• Eindhoven University of Technology • ECAL (Lausanne) • Hong Kong Polytechnic (Hong Kong) • KAIST (Daejeon) • KMD Keio (Kanagawa) • MIT (Cambridge, MA) • National University Singapore (Singapore) • Pratt (New York) • Royal College of Art (London) • Tsinghua (Beijing)

August 2015 A new organic material that harnesses energy from body movement; a luxury yacht that cleans the ocean; a revolutionary construction technique inspired by silk worms… Just three of 50 game-changing innovations that will be revealed at the Global Grad Show during this year’s Dubai Design Week (26–31 October), held in association with Dubai Design District (d3).

The exhibition is unprecedented anywhere in the world. For the first time, highlights from the recent degree shows of 10 of the most innovative university design programmes worldwide will be gathered together in a single space.

Like Dubai Design Week itself, the Global Grad Show has been conceived and managed by the Art Dubai Group in partnership with Dubai Design District (d3). Held under the Patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-Chairman of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, the Design Week is also supported by both the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (DCAA), and the Dubai Design and Fashion Council (DDFC).

Memory Lamp_Im Jonguk, Bae Hyunjoo, Kim Minhwan (KAIST)_3.jpg

Memory Lamp, Im Jonguk, Bae Hyunjoo & Kim Minhwan (KAIST)

Lindsay Miller, Managing Director of d3 comments, “As one of the most vibrant and multicultural cities in the Middle East, Dubai is the ideal location to host such an exhibition. This unique platform will provide a level field for emerging designers and creatives in a way that traditional design centres with established institutions and agendas, such as London or New York, simply couldn't.”

Hosted in d3 and free to the public, Global Grad Show draws upon the next generation of design talent to present a curated selection of concepts that have the potential to shape our future. By presenting an international overview of today’s design thinking, the exhibition aims to offer visitors a glimpse at the possible world of tomorrow.

London’s Royal College of Art has worked closely with the Art Dubai Group to bring the project to fruition. Dr Paul Thompson, rector of the RCA, explains the impetus behind their involvement: At the Royal College of Art we bring together talented designers from all over the world in order to exchange ideas and innovate. We believe strongly that collaboration lies at the heart of transformative design, so the Global Grad Show is a great way of working across borders to bring about change and improvement in society. This is why we have been pleased to take the lead role in this initiative from the very beginning, and why we are represented by so many of our recent graduates”. 

The 50 projects chosen are not organised by their schools of origin but split into seven categories: Health, Home, Work, Play, Construction and Memory. Each exhibit has been selected by the show’s curator, the internationally acclaimed designer and writer Brendan McGetrick.

“I looked for projects with qualities that go beyond aesthetics”, McGetrick explains. “Design exhibitions often fixate on style alone – a lamp or chair, for instance, that looks beautiful (or just unusual) but doesn't provide a fundamentally different experience or benefit from any other lamp or chair. In Global Grad Show, many of the exhibits are attempting to apply design to open up new possibilities or to meet currently unmet needs and desires.”

The selected projects reflect both the social issues and technological possibilities that surround the current generation of emerging designers and – perhaps more than ever before – are united by the desire to resolve personal and societal problems rather than focusing on the aesthetic aspects of design. Some of the common themes that link the exhibits include:

• Methods of reducing stress and promoting sleep

• The potential of driverless vehicles and drones to save lives
• Life-enhancing applications for bio-responsive technology and behavioural monitoring
• Explorations of new sustainable materials and energy sources
• Navigating the space between analogue and digital, and managing our digital footprints


Simi, Allison Rowe (RCA).

The exhibition gives the featured students and universities a unique opportunity to demonstrate their work and areas of interest to a global audience. By providing a showcase and discussion forum for the world’s most innovative design thinking, Global Grad Show aims to play a positive part in shaping the international design landscape of tomorrow.

For more information and updates, see:

About the Hero image: Flex, Chiam Yong Sheng Kevin (National University of Singapore). About the Listing imageOpen Water Guard, Jon Kuster (RCA).