Colab, the UAE’s first purpose-built material library based in Dubai Design District (d3), and Broadway Interiors, an international award-winning design consultancy, have teamed up to launch a student design and build competition. The initiative is in line with Colab’s recently launched SHARE campaign targeting university students across the UAE that aims to leverage Covid-19 necessitated distancing to move the discussion online and stimulate ideas for students in creative fields. The competition is open to final year students and challenges them to redesign the interiors of Colab incorporating a selection of material finishes.
Colab reached out to Chris Barnes, founder of Broadway Interiors to help promote a better understanding of its potential, to the emerging design talent, aspiring to work in the industry. Barnes came up with a design competition, where students can submit their ideas, with winners gaining the opportunity to see their vision realised and exhibited within Colab for two years. Colab aims to continue organising this competition every alternate year, incorporating it into the wider academic curriculum to become a highly sought-after award that students will want to win.
“I’m really excited to have established a design competition for aspiring designers within the UAE. Design is such a rich and enjoyable vocation, so to be able to provide students with the ability to see their designs realised is fantastic and I am delighted to be able to offer them this amazing opportunity! I hope this platform can in some way, help the young design talent make that next step into the real world of practical design.” – Chris Barnes, owner and founder, Broadway Interiors
The competition that officially launched on September 13, calls for students to develop a design concept for a full wall(s) or floor for implementation within Colab. A submission can be made for one, two, three, four or five walls; each wall will be valued on its own merit and the entry can be developed by an individual or a group of students working in collaboration. The design concept should be developed from a portfolio of products supplied by a host of manufacturers including Optimum Gulf, Dukta, Topakustik, Surface Eleven, Finsa, Sherwin-Williams, FunderMax HPL, No Grey Area International, BSH Walls & Floors, Wow Factor and Shaw Contract.
The judging panel comprising Barnes, Paul Bishop of Bishop Design, and Rogue, and Kevin Maclachlan, founder of NOMAD|K will review the submissions. All entries will be assessed on creativity, design methodology, practicality of design, presentation of ideas, and selection of materials used. Upon the selection of the winning design(s), the judges will work with the students to transform their conceptual ideas into reality. The winner of the competition is expected to be announced at Dubai Design Week, which is slated to run from November 9 to 14, 2020.
Commenting on the initiative, Richard Wilson, creative director of Colab, says: “Now open for submissions, our student design competition promotes a ‘real world’ design experience for final year students interested in pursuing careers in the interior design industry. With the easing of restrictions, students now have the option to visit Colab and review the different finishes available while getting a first-hand look at the space. Not only will this competition challenge them to reimagine the interiors of Colab with a select quantity and variety of materials, but the winning entrants will also have an opportunity to work on-site with our contractor for a two-week stint and realise their designs.”
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