Graphic Design Seniors Create Impactful Projects for Egypt and Beyond
Tackling social, environmental and economic issues, the 20 plus projects for this year’s Graphic Design Senior Show explore the concerns graduating seniors have for the world they are entering.
The exhibition, Under CTRL, reflects on student experiences learning during COVID-19 lockdowns, anxieties over competing with artificial intelligence for creative work and more. Curated by Nagla Samir, associate professor of practice and director of the graphic design program, the exhibition is open daily from 9 am to 4 pm in the Sharjah Art Gallery at AUC New Cairo.
News@AUC caught up with three students to learn more about their projects.
Alia Ibrahim - double major, graphic design and film
“It is very rare to meet people who are very passionate about what they do and who truly want to innovate their craft and profession, let alone a whole street full of them.”
Khayami is a mobile application that aims to connect Cairo’s Souq Al Khayamiya (tentmakers market) with consumers in Egypt and beyond. The application celebrates the souq (market) and the craft by shedding light on its history and sharing the experiences of the khayami men who work there.
Street Markets in Cairo do not get the recognition they deserve even though they are considered a very important pillar of Egyptian culture and heritage. I wanted to help shed light on these souqs, starting with one of the most historical souqs in Egypt, Souq Al Khayamiya. The khayamiya craft has always occupied a big part of my life, as I grew up in a house that celebrated khayamiya in many ways.
Exploring the souq and meeting the tentmakers was one of the most enriching experiences I have ever been through. I learned a lot from them by talking with them about their passion for khayamiya, their stories and their work ethic. This project has always been more than a graduation project for me, as building relationships with the khayami men and learning more about them emotionally connected me to the souq and the project. I wanted to do all that I could to help them.
This project has been by far the closest one to my heart and the one I enjoyed working on the most in my academic journey as a graphic design major. The khayami men’s passion for the craft inspired my passion to help them and give this project my all. I am truly grateful to have met them and learned about them and their beautiful craft.
Malak Hesham - double major, graphic design and integrated marketing communication
Kham, which means raw in Arabic, is a plant-based, biodegradable natural dye that serves as an environmentally friendly alternative to synthetic dyes. It is developed with nanotechnology to prevent color bleeding, local plants for rich and raw colors and essential oils for a long-lasting aroma. Turmeric and karkade were selected due to their rich pigmentation and natural properties, as well as their being easily accessible in Egypt.
Plants and their distinct characteristics have been a longstanding interest of mine. Exploring Egypt’s botanical gardens made me aware of the environmental impact of plant waste, which led me to focus on finding innovative ways to reuse discarded plant materials. Through my research in this field, I discovered the potential of plant pigments and their many applications in various industries.
I am thankful for the opportunity to work on this project at AUC where I had access to all the necessary resources and facilities. I am particularly grateful to my supervisor and mentor, Professor Ghalia El Srkabi, whose guidance and support were invaluable throughout the project. Additionally, Professor Wael Mamdouh provided crucial supervision and direction, leveraging his expertise in the field to help me navigate some of the more challenging aspects of the project. I would also like to acknowledge Razan Farrag for her contributions in the chemistry lab, which were essential to the success of the project. It has been a tremendous learning experience for me and I am grateful for the opportunity. It has been an incredible opportunity for growth and learning, and I am excited to see where it leads me next.
Victrix _ xفيكتر (Celebrating Her Athletic Excellence)
Victrix is a safe platform dedicated to “Her” and her athletic achievements. It brings awareness to the struggles facing women athletes in the Arab region, including lack of coverage and funding. The platform is displayed on Instagram through collectable cards and videos, as well as fun, interactive games.
As a former athlete and an active sports enthusiast, I aspire to support “her” in athletics and admire her efforts to take on sports professionally. It’s safe to say that “she” has been underappreciated and underestimated for many years in sports, hiding in the shadow of men. I believe “she” as an athlete has gone through a lot of discrimination and injustice for trying to pursue her athletic dream, and it's time to lay it all out on the table.
I know this project may seem like more of a women empowerment campaign; and some male figures may call me a feminist — I have already come across many while working on this project. I am not saying that men do not support women in sports. This project mainly aims to voice the troubles these athletes go through (specifically in the Arab region) and represent them in a bolder; and more vibrant method, growing “her” fan base and encouraging people to maintain the idea of “her” in sports as a normal standard in athletic excellence.