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Design School Confidential by Lita Talarico, Steven Heller

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Job:05-11998/12412 Title:RP-Design School Con dential
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project brief
In this project, students responded to a specifi c
outdoor site. It began as a process of experienc-
ing, through as many senses as possible, an as-
signed location. Encouraged to employ a vari-
ety of methods and media for documenting and
generating form, students were expected to both
engage the site and allow it to affect them by
their participation in, or observation of, its form.
The studio critique was a visual and verbal re-
view of their experienced environment through
images, footage, recordings, and found objects.
The processes that evolved out of such discus-
sion began to refl ect each student’s unique in-
terpretation of what is important to the develop-
ment of an identity of place.
project goal
The idea of local identity has become ubiquitous;
it has been reduced, simplifi ed, and, in some re-
spects, made obsolete by the reach of consistent
global marketing. What might it mean to begin
the process of identity design without the need to
compete on a global scale? The primary objective
of this project is to develop strategies, processes,
and forms that avoid convention and embrace a
more responsive and expressive notion of what
an identity could be in today’s visual culture.
project outcome
The outcomes of this project are defi ned by
three distinct formats: an A5 book, an A1 poster,
and a time-based short. The results were as var-
ied as the students participating in the studio;
however, certain central themes and motivations
became clear across both print- and time-based
work. The inconsistency of each site in Sharjah
and neighboring Dubai’s constantly evolving
infrastructure gave students the challenge of at-
tempting to fi x their sites in time. The process of
refi nement involved the identifi cation of behav-
iors and activities within a location. In place of
trying to fi x a static identity, students embraced
constant change as an aspect of identity itself.
While the possible range of forms seemed infi -
nite, the interaction of specifi c forms and spe-
cifi c behaviors allowed students to assess their
progress through fi nite strategies.
Class: Senior Design Studio
Level: Fourth Year
Faculty: Amir Berbic, Roderick Grant, and
Shoaib Nabi
Duration of Project: Six Weeks
7
Locale
American University of Sharjah, School of
Architecture and Design
Sharjah, Emirate of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
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Student: Maria Al Daoudi
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Í
Student: Sarah Al Kathem
When visiting King Faisal
Street, the effect of light on
the different sides inspired
this design.
;
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d
h
g
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f
-
f
d
.
-
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r
Í
Student: Nazima Ahmad
Í
Student: Faris Sarrar
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Ð
Student: Asraa Zayed
Ð
Student: Raed Skaik
My project is a journey
through Dubai’s Al Diyafah
Road, witnessed through
form and color—a rhythmic
experience that refl ects
the site’s varied personal-
ity. I attempt to record the
dynamic interplay of ele-
ments in the space.
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Student: Wissam Hassan
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Student: Fatma Alken
Spending days on King Faisal Road, watching people, machines, traffi c,
the construction of a bridge, and construction signage, I realized this is
a place of constant and instant change; a place full of rawness, residue,
and fragmentation.
Î
Student: Farnoosh Rezapour
The various identities could be
seen as distinguishing charac-
teristics.
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b
a
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