Elshimy added. For her, participating in the grad show has been a dream, “It's important as a designer to reflect on the work of other designers, scientists and engineers, and get together to showcase urgent solutions that can impact and shape our future and societies.”


Reem Hasebou’s project Terms & Conditions focuses on raising awareness about data consumption, privacy and security through a game. "I hope that Terms & "Conditions can create a cross-generational space of learning and sharing about topics of data consumption, privacy and security,” says Hasebou, who also minored in anthropology. “The game was created for 13-17-year-olds but can be utilized by all ages. It is meant to help start a conversation between family members and friends in a fun and engaging manner." Hasebou considers participating in the show an opportunity for her. “It truly was a wonderful opportunity to not only showcase my work but also to meet designers based in the MENA region with the same passion for design that centers around social impact and education.”


Amanda Ioannou work Al Madda aims to promote the upcycling of biodegradable materials through an app and a website. “I was so blessed to have been featured in Dubai Design Week, where I got to meet experts in the field, receive feedback from multiple age groups and watch children and students surprisingly get particularly intrigued about the project,” she recalls. “It was amazing to see how many people were interested in the project and looking forward to downloading the application and trying out these materials from home with their families — that is the main point of the project.”

Also present at the show were investors and people from the culture and innovation sectors and students and professors from other universities — a mix full of networking opportunities for the participants, according to Elsrakbi. “It’s a great opportunity and very important to our program at AUC,” she says. 

لمزيد من اخبار الجامعة تابعونا على فيسبوك

وتويتر @AUC

أنشئت الجامعة الأمريكية بالقاهرة عام 1919 وتعتبر واحدة من أكبر الجامعات التي توفر تعليماً ليبرالياً باللغة الإنجليزية في العالم العربي. وبمشاركتها في الحياة الاجتماعية والفكرية والثقافية في الوطن العربي فإن الجامعة الأمريكية تعتبر جسراً حيوياً لربط الشرق بالغرب وتربط مصر والمنطقة بالعالم بأسره من خلال الأبحاث العلمية وعقد شراكات مع المؤسسات الأكاديمية   التعليم بالخارج. الجامعة الأمريكية بالقاهرة جامعة مستقلة، غير هادفة للربح، لا حزبية ومتعددة الثقافات التخصصات وتمنح فرصاً متساوية لجميع الدارسين ومعترف بها في مصر والولايات المتحدة الأمريكية وجميع برامجها الدراسية معتمدة من المجلس الأعلى للجامعات في مصر ومن جهات الاعتماد الأمريكية.