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The Colab Design & Build Competition finalists announced!

Colab and Broadway Interiors launched a student design and build competition last September, the winners of which were announced during Dubai Design Week at Colab’s material library space in d3. We chatted with the judges, mentors and students on their experience, design process, and what’s next in store.



At the start of Dubai Design Week, three finalists were announced for the Colab Design & Build Competition aimed at encouraging UAE design students to take part in a real life project, and see the culmination of their work in the refurbed interiors of Colab Materials Library, located in d3.

The competition, which officially launches on September 13, 2020, initially called for students to develop a design concept for a full wall(s) or floor for implementation within Colab. The design concept was to be developed from a portfolio of products generously supplied by Optimum Gulf, Dukta, Topakustik, Surface Eleven, Finsa, Sherwin, Williams, FunderMax HPL, No Grey Area International, BSH Walls & Floors, Wow Factor, 2tec2, Finshes&Beyond and Shaw Contract.

The three winners, ironically, all hailed from Heriot Watt University, and we can be assured of no partial attitudes based on the fact that the submissions went through a rigorous process whereby all evidence of University names was removed, leaving the judges to assess nothing but the pure design.

The Judges

Above from left: Chris Barnes of Broadway Interiors; Paul Bishop of Bishop Design; Kevin Mclaughlin, Nomad K

The Finalists

The three shortlisted finalists that were announced at the start of Dubai Design Week were:

Above from left: Hooria Muhib, Farah Hazim, and Zarshah Sharif, Final Year Interior Design Students at Heriot Watt University

All final year students of Interior Design at Heriot Watt University, they all claim to owe their success to their professor and mentor, Malini Karani, Director of Studies for Interior Design at Herior Watt. Malini guided and encouraged each student, also making the assignment a mandatory part of the coursework (a factor that many found displeasing at the time, but are now incredibly thankful about!).

The Colab Design and Build Competition

What’s Next?

All three finalists will be mentored by each participating judge for two weeks to help fine tune their ideas and bring them to a stage where they can be ready for a real client. The client in this case will be Richard Wilson, Founder of Colab. The students will pitch their work to Richard, and one winner will see their design come to fruition in the interiors of Colab, where they will remain so for the next two years. A fantastic achievement indeed!

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