While the majority of AUS students have been working entirely online since February 2020, a small handful of students have been given special access to various specialist facilities on campus in order to complete their capstone projects prior to graduation.
Among these students was interior design graduate Dania Hasan from the College of Architecture, Art and Design (CAAD) who, through the college’s Design Build initiative, worked to create a series of bespoke furniture pieces. The furniture will be housed in the CAAD studios, serving as Hasan’s physical legacy for future AUS design students.
“I'm extremely grateful to be a part of Design Build in the last semester of my undergraduate studies, especially with the ongoing pandemic. Coming to the labs and creating furniture pieces for our studio seems like I'm giving back to the community and applying everything I've learned in the past four years with passionate professors and fellow students. To have the studio where I spent most of my time as the site just seems fitting,” said Hasan.
Born and raised in Dubai in an Indian family, Hasan held the role of President of the Interior Design Student Association at AUS.
“This was a position I thought I'd never have. It has been extremely fulfilling, trying to showcase what interior design is about and displaying our skills/talent on social media. With the help of my great team, we managed to acquire a significant online following and hold successful workshops so that has been a highlight in the past year,” she said.
One of the key benefits of pursuing design studies at CAAD is the opportunity to connect with the college’s highly successful alumni body. One way this happens is through professional internships, which all CAAD students are required to take before they graduate.
During her third year of studies, Hasan had the chance to work virtually as an intern at MxConcept Design Studio, a firm founded by AUS alumnus Mohammed Abdulla.
“Although I did my internship online due to the pandemic, I was grateful for the opportunity to delve into local residential design, and build my digital skills by learning new software,” she said.
After graduation, Hasan hopes to return to CAAD—either as a returning graduate student or as a lecturer. However, in the immediate future, she plans to pursue a career in the UAE’s competitive interior design industry.
“I intend to work to gain some experience in the outside world and figure out what it is I want to specialize in. I'm passionate about exploring materiality and learning how materials respond to their surrounding environment in unconventional ways,” she said.