AUS’ Six Degrees: Showcasing Excellence And Creativity In Architecture And Design

The American University of Sharjah’s (AUS) College of Architecture, Art and Design (CAAD) celebrated the impressive work of its 98 graduating students at its annual graduate show and industry night, Six Degrees.

Her Excellency Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, President of AUS, inaugurated the event at the Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park on June 1, in the presence of industry representatives and members of the various creative communities in the UAE.

The exhibition showcased the works of graduates in architecture, interior design, design management, multimedia design, visual communication and urban planning. A Six Degrees catalog accompanied the exhibition, highlighting works selected by each graduating student.

Fourteen students and three faculty members were also recognized for their outstanding work during the academic year at a special ceremony during the event.

“We take deep pride in the accomplishments of our graduating students that are showcased at the annual Six Degrees exhibition. This flagship event highlights our students’ exceptional talent and creativity and emphasizes their commitment as designers to pushing the boundaries of what is possible. The show demonstrates the level of rigorous academic training and mentoring they have received at CAAD,” said Dr. Varkki Pallathucheril, Dean of CAAD.

The exhibition showcased a myriad of creative student projects that tackled diverse themes such as a Sharjah Center for Film and Media; a night, hidden market in Beirut; a resilient oasis harnessing ground and quarry water for Gulf resource autonomy; alternative mapping methods physically documenting social-environmental interactions within Sharjah’s industrial areas; UAE urban coalescence; creation of design-build spaces for design education; a housing project that blends Emirati community traditions with an emphasis on privacy; and many more.

“Our students have demonstrated a remarkable ability to address complex challenges through their projects, reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of our programs. The Six Degrees exhibition serves as a platform to engage with professionals and the wider community, fostering collaborations and opening doors to future opportunities. It reflects the great potential our students have for making significant contributions as design professionals,” said Dr. Pallathucheril.

During a special recognition ceremony at the exhibition, students Yara Moustafa Soliman (architecture), Leen Mamoun Afaneh (interior design), Carol Maher Bebawy (multimedia design), Bettina Frana Rodricks (visual communication), Tasneem Zafer Husami (design management) and Sania Parambathkandy Shanavaz (urban planning) received the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence for their exceptional accomplishments over the course of their years at CAAD and AUS.

The M.A.D. Award (Motivation + Attitude + Dedication) went to students Sara Mohamed Mohamed (architecture), Shahd Husni Shalak (interior design), Yomna Badr Badr (multimedia design), Ayesha Maria Fernandes (visual communication), Rokaya El Lakis (design management) and Maram Mubarak Ali (urban planning). The award is given to one student from each of the college’s degree programs who exhibits motivation, attitude and dedication to their work.

Awarded for their exemplary organizational leadership, service to the university, enlargement of the college purpose, citizenship and contributions to the community, students Salma Ashraf Ibrahim (multimedia design) and Zainab Oghai Gawhari (architecture) received the Dean’s Service Award.

The American Institute of Architects medal for Academic Excellence recognizes the top architecture graduates whose imagination and design thinking will influence the future of the built environment; this year’s recipient is Yara Moustafa Soliman. Furthermore, CAAD students Tala Alsakka Amini and Habiba Mohamed were recognized by global architecture and design practice Aedas. They received the Aedas Award in recognition of the importance of drawings and graphic representation as the language of architecture and for their unique, risk-taking and provocative work.

The Best Faculty Award 2024 went to Dr. Christopher Kaltenbach, Associate Professor of Art and Design; Camilo Cerro, Associate Professor of Architecture; and Patrick Rhodes, Associate Professor of Architecture (Foundations Year). The awardees were voted by CAAD students for the academic year.

Six Degrees will be on view from June 1 to 8 in Wing B at the Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park.