Student’s Graduation Project in Interior Design Receives ‘Highly Commended Award’ in the MENA Region


September 21st, 2023 | Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Canadian University Dubai (CUD) is exceptionally proud of alumna, Mariya Ghanchi, who received the prestigious ‘Highly Commended’ award for the ‘Student Interior Design Concept of the Year’, at the Commercial Interior Design (CID) Awards 2023, for Middle East and North Africa.  Mariya's award-winning concept, titled 'The Oasis Student Hub' is her graduation project during her final year of the Bachelor of Science in Interior Design. Among the several hundred participants in the CID competition within this category, four out of the five finalists are alumni from CUD. Mariya claimed the trophy.

“I am extremely honoured to be the recipient of this award. Such a milestone would not have been possible without the exceptional guidance and mentorship of my professors at Canadian University Dubai, Sophie Johnson and Dr. Mini Suresh. I’m grateful for their support and valuable expertise, which has played a key role in shaping my identity as an Interior Designer today. This recognition motivates me to keep exploring the frontiers of design innovation. I am excited for the prospects that lie ahead in the future of this industry!” Mariya Ghanchi | CUD Alumni, BSc. in Interior Design (2023) | Junior Interior Designer at OBSSD Collective. 

The Blue Mind Theory | Water’s Impact on Well-Being

Mariya's concept, 'The Oasis Student Hub,' represents an oasis by incorporating natural elements, water features, and soothing colours, to establish a sanctuary where students can find solace. The hub is meticulously designed to introduce a serene and rejuvenating environment within the desert landscape, offering students a sense of replenishment, reconnection, and enhanced focus. 

The hub is segmented into three zones: The Replenish Zone, encompassing spaces such as the Yoga room and Meditation Area; The Reconnect Zone, comprising of social areas and group study spaces; and The Refocus Zone, housing facilities such as the library, dedicated reading and study areas. The core idea of the hub is to create an environment tailored to students who often experience high levels of stress or anxiety. 

This space will prioritize relaxation and incorporate salutogenic design principles, including biophilia and biophilic engagement, along with other elements aimed at enhancing mental well-being. By incorporating aesthetically pleasing visuals, the design enhances comfort, promotes relaxation, and improves focus. The hub also incorporates elements aligned with the Blue Mind Theory, which describes the tranquil state individuals enter when they are close to, in, on, or surrounded by water. These aspects are integrated throughout the student hub, with particular emphasis on the courtyard, where water features and water jets create a soothing environment.

Speaking about her award, Mariya says: “I express my gratitude to the CID community for introducing this category to students this year. In previous years, these categories were exclusively geared toward businesses. This accolade drives my professional journey and expands my business prospects. Thank you.”