United Arab Emirates; 4 October 2022: Gulf Craft, one of the world’s leading boat and yacht manufacturers is collaborating with the Dubai Institute of Design & Innovation (DIDI) as part of its ongoing commitment to make the United Arab Emirates a global yachting centre of excellence.
Together, Gulf Craft and DIDI are introducing a bespoke project across the fall 2022 semester, where a studio class made up of talented students in their second, third and fourth years will take on an exciting new learning challenge: ’Create new Strategic Brand- and Design Innovations for Gulf Craft.’
Gulf Craft, established in 1982 in the UAE, is one of the world’s only fully integrated shipyards, delivering every aspect of boat and yacht building from R&D, design, and production in-house; as such it is internationally recognised as an industry leader in the use of innovative technology. A trailblazer in composite hull production, Gulf Craft designed, developed, engineered, and built the world’s largest composite-built production superyacht, the Majesty 175, launched in 2021. Through its expertise, Gulf Craft - which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year - aims to introduce the next generation of innovators to the marine industry, encouraging them to consider an exciting career in the region’s rapidly expanding yachting and boat-building sector.
This semester’s class will take an open approach, allowing students to discover their own topics within the broad framework driven by Gulf Craft’s vertically integrated operation which includes Concept creation, Design, Engineering, to final Production, which hopes to gain fresh perspectives from some bright, upcoming designers.
With its first intake in 2018, DIDI is focused on nurturing, mentoring, and creating the next generation of designers. The curriculum is designed to empower students to map out their own four-year educational journey, culminating in the region’s first Integrated Bachelor of Design degree, with a choice of concentration in the areas of Product Design, Multimedia Design, Fashion Design, and Strategic Design Management.
Studio classes at DIDI, based in Dubai Design District, introduce students to design thinking and the design process as systems or frameworks. This is completed via a sequence of projects ranging in degree of abstraction, level of complexity, and focus.
The class, led by Professor Elmar Schüller, an internationally established business, design, and innovation expert, the former Vice President of the Red Dot Design Award, aims to develop student's skills in research and development, design, marketing, and sales and communications. The classes run between September and December and include a Gulf Craft Shipyard tour, presentations judged by a panel of Gulf Craft experts, and a visit to the stunning Gulf Craft Experience Centre in Dubai.
The final stage of the project is marked by student presentations, where they will have the opportunity to discuss their learnings and showcase 2D and 3D design simulations.
Abeer AlShaali, Deputy Managing Director, Gulf Craft, says: “Innovation, design, and empowering the next generation of the yachting community is a passion for Gulf Craft, which is why we are partnering with DIDI, to share its values and vision and exchange knowledge and expertise with up-and-coming design talent.”
“Maintaining our hard-earned global reputation for excellence means we have to constantly seek out world-class talent – and DIDI shares our philosophy when it comes to pushing the bar in design innovation. It is an honor to collaborate with DIDI and provide the upcoming generation with an immersive experience. But to us, what matters most is the passion and commitment an individual brings to the table and we are proud to offer equal opportunities for everyone to grow and build their talents. We look forward to seeing what the project’s outcomes are.”
Professor Schüller, Strategic Design Management, DIDI says: “Partnerships with forward-thinking companies such as Gulf Craft are extremely valuable learning experiences for our students. Through working with companies on practical projects such as this, they get to better understand how design- and innovation strategies work in the real world and in the context of a global business and Entrepreneurship.”
“Our student cohort is excited to have this opportunity to work in such an exciting sector, where innovation and design are absolutely paramount. Abeer’s passion for encouraging and empowering the next generation has delivered the impetus to create a new channel of valid work experience for our students.”
“Innovation is not just about design or technology, it concerns how to approach business challenges, identify opportunities for growth and create a value proposition which sets the brand apart from the rest.”
Gulf Craft is a fully integrated boat and yacht manufacturer with production facilities in Umm Al Quwain and the Maldives. The company has built a world-class reputation for delivering high-quality, super-performing vessels that have won numerous awards over the past four decades.