Global Grad Show is an exhibition of student works from the world’s leading design schools, held each November as part of Dubai Design Week. Since launching in 2015, the show has grown to become the world’s largest student gathering. For its third edition, the exhibition is set to include works from 75 universities from 50 countries.
Designers these days are well thought of but poorly understood. Most of us assume that a designer’s job is to make things beautifully, to elevate an ordinary object so that it sparkles. This assumption isn’t unfair, but it misses something essential.
The beauty of a design is often in its idea, in the impulse that the work responds to and the effectiveness of its answer. A great design delivers both a diagnosis and a cure. It identifies an unseen opportunity or unexpressed need and suggests a solution.
Global Grad Show is an exhibition of beautiful ideas. The projects presented take many forms. Some are conceptually simple, some technically complex. Many are physical; some are purely virtual. There are products intended for infants and for the elderly, for athletes, office workers, fruit vendors, and families displaced by war.
The purpose of Global Grad Show is to bring together, in a single space, highlights from the degree shows of the most innovative technology and design programs in the world. The show’s diversity is its greatest attribute. The 200 projects exhibited comprise a kind of collective intelligence, channeled through the various schools and pointed at the most pressing issues of our time: how to increase access to education, food, and shelter; how to encourage exchange and build community; how to reduce waste and generate clean energy.