Global Grad Show brought "groundbreaking" student work from around the world to Dubai

Movie: in our next movie for Dubai Design Week, Global Grad Show curator Brendan McGetrick explains why it was important to present an exhibition of student projects at Dubai's inaugural design festival.

Global Grad Show at Dubai Design Week 2015

Global Grad Show presented 50 graduate projects from 10 international design schools across Europe, America and Asia, including London's Royal College of Art, Swiss college ÉCAL and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Global Grad Show at Dubai Design Week 2015

"The exhibition features groundbreaking works from the world's leading design schools brought together for the first time," McGetrick says in the movie, which was filmed by Dezeen in Dubai.

Global Grad Show at Dubai Design Week 2015

Designs were arranged into seven categories: health, home, work, play, energy, construction and memory.

Rather than present a series of beautiful objects, McGetrick says he wanted to create an exhibition that was about ideas.

Global Grad Show at Dubai Design Week 2015

"What we're trying to do with Global Grad Show is show design that's not aesthetic-driven but idea-driven," he explains. "What's exciting about a student show is not that you're seeing immaculate things. You're seeing prototypes that could be further developed, either by the students or somebody else."

Global Grad Show at Dubai Design Week 2015

McGetrick chose projects for the show that identify and respond to particular problems in society.

"We want to provide a platform for people to think about design, which is really responding to needs," he says. "For instance, one of the issues that I found recurring in a lot of the projects had to do with ageing."

Libue toilet by Hong Kong Polytechnic University graduate Emily Tang

Hong Kong Polytechnic University graduate Emily Tang presented a toilet designed to be easier for people suffering with Parkinson's disease to use.

Flex walking stick by Kevin Chiam
Flex walking stick by Kevin Chiam

National University of Singapore graduate Kevin Chiam created a walking stick featuring a base that spreads out on contact with the ground to provide greater stability.

National University of Singapore graduate Kevin Chiam
National University of Singapore graduate Kevin Chiam

"I realised that the walking sticks the elderly use are very unstable because the contact with the ground is very small," Chiam says. "I wanted to increase the contact with the ground, to increase the traction so it's more stable."

Zishi Posture Sensing Garment by Qi Wang
Zishi Posture Sensing Garment by Qi Wang

Eindhoven University of Technology PhD student Qi Wang presented a vest with embedded sensors that monitor the wearer's posture and alerts them if they become too hunched over.

Eindhoven University of Technology phD student Qi Wang
Eindhoven University of Technology phD student Qi Wang

"When you wear it you can set a personalised range [of healthy movement]," Wang explains. "Once you're over that range you feel a vibration on your back."

Global Grad Show at Dubai Design Week 2015

Dubai Design Week launched its first edition this year and McGetrick believes it was important to make idea-driven student work a key part of the programme from the beginning.

Global Grad Show at Dubai Design Week 2015

"Dubai is just emerging as a design centre and its definition of design hasn't calcified yet, so it's much more open to wider interpretations of what design can be," he explains.


Subscribe to Dezeen's YouTube channel for the latest architecture and design movies


"That's really what we're trying to do at the show," he added. "This is a place for people to come and actually understand from the ground level what design is supposed to do and I think that's really exciting for people to see."

Global Grad Show curator Brendan McGetrick
Global Grad Show curator Brendan McGetrick

This movie was produced by Dezeen as part of a series for Dubai Design Week. You can watch the rest of the movies on our YouTube playlist: