KOA announces winners of Dubai-based university design challenge

Challenge rewarded four winners across two categories

35 students participated in the challenge

Real estate company KOA has announced the winners of its University Design Challenge. Nesreen Shehada and the team of Saratu Adamu and Aminot Ojikutu won first and second place in the daycare category, while Hajar Chaharsoughi, and Henrique Wagner came second in the coworking category.

The competition is part of the brand’s plan to showcase local talent, and boost cultural development within the region. It enabled students to show off their design talents, as well as innovative solutions for the real estate firm’s first development, Canvas.

Participating students had two options to choose from; the first was to design a co-working space that would enhance collaboration between members, while following the design aesthetic of the brand. The second asked students to design a daycare centre to enhance learning and sensory experience.

Mohammed Bin Zaal, CEO and Founder of KOA, said, “The aim of the University Design Challenge was to provide a space to young and creative talents to demonstrate their design skills. We have been thrilled by the final work of CUD’s students; they set the bar very high. Their innovative solutions clearly reflected Canvas’ unique concept.”

35 students participated in the competition and two winners were awarded per category. The first place winner in each category was awarded $3,500, while the runner-up was awarded $1,500. The competition was judged by Tarik Zaharna, founder and director of Canvas’s lead architect firm T.ZED Architects, Kamelia Zaal, internationally awarded landscape designer, and Mohammed Zaal, KOA’s CEO and founder.

Serkan Gunay, CUD’s Interior Design Chair said: “We are very proud of all of the students who submitted projects to this competition. Submitting a design to a team of professional architects is a wonderful educational experience for our students, as the feedback they receive will certainly colour all of their projects moving forward in their academic careers. I’m very impressed with the work put forward and I think our students did an excellent job presenting mature and innovative designs that stood out in both quality and creativity.”


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