Dezeen Magazine

Rendering showing wavy building on shoreline

Canadian University Dubai presents 10 student design projects

Dezeen School Shows: an urban scheme of vertical farms and a wellness centre informed by Islamic building typographies are included in Dezeen's latest school show by students at Canadian University Dubai.

Also included is a community hub that helps young people to reconnect with their cultures and a centre for marine preservation and education that specialises in the restoration of coral reefs.

Canadian University Dubai

Institute: Canadian University Dubai
School: Architecture and Interior Design
Course: Design
Tutors: Dr Serkan Gunay, Sophie Johnson and Professor Gisela Loehlein

School statement:

"The course emphasises design thinking throughout the curriculum and encourages students to make conscious efforts towards addressing the academic influences of previous years, as well as their individual architectural and interior design values.

"It builds on the theoretical investigations of related topics and the analysis and explorations made in research and design courses.

"The course advances the students' ability to create and formulate comprehensive and unique design solutions – synthesising responses to specific human needs and elaborating in detail the combinations of building components."

Sectional drawing/view of high-rise building with plants attached to the exterior

VERTI-grow by Abdullah Altaas

"VERTI-grow is a communal environmental centre for researching and applying plant cultivation, hydroponics and vertical agriculture.

"The proposed project is an institution that acts as a response to climate change and the region's loss of arable lands.

"The facility will be able to create a food community within the larger context of Dubai, distributing food while engaging and educating the public about the processes involved.

"The facility aims to study and propose future innovative designs of vertical agriculture by establishing a valid ecosystem that connects multiple vertical agricultural activities together in one structure, while at the same time focusing on sustaining the environment."

Student: Abdullah Altaas
Course: ARC 562 Senior Project – Design
Tutors: Dr Serkan Günay and Professor Gisela Loehlein
Email: 20170006004[at]

Illustration showing colourful arts centre with ballet dancer imposed over the top

Feel the Rhythm: The Dubai Academy for the Performing Arts by Edriel Perez

"This design evokes the true essence and dynamism of the performing arts: musicality, rhythm and natural movement, which is expressed through the use of modules and linear elements that are executed through patterns and visual rhythm.

"This project intends to promote the facilitation of social synergies, collaboration and engagement, providing free and welcoming spaces that enhances an artist's wellbeing.

"The importance of the cultural heritage of Dubai and modern urban lifestyle is recognised, establishing the Dubai Academy of the Performing Arts as a creative and cultural destination."

Student: Edriel Perez
Course: ARC 562 Senior Project – Design
Tutors: Dr Serkan Günay and Professor Gisela Loehlein
Email: edriel_perez037[at]

Rendering of large, low building by body of water

UN's World Tourism Organisation Headquarters by Arya Ramesh

"The relocation of the UN's World Tourism Organisation Headquarters to the UAE is set to spur the promotion of innovative architecture and worldwide awareness of sustainable tourism practices.

"The aim of this project is to transport users from the bustling urban environment into a tranquil and serene world of nature, promoting a sense of wellbeing and mindfulness.

"The unique design combines the imitation of the natural formation of sediments with sustainable design principles, resulting in a harmonious and sculptural shape.

"This organic building creates an immersive experience that inspires people to value the beauty of nature.

"Recognising and appreciating climate-conscious youths, this safe space provides the users with pouches of activities that can cultivate the minds of all."

Student: Arya Ramesh
Course: ARC 562 Senior Project – Design
Tutors: Dr Serkan Günay and Professor Gisela Loehlein
Email: 20180006548[at]

Graphic composite showing wellness centre in circle

Al Tazir Wellness Village by Marie-Pierre Mavioga

"Al Tazir wellness village is a wellbeing centre at the centre of the neighbourhood of Dubai Healthcare city and aims to create awareness of wellness-related topics.

"As more people are voluntarily trying to adopt a healthy lifestyle by focusing on various aspects of their wellbeing to prevent diseases, Al Tazir Wellness Village positions itself as the epicentre of wellness in the UAE, as per the specification of the UAE national programmes for happiness and wellbeing.

"The project's architectural character relies upon concepts of wellness relating to biophilic design, sustainable strategies and wellness architecture.

"The design also makes historical references of traditional building typology of bimaristans (hospitals) and the hammam (public bathhouses), resulting in a modern Islamic village-style wellness centre."

Student: Marie-Pierre Mavioga
Course: ARC 562 Senior Project – Design
Tutors: Dr Serkan Günay and Professor Gisela Loehlein
Email: 20160005124[at]

Rendering showing interior of gallery space with artefacts on walls and plinths

Rooted by Kelsey Wilson

"The concept of Rooted addresses cultural identity issues faced by Dubai's third-culture youngsters who often struggle to reintegrate into their home countries due to being disconnected from their cultures.

"Rooted is designed to combat these issues by incorporating designs that aid integration. It celebrates culture and displays it in an authentic way that creates a sense of belonging for all cultures.

"Visitors can experience different cultures through immersive VR designs, enhancing their understanding of their roots.

"The name 'Rooted' was chosen to represent the importance of roots in the growth and development of plants, just as individuals require a strong cultural identity to navigate the world."

Student: Kelsey Wilson
Course: IND 462 Graduation
Tutor: Sophie Johnson
Email: 20190007968[at]

Sectional drawing of building showing users and walkways

Ikigai by Jecita John

"The Ikigai youth empowerment hub works to promote holistic development in young people by facilitating a space that caters to wellness and productivity, in combination with several flexible positions that will be worked by young adults and teenagers of the UAE.

"This allows them to earn and explore the industry to gain autonomy, while pursuing academics and work in healthier environments.

"The building philosophy of the hub is to embrace the Japanese concept of Ikigai, which blends passion with a means of incurring monetary benefits, thereby generating meaning to life.

"The design concept follows an organic approach led by the Japanese philosophy of Wabi Sabi, which embraces originality, imperfections and transience.

"Design for Wellness strategies such as biophilia and biomimetics are implemented to design for health and productivity."

Student: Jecita John
Course: IND 462 Graduation
Tutor: Sophie Johnson
Email: 20190007454[at]

Illustrative depiction of space with lots of hanging plants and users

The Oasis by Maryia Ghanchi

"Dubai is a desert biome – one of the harshest natural environments.

"Deserts are usually arid and dry regions however sometimes oases can be found. These contain a supply of fresh water and where plants can grow and life can thrive.

"The hub will represent an oasis for students where they can alleviate themselves from negativity and feel comfortable.

"The hub is divided into three zones – the Replenish Zone, which includes spaces such as the yoga room and meditation area, the Reconnect Zone, which includes socialising places and group study areas, and the Refocus Zone, which includes areas such as the library, reading and study areas."

Student: Maryia Ghanchi
Course: IND 462 Graduation
Tutor: Sophie Johnson
Email: mariyajawed818[at]

Sectional drawing of building containing children's play area

Zone Out by Noor Moolchandani

"Zone Out is an interactive and playful youth hub designed as a fun and safe space for children that are in states of sadness, loneliness, depression and anxiety.

"Inspired by the beautiful northern lights, this design aims to create a fun and magical experience for children.

"This concept will explores glow in the dark spaces and colours such as green, pink, purple and blue, which will create a unique atmosphere – it also facilitates the exploration of different materials that reflect and refract light.

"The overall design features a dynamic and fluid structure that mimics the movement of the aurora borealis."

Student: Noor Moolchandani
Course: IND 462 Graduation
Tutor: Sophie Johnson
Email: noormoolchandani[at]

Rendering showing bulbous building by sea shore

AMWAYJ: UAE Oceanograhy Institute by Nouran Elshimy

"AMWAJ Oceanography Institute is a physical embodiment of the UAE's cultural connection to the ocean and is a tribute to its enduring legacy.

"With an emphasis on coral reef restoration, the institute seeks to narrow the division between research and practical implementation, ensuring tangible actions.

"Facing the Arabian Gulf and embraced by the Khor'Fakkan's desert, the architecture presents a fusion between the landscape's sublime sand dunes and the ocean's fluidity, resulting in a harmonious convergence that is intricately translated into the building's organic design."

Student: Nouran Elshimy
Course: ARC 562 Senior Project - Design
Tutors: Dr Serkan Günay and Professor Gisela Loehlein
Email: 20180006521[at]

Rendering showing wavy building on shoreline

The Architecture House, Museum, and Youth Hub by Salma Safi

"This project is a centre for showcasing design ideas as well as learning and teaching architecture through different methods of delivery.

"This building acts as an educational hub for the youth – it has a museum section, which showcases the work of the country, the students and the lecturers.

"It will also aid in creating a link between the community, bringing people together."

Student: Salma Safi
Course: ARC 562 Senior Project - Design
Tutors: Dr Serkan Günay and Professor Gisela Loehlein
Email: 20180006644[at]

Partnership content

This school show is a partnership between Dezeen and the Canadian University Dubai. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.