Dubai is gearing up to welcome a world-class design educational institute. The UAE on Monday announced plans to set up Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI) in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and The New School’s Parsons School of Design. Established by Dubai Holding and Dubai Creative Clusters Authority, under the directives of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, DIDI will be located at Dubai Design District (d3), and will welcome its first intake of students in 2018. According to a statement from MIT, the faculty from MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning will support the creation of the curriculum and launch of the new undergraduate design educational institution.
In a statement, Dr. Amina Al Rustamani, Chairperson, DDFC, and CEO of TECOM Group, said, "We constantly work to empower youth to take ownership of the journey towards a sustainable economy and a future led by innovation. DIDI will be a strategically critical platform for providing youth with the tools they need to drive the UAE’s future development." Strategic design management, product design, visual arts and media design, and fashion design are a few courses expected to part of DIDI's curriculum.
MENA Design Education Outlook, a recent industry study undertaken by Dubai Design and Fashion Council (DDFC) and d3, estimates that “at least 30,000 design graduates” are needed in MENA (a nine-fold increase) by 2019, to support the growth projected for the sector. Given that the absence of a competitive and modern educational framework has often been cited as a missing link in the ecosystem, DIDI may well be just what the region’s design enthusiasts were looking for, and also attract creatives to the Emirate.