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AUS presents first online edition of Six Degrees graduate design show
Adapting their final senior showcase into an impressive online exhibition, graduating students from the College of Architecture, Art and Design (CAAD) at American University of Sharjah (AUS) are continuing to set the pace for a new generation of designers for the region.
The first online edition of Six Degrees, CAAD’s annual graduate show and a calendar event for the local design community, was launched on Friday, June 5, 2020, following an online opening ceremony and presentation of awards. The exhibition is complemented by live Instagram sessions with graduates representing each of the degree programs offered at CAAD and will be streamed over three days.
The exhibition features works by 105 graduating students of CAAD’s five undergraduate majors of architecture, interior design, multimedia design, design management and visual communication, as well as students of the Master in Urban Planning program.
The works presented are diverse, ranging from architectural models and renders, spatial design, master urban plans, brand identity, information graphics, posters, brochures, products, games, web design, motion graphics, films, animation, service and experience design.
The graduating class of 2020 dedicated the online exhibition to the memory of their former classmate, Mohammed Baru, who lost his life in a tragic accident in his second year of studies at CAAD.
“Dedicating this exhibition to our dearest Baru makes it all the more representative of the years we have spent together and all of the hard work we’ve put into it. He was the one who brought us all together and motivated us with his contagious positivity. Remembering him shows us what it means to be dedicated, passionate and strong, while learning how to be half as great as the person he was,” graduating students Mohammad Samara and Dania Darra said on behalf of their class.
Preceded by an opening ceremony and presentation of awards via the platform BlackBoard Collaborate, the launch included participation by AUS leadership and faculty, members of the UAE design industry and community, CAAD students and their families.
AUS Chancellor Professor Kevin Mitchell, a long-term faculty member of CAAD, congratulated the graduating class of 2020 and remarked that they would be joining the many alumni who have established themselves as leaders in the fields of art and design across the region.
Dr. Varkki Pallathucheril, Dean of CAAD, said the exhibition is a testament to the resilience of the graduates, who have continued to strive for excellence despite the disruption of the pandemic in their final semester of studies at AUS.
“One of the key skills we instill in our students at CAAD is the ability to adapt to change and solve problems using the principles of design thinking. This semester these students were surely put to the test with this unique situation, yet they turned it into an opportunity to demonstrate their remarkable resilience, creativity and adaptability. I am sure that the skills and attitudes they have developed during this time will serve them well throughout their design careers,” he said.
Awards were presented to students and faculty who were recognized for their outstanding achievement and contribution at CAAD.
The Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence was presented to Alina Rose Sebastian (architecture), Sana Fathima (interior design), Raheed Salah Y. Allaf (multimedia design), Hosna Ali Ebrahimi (visual communication), Noor Elghosin (design management), and Reem Nassif and Eman I.S. Ashaikhahamad (urban planning).
The highly coveted MAD Award for motivation, attitude and dedication was presented to Mariama Kah (architecture), Layal Noubani (interior design), Mentalla Sayed (multimedia design), Leen Mohamad Amin Kahaleh (visual communication), Alyazia Maktoom Alsuwaidi (design management) and Razan El Rifai (urban planning). Dr. Pallathucheril also presented the Dean’s Service Award to Dania Darra and Bayan M. Almasri.
Finally, Assistant Professor Hala Rabeea Al-Ani from CAAD’s Department of Art and Design was selected by students to receive the annual Excellence in Teaching Award.
Dr. Pallathucheril commended Al-Ani and the entire team of faculty at CAAD for their dedication and persistence in swiftly adapting to a new online environment from March 8 this year. Following the closure of on-campus classes, CAAD faculty delivered all courses to students online, including architectural design studios, descriptive drawing, design practicum and even pottery.
“CAAD students receive the very best instruction and mentorship from our talented and experienced international team of faculty. I am immensely proud of how our community has faced these challenges by embracing innovative new ways of teaching and learning, designing and making over these past months,” he said.
Dr. Pallathucheril encouraged aspiring design students to view the online exhibition and take advantage of the live sessions on Instagram to learn more about what it is like to be a CAAD student.
“This is an excellent opportunity for aspiring designers to see first-hand what CAAD students achieve during their studies at AUS. If you are considering a future as a designer, we highly recommend you join these interactive sessions and spend time browsing the exhibition,” said Dr. Pallathucheril.
Six Degrees is open for public online viewing at www.caadsixdegrees.com. Live sessions at @caadaus on Instagram will feature conversations between CAAD students and faculty who will present their projects and answer questions from online followers. The sessions will be held from 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on June 5, 6 and 7, 2020.
For more information about the College of Architecture, Art and Design at American University of Sharjah and the Six Degrees online exhibition, visit www.aus.edu/caad.