Capping off an exciting season, the American Corner held an Award Ceremony on Wednesday June 3, 2015 to announce the winners of the ACAD Student Design Contest. In attendance were Vice Chancellor and CEO, Prof. Munther Momany, Dean of Engineering, Prof. Mohamed Chacha and a number of ALHOSN University faculty, staff and students. The ceremony was also attended by Mr. Ali Lejlic, Counselor for Public Affairs at the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi, accompanied by Information Resource officers, Ms. Elizabeth Stromme and Ms. Rula Qandeel.
In his opening remarks, Director of ACAD, Dr. Adnan Husnéin, welcomed everyone and outlined the ceremony program. He introduced the organizing committee members, Dr. Seif Khiati and Dr. Sukhee Yun, and also acknowledged the valued support received from the US Embassy and ALHOSN University especially the Office of the Vice Chancellor. Reflecting on the competition, Dr. Husnéin believed that it “presented ALHOSN University with an opportunity, not only for students to compete but also, to collaborate and interact across departments
.” Moreover, students were able “to utilize their skills and talent to tackle real design problems right here on campus.” He also acknowledged the valuable contribution made by jury members, Dr. Miguel Jaime and Arch. Ahmad Dhiaeldeen.
Dr. Seif Khiati, then, briefed the audience on the competition rules and regulations, and explained the selection process. Submissions were anonymous and only identified by their competition number. The competition was officially kicked off on 25 March, 2015 with a deadline of 12 May 2015 for submission of entries. Two workshops were held in the meantime. The jury evaluated and ranked the submissions after identifying those entries showing the most promise in developing practical and creative solutions. The aim was to transform the current American Corner into an innovative and dynamic space.
Six finalists were identified representing the three design-based programs at ALHOSN, namely architecture, interior design and urban planning. Each participant received a certificate and a crystal as a token of appreciation by Prof. Momany and Mr. Lejlic. Then it was time to announce the winners. The third place prize (AED 2000) went to the proposal dubbed “Dynamic Space” by Ms. Sondos Mahmoud Refai. According to the jury her entry embodied a clear concept employing “a sophisticated system of furniture arrangements.”
As for the first and second place prizes, the jury recommended that they would be combined and shared resulting in two co-winners (each entitled to AED 4000). Both top entries had shown distinctive qualities. One emphasized a practical design solution, the other creative design. In the creative category Mr. Majed Khaled Alsshlee earned the top prize for his “Lego” solution. The co-winner slot went to the team of Zahraa Alkhaled and Ghazal Alhussein for their practical design approach to problem solving.
Finally, the Vice Chancellor and the US Embassy representative thanked the organizing committee and praised students for their enthusiasm and talent. The American Corner would also like to extend special thanks to Arch. Rania Akkad for her assistance with the preparing the competition material package, and to Mr. Manoj Kumar, Mr. Sudheesh Pankan and Mr. Binoy for helping with the logistics.