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Various design projects including an app interface, magazine layout, and package design

AUC at Cairo Design Week

Em Mills
March 20, 2024

An exciting convergence of the Egyptian design industry, Cairo Design Week celebrated artists through events, competitions and dynamic exhibitions. AUC alumni stood out across multiple categories, recognized for their talents in digital media, illustration, typography, visual communication and UI/UX design, and an open studio exhibition by Ghalia Elsrakbi, associate professor of practice in the Department of the Arts, highlighted students' educational journey at AUC. In addition, speakers from AUC’s Rare Books Library gave exciting and immersive talks in the Citadel of Cairo, culminating in a walking tour. 

Alumni Project Highlights

Alumni were honored across multiple categories, showcasing their strengths through innovative, eye-catching designs. 

Two hands point to cards showing calming circular graphics


Emote is a tool for emotional communication in the form of a projective therapy kit for therapists to use during their sessions. Emote eases the journey through each session, not just for the client, but also the therapist. The cards have abstract compositions that allow one to subjectively project and layer their emotions, to help ease communication barriers.

Jasmine Ramzy ’23, graphic design

Winner of the ‘Visual Communication Design’ category, in the ‘Apps & UI-UX’ subcategory


Magazine spread with an illustration of a woman posing in a dress

Once Upon an Archive

Once Upon an Archive is a design project that attempts to explore and investigate the relationship between the world of fashion and the sociopolitical changes of the 20th century. Through delving into the archives of the iconic magazines; Al Musawwar (1924), Misr-el-hadithah El Musawara (1927), Al-Kawakib (1932), Akher Saa (1934), and Bint Al Nil (1945), visuals were collected covering the years 1899 until 1952 and a timeline of political events was created in correspondence to the collected timeline of fashion-related visuals. The project allows viewers to engage in an immersive experience through flipping through a publication detailing the timeline of events while simultaneously seeing the projected animations of the collected visuals. Through this project I aim to experiment with different ways in which archival material can be presented.  

Hager Gamal El Attar ’23, graphic design and integrated marketing communication

Winner of the ‘Visual Communication Design’ category, in the ‘Digital Media’ subcategory


Graphic showing a repeating angular pattern


Namat is an Arabic display typeface. The typeface is meant to reflect characteristics of Islamic geometric patterns, and could be used for cultural events, festivals, display, or creating an identity for a space like a museum. Alongside it's basis in components drawn from Islamic art, I have also given the typeface modern aspects. Namat is slanted, modern, has a 3D effect, and has a great contrast. 

Marina Nader Asham ’22, graphic design with a minor in architecture

Honorable Mention, Typography 


Logo reading Azza Fahmy in latin letters and Arabic script

Azza Fahmy | Arabic Logo Adaptation

In 2020, I was commissioned by Azza Fahmy, a renowned Egyptian jewelry design house that has been passionately translating cultures into art since 1969, to create an Arabic type logo that complements their existing Latin type logo. The objective was to develop a type adaptation logo, ensuring that the Arabic type logo captures the essence and features of the Latin letterforms, resulting in a harmonious type-matching logo. The project involved a deep understanding of both Latin and Arabic scripts, meticulous great attention to detail, and a profound appreciation for the cultural context behind each script. By respecting the unique characteristics of each script while skillfully integrating their shared features, the result was a balanced bilingual logotype.

Sarah Shebl ’17, double major in graphic design and communication and media arts  

Winner of the ‘Visual Communication Design’ category, in the ‘Typography’ subcategory


Faculty Advisers

Bahia Shehab (MA '09), professor of practice in the Department of the Arts, as well as Jochen Braun and Ghalia Elsrakbi, associate professors of practice in the Department of the Arts, served as faculty advisers for alumni participating in the event.

I'm particularly proud and pleased that our students who won and were featured are receiving recognition. Design competitions are relatively scarce in Egypt, and our students sometimes hesitate to participate. I hope that the success of these students will inspire others to participate in the future. Notably, all the winning projects address locally relevant topics, such as designing for social impact, sustainability, health, education or reimagining cultural heritage. This aligns with our program's philosophy of teaching design. We consider it our duty to contribute to the discourse on what design can and should achieve in Egypt and the region. The jury's choices and the recognition our students received validate this approach. -Jochen Braun


Alumni pose with various awards at Cairo Design Week

Marina Nader Asham, Hager Elattar, Jasmine Ramzy, Habiba Tarek Abouseif, Maryam Mohsen Al-Najjar and Sarah Khaled Shebl


Alumni Honored

Architecture Competition Win

Man in a black jacket and blue jeans presents in front of a conference background

The only AUC representative at the Cairo Design Week Architecture Competition, architecture senior Nayer Rizkallah won first prize alongside his team for designing a floating city to accommodate refugees. Focusing on preserving and reclaiming heritage, the team integrated traditional elements of Palestinian architectural designs into the project to prioritize both physical safety and cultural resilience.

Open Studio Exhibition 


Person stands looking at a colorful wall filled with bright graphic art

The Graphic Design Open Studio Exhibition was displayed in the Margo Veillon, Future, Legacy and Ewart galleries in AUC Tahrir Square. 

"The exhibition aims to give a comprehensive idea of the program's educational vision regarding graphic design practices by highlighting students' educational journey over four years." - Ghalia Elsrakbi


People standing around a gallery with colorful images displayed

Ghalia Elsrakbi, associate professor of practice; in the Department of the Arts; Provost Ehab Abdel-Rahman; President Ahmad Dallal; Eman Morga; assistant director for special projects  in the Rare Books and Special Collections Library; and Stephen Urgola, University archivist and director of AUC records management, at the Open Studio Exhibition. Students researched a variety of topics, supported by the Rare Books and Special Collections Library, before embarking on their exhibition projects

Talks by the Rare Books and Special Collections Library


rare books exhibition display in cairo design week

"Seat of the Throne," travelers' accounts printed on ceramics, part of AUC's Rare Books and Special Collections Library presentation at the Citadel during Cairo Design Week.

History came to life at the Citadel of Cairo through the expertise of speakers Waleed Arafa, Ola Seif, Balsam Abdul-Rahman, Menna El Mahy, and Eman Morgan from AUC’s Rare Books and Special Collections Library. The talk was followed by a walking tour led by renowned historian Seif El Rashidi around a few select monuments within the Citadel.