The ground-breaking (BDes) program offers students a unique opportunity to participate in cross-disciplinary coursework across all four years of the degree. Based on the studio concept of learning by doing, the coursework focuses on visual literacy and technological fluency. Students are given the freedom to design their own degree by choosing their cross-disciplinary program, by combining a choice of two concentrations from a total of four: Product Design, Strategic Design Management, Multimedia Design and Fashion Design. Students work across two disciplines the entirety of their educational journey, culminating with their final thesis.
The degree program is based on visualization, creative problem solving, design-thinking, and fabrication with sustainability and cross-disciplinary work embedded throughout. Project-based methodology through core studio classes are firmly grounded in design and problem solving, and the concept that we can design a better future – design as a means of change, not just to create the next aesthetically pleasing object. Students learn how to ideate, iterate and conceive, to analyze, represent and communicate, as well as to form, craft and create empathic and sustainable solutions to today’s problems.
The first-year design foundation experience is based on visualization, problem-solving, design-thinking, fabrication, and sustainable design concepts. Coursework is designed to be transformative and disruptive and offers students an introduction to skill building from traditional and crafted to high tech and cutting edge. Students are encouraged to experiment, as a means of discovering their own unique creative voice, aesthetic and philosophical approach to design.
Second and third-year students work across their two chosen disciplines through studio, workshop, and lecture-based coursework. They continue to develop their skill sets with a deep dive into innovative and technological solutions. Students gain a cultural and philosophical understanding of the role of design in society through conceptual and practice-based study. Students also gain real-world experience through a design internship in the summer of year three. General Education courses augment major area courses and are intended to complement student’s creative studies through intellectual and theoretical development.
The final year at D.I.D.I. is dominated by thesis prep and thesis, where students experience modular coursework designed to support individual development of their thesis proposal. Intellectual inquiry from contextual, technical, material and process based perspectives is developed alongside a systems-based approach to design and the communication of a personal identity. For the final thesis, students conceptualize, contextualize and realize their individual routes of inquiry. Demonstrating their capacity for rigorous, creative investigation and conceptual development, students have the option of going in a theoretical or systems based route or an applied one.
The complete D.I.D.I. Bachelor of Design curriculum can be explored at www.didi.ac.ae.
Located in the vibrant creative community of the Dubai Design District, D.I.D.I. is uniquely positioned to collaborate across the creative industries, from the emerging design space, through to some of the most renowned brands in the world. With a mission to support the growth of the creative industries, D.I.D.I. is an open source, community-based Institution committed to integrating design and design-thinking across the region.
The D.I.D.I. campus, designed by award-winning architects Foster + Partners, has been conceptualized to encourage creative collaboration, with giant open-plan mega studios on each of the five floors. With the capacity to accommodate 500 students, each student has their own dedicated desk space in which to create.
There are numerous breakout spaces for collaboration and teamwork, as well as pin-up space for critiques, juries, and presentations. The 86,000 square foot campus was designed to maximize daylight with flexible and connected working spaces. The central library incorporates workstations, co-working space, and comfortable lounge seating. The FabLab is located alongside the campus and built to the M.I.T.’s Center for Bits and Atoms specifications.
No other institution offers such an immersive design education, where students are surrounded by a diverse range of design professionals and innovators. The location in the heart of the creative community provides access to internship and networking opportunities that will give students the best possible start to their career.
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