Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Interior Design Department of Manipal University, Dubai has qualified to be one of the talented eight teams at International Design Exhibition-INDEX 2011 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

The teams selected are participants of The Student Challenge which selects the best of the design teams in the Middle East and North African region in order to compete for the one grand prize. Initially, the challenge accepted forty teams that were further shortlisted to a total of 8 teams with eight members in each.

Manipal University students prepare for the student challenge
 (From left to right) Jamila,Tasneem, Tooba, Ms. Bhakti, Franzita, Shahzia, Insiya and Sakina

Participants of Manipal University working on their introduction for the challenge.
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Manipal University, Dubai sent a total of three teams, out of which one was selected. Formerly starting off with five members, the university team were asked to increase it to eight.

The theme of the challenge was to use recyclable or waste to create something new out of it. Their concept was to design a chair out of foam. Since only one material could be used the Manipal team found it difficult to create it solely out of foam, since they required material to connect the foam chair. They were allowed to use a second material if it were made out of the same as the first. Therefore, their two main materials were foam bottle liners which are used as water gallon caps and foam connectors.

Tooba Sarfaraz, final year interior design student and one of the key members of the Manipal team said, “We went to a factory that recycled plastic gallons and the foam bottle liners were a waste for them. Since using waste was a major part of the challenge, we used it to our advantage. The foam connectors were found at the Manipal construction site, which is normally used as reinforcement between glass for safety purposes,”

When it comes to difficulties, the team seem confident as  they have already built a prototype in the university during the short listing of teams, “we hope not to face any difficulty, but it’s a lot of hard work and time attached to it,” said Sarfaraz.

Each team has a time limit of sixteen hours spanning over two days. Ms. Bhakti More, Professor of the Interior Design Department at Manipal University said, “We were briefed about the competition in July and the planning continued up until September. So we are clear about how we are going to go about the competition.”

The members of Manipal team came up with the name F.I.S.T.T to represent themselves, each alphabet representing members of the team, Franzita Fernandes , Insia Shabbir, Sakina Juzer, Tooba Sarfaraz and Tasneem Mustafa with the idea behind it representing strength in unity and intertwining of different cultures.

Reported by Mary Joy and Samiha S Naaz
Photos by Zainab Akbarali