University of Zayed students' virtual showcase.

Zayed University students present 10 interior design projects

Graduates from UAE's Zayed University present projects including an Arabic calligraphy centre and a place of worship that challenges "repetitive approaches to mosque design" in this VDF school show.

The 10 works exhibited below were created by undergraduate interior design students at the College of Arts and Creative Enterprises (CACE). Projects from the rest of this year's graduating class can be viewed in the school's 360-degree Virtual ShowCACE.


College of Arts and Creative Enterprises (CACE), Zayed University

University: Zayed University
Course: BFA Interior Design
Tutors: Lina Ahmad, Karim Musfy, Omid Rouhani, Mehdi Sabet and Marco Sosa
Studio: ADR 496 Senior Project
Graduate show: Virtual ShowCACE

Course statement:

"The Interior Design Senior Project at CACE is an advanced course, requiring students to utilise the depth and breadth of their conceptual and technical abilities to conceive, develop and present an original interiors project.

"Usually, CACE would have hosted its end of year graduate ShowCACE in spring but due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, we are highlighting students' work via a virtual online exhibition this year. The interior design department has developed a dedicated website to highlight the work of its graduates."


Calligraphy Hub by Aysha Al Hashmi

"With the gradual loss of the Arabic language, Arabic identity has begun to fade away. I wanted to highlight this problem through a proposed Calligraphy Hub, which was designed for the Manarat Al Saadiyat arts centre in Abu Dhabi.

"The space draws visitors' attention to the beauty of their language in an artistic way, to help them regain a sense of pride in their identity and origins. I wanted to create a space where all people but especially the young could learn, experience and enjoy the art of calligraphy to help save their culture and history."

Email: aysha.alhashmi@outlook.com
Website: caceidexhibition2020/sadaa-almansoori


Zayed University interiors students rethink and revive their Arabic heritage

Al Shindagha Architectural Incubator by Alia Al Maktoum

"This proposal encompasses an architectural incubator in the Al Shindagha neighbourhood of Dubai. The incubator will aid the development of new business ventures by providing low-cost commercial space, management assistance and shared services.

"The proposed space will cater to designers, in particular, helping them to start up businesses that contribute to the development of the creative industries in the area. Via the incubator, visitors, students, faculty and professional architects and interior designers will have the chance to explore the district as well as the neighbouring museums."


Bait Al Shabab by Maryam AlAmeri 

"Bait Al Shabab's primary focus is on the young people in the Emirate of Sharjah through creating a dedicated space to share knowledge, experiences, hobbies, interests and relaxation with people from all walks of life.

"Bait Al Shabab, or the House of Al Shabab, will provide Sharjah's youth with an opportunity to have it all in one place – a place that is made just for them and will serve their needs and desires. The project is based on a building that is more than 100 years old, which is preserved and reused to serve the needs of Bait Al Shabab."

Email: MaryamAl3amri@gmail.com
Website: caceidexhibition2020/afra-khalil-almalki


Zayed University interiors students rethink and revive their Arabic heritage

Elham by Maryam Albannai

"Elham means inspiration and muse, signifying a belief in the creative abilities and joys of autism. It is a place where children with autism can develop their creativity and express themselves through art.

"Through the medium of design, this project seeks to eliminate learning and communication difficulties faced by autistic children and help them develop their confidence. Elham is about possibilities, focusing on what autistic children can do instead of what they can't. The project nurtures the creative ability of each child and provides them with the skills to lead active and fulfilling lives in the future."


Purity Cafe by Sadaa Mubarak Almansoori 

"In my childhood, I spent most of my time in the garden of my family house surrounded by the sight and smell of trees. The sun peeking through the branches and the occasional breeze of clean air helped me to feel comfortable and relaxed.

"Due to harsh weather conditions in the United Arab Emirates, there is a lack of outdoor seating that can actually be used in the summertime, which made me miss the feeling of being close to nature. In response, Purity Cafe creates the experience of being outdoors throughout the year inside an environmentally-controlled interior."

Email: 201409798@zu.ac.ae
Website: caceidexhibition2020/sadaa-almansoori


Zayed University interiors students rethink and revive their Arabic heritage

Enlightenment by Khawla Ahli

"As an interior designer, I believe my role is to design solutions that are both aesthetically pleasing and sustainable. This senior project represents both a futuristic and environmentally-conscious space. The design of Enlightenment implements new techniques in terms of space division and lighting design as well as its materials and colour scheme.

"Its atmosphere creates the illusion of living in the future while housing a future-focused academy that aims to educate students about how to plan and propose solutions to climate change by adopting new technologies."

Email: 201509798@zu.ac.ae
Website: caceidexhibition2020/maryam-tahir


The Flame by Najat Saif Albraiki

"As an interior designer, I've always been interested in human psychology, as well as studying the way human bodies move and occupy a space. I am committed to designing with sustainability in mind whenever possible and with a primary focus on clients' needs and visions.

"I attempt to design with a focus on the human interactions that will take place within a space and the functionality of the design at hand. My design proposal The Flame is a multipurpose space that allows young Emiratis to interact in a fun and safe environment."

Email: Najat.albraiki@outlook.com
Website: caceidexhibition2020/najat-saif-albraiki


Zayed University interiors students rethink and revive their Arabic heritage

Rahma by Amna Al Shamsi

"Mosques are iconic Islamic architectural features that have gone through a series of great transitions throughout history. They are places of worship and places were the community can gather for vital social interactions.

"Rahma is a mosque that is designed to offer services for the benefit of the local community, providing them with a calming and spiritual place. The project is situated at the Al Ain Mineral Water warehouse in Dubai hopes to serve the high number of low-income expats in the area while also challenging repetitive approaches to mosque design."


Difa'a by Afra Khalil Almalki

"Difa'a, which means warmth and cosiness, provides a safe, clean home to domestic animals in need. It's a home for pets! Most animal shelters place animals in cages instead of allowing them to move freely.

"But Difa'a is designed as a welcoming place for pet lovers, owners and those looking to adopt a pet. It includes a daycare, boarding service and playroom to create a positive environment."

Email: afralmalki@gmail.com
Website: caceidexhibition2020/zainab-ashoor


Zayed University interiors students rethink and revive their Arabic heritage

Coffee on Track by Zainab Ashoor Saeed

"DMX Motocross Club is a place where anyone interested in biking can practice and participate. I designed a three-story coffee shop made from repurposed shipping containers that were dumped on the site, stacking them on top of each other to create outdoor and indoor seating areas and an exhibition space.

"The proposal focuses on incorporating nature into the sandy surroundings, to give visitors a feeling of relaxation and help them feel energized after a long day on the tracks."

Email: 201307126@zu.ac.ae
Website: caceidexhibition2020/shamsa-al-mazrouei


Virtual Design Festival's student and schools initiative offers a simple and affordable platform for student and graduate groups to present their work during the coronavirus pandemic. Click here for more details.