Submission Open 01.01.2017
    Submission Closed 15.07.2017
  • We are here
    Selected Projects Announced 28.09.2017
    Global Grad Show 13.10.2017
Submission Open 01.01.2017
WE ARE HERE Submission Closed 15.07.2017
14-18 November 2017 13.10.2017
Global Grad Show 13.10.2017

An exhibition of ideas

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 92 universities from 43 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.

Global Grad Show’s value comes from an original interpretation of design that emphasizes four defining virtues.

Innovation for all


Innovation is a value that transcends technology and exists independent of wealth; there are high tech projects and low tech, expensive ones and low cost, mechanical and manual and virtual.


There is no hierarchy between designers, schools, or regions. All share space equally, with the projects mixed together and arranged according to theme to ensure fairness and equal opportunity.


Global Grad Show was created to open the field of design to participants from all places with projects intended for infants and for the elderly, for athletes, office workers, global brands, fruit vendors, and families displaced by war.


A focus on innovation that can improve the world, that honors and encourages a new generation working to design a more equitable, sustainable, and prosperous world.

About The Curator

Brendan McGetrick

Director & Curator

Brendan McGetrick is an independent writer, curator, and designer. His work has appeared in publications in over thirty countries, including The New York Times, Wired, The Financial Times, Art Review, Der Spiegel, Domus, and Vogue Nippon. He is the editor and author of six books, including Content (Taschen, 2004), MAD Dinner (Actar, 2010), and Urban China: Work In Progress (Timezone 8, 2011).

In 2011, he curated Unnamed Design, a component of the 2011 Gwangju Design Biennale, in collaboration with Ai Weiwei. The exhibition received over 200,000 visitors and was named the year’s best contemporary design exhibition by the New York Times. In 2014, he co-curated the Russian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, together with Anton Kalgaev and Dasha Paramonova, for which he received a jury prize. He has served as director and curator of Global Grad Show since its founding in 2015.

Want to partner with us