UAE's first materials library engages students with curated schedule of inspiring talks

The initiative aims to provide a platform for leaders from the creative industry to share their knowledge and real-world experience with students


Colab, the first purpose-built material library in the UAE based in Dubai Design District (d3), is throwing open its virtual doors to engage the UAE’s students with a curated schedule of inspiring talks. The launch of its ‘SHARE ( كراش ‘( campaign, aims to leverage COVID-19 necessitated distancing to move the discussion online and stimulate ideas for students in creative fields. As such, Colab is curating free weekly webinars for the UAE’s university students. The aim is to inspire them with new ideas, with a roster of inspiring topics curated by Colab in partnership with the UAE’s leading universities.

The initiative aims to provide a platform for leaders from the creative industry to share their knowledge and real-world experience with students. Expert speakers are being drawn from the breadth of the creative community - including interior design, architecture, materials, fashion, film, digital, graphic design, and advertising. The American University in Dubai (AUD), American University of Sharjah (AUS), Zayed University, NYUAD, Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI), Heriot Watt University Dubai, Canadian University Dubai, National Design Academy Dubai and the Manipal Academy of Higher Education - Dubai Campus are some of the university partners who have expressed their desire to participate in the campaign.

Commenting on the launch, Richard Wilson, Creative Director, Colab, said: “We conceived Colab as a creative space to innovate, contemplate and understand all aspects of material use and design. We’re now taking this mandate and expanding it into SHARE - a powerful ongoing schedule of knowledge sharing and powerful discussions. We are thrilled to see that our communities have responded so positively, with universities supporting the cause, and industry experts volunteering to share their experience and expertise - to give back to the community.”

Whilst the global pandemic has made the digital future a reality for millions across the world, technology has helped us overcome disruptions and allowed us to continue working and learning. Leveraging existing platforms, SHARE will explore topics pertinent to creative thought and skills development. Key themes include innovation in design, smart & ecofriendly materials, future trends in design, design in government, and leadership in design.

Talks will also deliver insight on how to launch a design start up in the UAE, how to build working relationships with suppliers, and how materials are specified in the UAE market.

“Sometimes, challenges present themselves as opportunities. The social separation necessitated by Covid-19 enabled us to actualize the SHARE platform, which is something that we’d been working towards for a while,” added Wilson. “Covid-19 has clearly accelerated the implementation of digital transformation and new and transformative digital connections have now become a way of life. Our SHARE campaign aims to inspire the next generation of creatives in line with the UAE Government’s drive towards building a knowledge-based economy.”

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To sign up, learn more or participate in the SHARE campaign, please visit 

About Colab

Colab is the first purpose-built material library in the UAE. Located in Building 1b, Dubai Design District (d3), Colab is a social business venture that functions primarily as a material library and inspiration and learning center. The space aims to elevate design across the region by offering a platform to showcase the latest materials and design trends from across the globe whilst highlighting excellence in regional design as well. It also serves as a gallery, event and activation space, and networking hub in its bid to bring the entire creative community together. For more information, please visit . Follow us on 

Contact Us
Richard Wilson
Creative Director
Retail Unit 2, Building 1B
Dubai Design District
Dubai, UAE

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