Design students from DIDI present innovative sustainability solutions at Sandooq Al Watan’s inaugural Creativity and Innovation Open Day

Design students from DIDI present innovative sustainability solutions at Sandooq Al Watan’s inaugural Creativity and Innovation Open Day

  • Projects were presented to HH Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan  
  • Solutions demonstrated role of art, technology and design in Biodiversity protection and waste management

Dubai, UAE, 9th May 2023: Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI) participated in Sandooq Al Watan’s inaugural Creativity and Innovation Open Day. The event explored “Creativity and Innovation in the Year of Sustainability” in an apt build-up to the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 28).  

The event was held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Chairman of Sandooq Al Watan, Member of the Cabinet and the Minister of Tolerance.  

Five Emirati and Saudi design students from DIDI presented sustainable solutions at the Open Day to the audience. The three innovative projects demonstrated the integral role design plays in the future of sustainability, waste management and biodiversity protection.  

DIDI Associate Professor Carlos Montana delivered the opening keynote speech on “Creativity in Nature” and biomimicry as a source of inspiration.  An award-winning industrial designer and educator, Professor Montana discussed looking at nature to solve complex design and engineering challenges.  

Along with middle to high school students, government representatives from Emirates Schools Establishment, the Ministry of Education, Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), the Prime Minister’s Office, and other high-profile stakeholders attended the Open Day. 

Spotlight on sustainability 

  • Ehyaa by Lamya Al Awadhi and Fatma Lootah, is a futuristic robot which revitalises soil by relocating existing ant nests . The robot moves from fertile areas to empty dry areas, dropping a sugary liquid trail and an ant queen, with the help of soil moisture sensor systems. 
  • Designed by Dalal Jaber, Seashells Waste as a Potential Sustainable Biomaterial explores seashell waste as a resource for new biomaterials, with multiple applications, including underwater sculptures to support marine life and raise awareness about seashell waste in the UAE. 
  • Gahwatna, is a product and service brand developed by Latifa Alsuwaidi and Latifa Alkhoori. The primary objective of Gahwatna is to tackle the problem of coffee and packaging waste generated by the flourishing coffee shop industry in the UAE. 

DIDI was also involved in a panel to discuss education challenges when incorporating creativity and innovation into teaching, such as balancing the need for standardization and conformity with the need for innovation. 

With a world class curriculum created in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Parsons School of Design, DIDI offers the region’s first multidisciplinary Bachelor of Design. Courses offered promote human-centric design thinking to help advance society. DIDI’s participation in Sandooq Al Watan’s event aligns with the non-profit’s efforts to support innovation in education, healthcare, social development and more.  

The collaboration with Sandooq Al Watan is also a significant milestone for DIDI, which aims to create opportunities for its students to engage with the wider community and promote the development of innovative design solutions for local and global challenges. 

For more information, visit the DIDI website at


About Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI)

Offering a curriculum created in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and The New School’s Parsons School of Design, Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI) is a private non-profit university, located at Dubai Design District (d3) and accredited by the UAE Ministry of Education.

With its first intake in 2018, DIDI focuses on nurturing the Middle East’s next generation of designers. Its curriculum is designed to empower students to map out their own four-year educational journey, culminating in the region’s first integrated Bachelor of Design degree with a choice of concentrations in the areas of Product Design, Multimedia Design, Fashion Design and Strategic Design Management.

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