Middlesex University Dubai unites with the global graphic design community

Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Middlesex University in Dubai is preparing to host the That Design Festival on the 7and at 8and Mars 2022, one of the premier university festivals in Dubai dedicated to deepening the understanding and impact of graphic design in the MENA region and promoting the growth of the UAE’s creative industries. The event comes just months after the launch of the UAE’s National Strategy for Cultural and Creative Industries, which puts sectors like graphic design at the forefront of the UAE’s national development.

Free to all attendees, the event will take place virtually and provide a platform for design students and professionals around the world to collaborate on the future of the industry. Strengthening the global network of aspiring designers and established practitioners is one of the main aims of the festival, which will expose students to high-end professional practice and enable them to make connections with leading visual communicators.

Throughout the program, participants will be able to explore first-hand how design and branding agencies are adapting to today’s rapidly changing business environment. Sessions will encourage participants to think about the societal responsibilities of graphic design from a wide range of perspectives, ranging from hands-on workshops on storytelling and tone of voice to interactive discussions on the social and environmental impact of branding and neuro-divergent approaches to the design process.

Edward Ryan, Head of Graphic Design at Middlesex University in Dubai, said: “We launched That Design Festival not only to help our students develop their design practice and better understand the opportunities them as graduates, but also to produce the world-class talent that can contribute to the growth of the UAE’s cultural capital and thriving creative industries. Middlesex University Dubai is delighted to connect our design community of extremely talented and passionate students with leading practitioners and contribute to this important creative vision.

That Design Festival has enjoyed strong support from the UAE and international graphic design communities and is expected to feature famous industry practitioners from design hubs around the world. Confirmed speakers include Stefan Sagmeister of Sagmeister and Co in New York; Sanaz Soltani of Studio Kargah in Tehran; and Adrian Shaughnessy of Unit Editions and the Royal College of Art, London.

Ryan continued, “We are honored to welcome so many legendary designers, copywriters, typographers, brand developers and illustrators to share their expertise at That Design Festival, and we thank them for their tremendous support. In fact, the idea for this festival was born out of discussions with brand managers, graphic designers and design agency owners based in the UAE and abroad during our Graphic Design Career Day. So this is a truly collaborative effort to advance our industry on a global scale.

Middlesex University Dubai launched its BA Honors Graphic Design program in September 2017. With Ryan and graphic design lecturer Margo Tummel at the helm, the UK-accredited course has quickly established itself as a platform form for successful design students and an excellent art provider. and design graduates from the region. Both Ryan and Tummel are leading educators with extensive visual communications portfolios in global markets such as the UK, Australia and Ireland.

In the short time since the program’s inception, many of Middlesex University Dubai’s graphic design students and graduates have achieved prestigious industry awards and competition shortlists, including a cohort of ‘students who have been shortlisted for the Dubai Lynx Awards 2019. Recent graduate Marie Rubiella entered her typographic work in the International Society of Typographic Designers (ISTD) Student Assessment Program 2021 and received the first-ever award ISTD awarded to a student in the United Arab Emirates. Arshya Rais, another recent graduate, has also been selected to showcase her final project at the Global Grad Show as part of Dubai Design Week 2021.

Graphic design professionals, students, scholars and enthusiasts are invited to take advantage of the free visual communication education on offer and register their place for the That Design festival now at www.mdx.ac.ae/that -design-festival.


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Shireen Shakeel
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About Middlesex University Dubai:

Middlesex University Dubai is the first overseas campus of the renowned Middlesex University based in London, UK. The University’s first learning space in Dubai opened at Dubai Knowledge Park (DKP) in 2005 and has over 3,800 students from over 118 nationalities. It is an exciting, diverse and multicultural campus that prides itself on offering a different student experience. A testament to the growth and success of its thriving international student community, the University opened a second campus in Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) in September 2021. This is the first time an international university in Dubai has offered a multi – campus experience site in the two international higher education centers of the emirate. The DKP and DIAC were created in 2003 and 2007 respectively for international institutions that promote learning. Middlesex University Dubai students therefore have the opportunity to participate in a much larger student community.

The University offers a wide range of foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate programs at both locations, including: accounting and finance, business management, marketing, computer engineering, computer science, data science, robotics, education, psychology, law, digital media, film, creative writing and journalism, fashion design, graphic design and many more. As well as enjoying all the benefits associated with being a world-class British university, students at Middlesex University’s two campuses in Dubai can take advantage of all the opportunities offered by a modern, fast-developing city in the heart of the Middle East, while experiencing the diversity of nationalities and cultures that make up the population of Dubai.

Middlesex University is a global university committed to meeting the needs and ambitions of a culturally and internationally diverse range of students, offering challenging academic programs underpinned by innovative research, grants and professional practice. Middlesex University Dubai prepares its students to be professional and skilled individuals fit for the modern world, committed to lifelong learning and able to contribute to the communities in which they live and work.

For more information on the programs and the range of scholarships and grants available, visit www.mdx.ac.ae.

© Press release 2022

Clifton L. Boyd