Creative students in Dubai and UAE can now aspire to become undergraduate Degree in Design and Innovation thanks to the newly launched Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI) at Dubai Design District. A Bachelor of Design is an arts-centered degree that is a counterpart to the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree. Bachelor of Design degrees have been popular in Canada and Australia for several decades and are becoming increasingly popular in the United States as discipline-specific design education expands and becomes more specialized.

Design is everywhere around us, from the shoes we wear, the computers we use, to the office buildings we walk by each day. Because of that, our brain was trained to make decisions (specifically in terms of the items we buy) based more on looks, than on efficiency or safety issues.

The four-year Bachelor of Design (BDes) programme will be open next September and will cost 98,000 AED. During the first year of the program, students learn the foundations of visualisation, problem-solving, design thinking, fabrication and sustainable design. The second and third years will be focused on studio, workshop and lecture-based coursework. Students will be given a chance to gain industry experience in a design internship. The final year entails thesis preparation and submission.

Sass Brown, DIDI’s founding dean, said,

"The curriculum of the course has been drawn up in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Parson’s School of Design. The course offer students an opportunity to participate in cross-disciplinary course work with a focus on visual literacy and technological fluency. Students can design their own degree by choosing the disciplines and combining two concentrations from a total of four – product design, strategic design management, multimedia design and fashion design."

DIDI will provide internal partial scholarships to some students. The Dubai Mall will offer full scholarship to a selected student. Dee Sarai, general manager of the Dubai Mall, said,

"The Dubai Mall Scholarship will give one talented female student the opportunity to receive an empowering scholarship at DIDI and help change the face of design in the region. The recipient will be declared in June. Students will be introduced to skill building from traditional and crafted to high-tech and cutting edge. They will be encouraged to experiment and explore their creativity.”


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