Virtual reality

AUD CRID spotlights eight virtual design projects

Dezeen School Shows: metaverse men informed by Salvador Dalí’s surrealist paintings and are included in Dezeen’s latest school show by students at AUD Center for Research, Innovation and Design.

Also included are VR design projects exploring how users connect to their mind, body and senses.


Institution: American University in Dubai (AUD)
School: The Center for Research, Innovation and Design (CRID), School of Architecture, Art, and Design
Course: DDFT 473 – Virtual Environments
Tutor: Dr. Georges Kachaamy

School statement:

“The Center for Research, Innovation and Design (CRID) is the first and only authorized VR sketch training center and Gravity Sketch certified center in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region.

“The DDFT 473 – Virtual Environments course could not have seen the light without the virtual reality setup that was established in the center. The course was designed and executed by Dr Georges Kachaamy, who is a certified instructor and an expert in future and virtual environments .

“One can comfortably argue looking at students’ work that the innovative nature of the course has clearly enabled students to explore new design competencies and skills that prepare them for a very competitive market.

“The course introduces students to the principles of virtual reality modeling methods. Students acquire passive and active learning techniques that allow them to 3D design in an immersive manner inside virtual reality.

“The final outcome of the course is based on the specific design brief that requires students to create virtual environments that are consistent with the objectives of each brief. The course was designed to fundamentally create projects that one can only experience inside virtual reality, rather than a project to be experienced in the real physical world.”


Lucid Convergence by Omar Allabban

“Lucid Convergence is a meta-house consisting of a collection of fragments translated into spaces that are joined together and intersecting with each other, mimicking the feeling of lucid dreaming with surreal scales and symbolic non-functional spaces.

“Each room in the house is a geometric translation of its symbolic meaning in dreams. This design principle creates a house in the metaverse that serves as an artistic statement to its owner in the virtual world, rather than serving as a conventional functional home.”

Student: Omar Allabban
Course: DDFT 473 – Virtual Environments
Tutor: Dr. Georges Kachaamy


Orange VR space with light orange spheres by student at CRID

Centaurus Æ by Bandar Alkayyal

“The house is a virtual space for human habitation. The metaverse is the new home where technology and people meet.

“Centauraus Æ is derived from having different realities meeting in one. The design of the house is based on Salvador Dalí’s surrealist expression in terms of randomness and unpredictability.

“Spaces are designed based on his art to unsettle and transgress boundaries with the liberation of thought and language.”

Student: Bandar Alkayyal
Course: DDFT 473 – Virtual Environments
Tutor: Dr. Georges Kachaamy


VR space design with a reflective water floor and tall yellow spike growths

Deus Ex Machina by Sahar Nami

“The Metahaus Deus Ex Machina is inspired by The Elephant painting by Salvador Dalí, where large spaces are placed on thin structures to provide a spatial experience for its visitors.

“Visitors are guided by the pathway through a forest of thin structures that lead up to the interior spaces, such as the living room and bedroom, which then lead to the main central exhibition space.

“The virtual exhibition space is designed as a gallery that allows visitors to experience the space.”

Student: Sahar Nami
Course: DDFT 473 – Virtual Environments
Tutor: Dr. Georges Kachaamy


Cube VR space with square cut-outs at staggered points along the wall and floor

DK 22 by Mariam Haddad

“The concept of DK 22 revolves around decay, which is one of the main themes in Salvador Dalí’s work.

“The more one goes into the house, the more the house breaks down into smaller and more fractured particles and into the process of decay.

“As one reaches the final destination the space becomes a dark room that is punctured and broken down in a way that showcases the whole journey and structure as a final overview.”

Student: Mariam Haddad
Course: DDFT 473 – Virtual Environments
Tutor: Dr. Georges Kachaamy


A waved floor with blue cylinders on the floor and hovering above by a student at CRID

Web House by Nour Al Kilani

“Casa de Telaraña is inspired by Salvador Dalí’s darkest yet most recurring theme – death. While the surrealist artist typically represents death by painting ants, here, we are the ants.

“As we enter the unconventional home through a large, web-like structure (the social hub), it mirrors an ant getting trapped in a spiderweb.

“Another repetitive concept often found in Dalí’s work is the depiction of heavy objects as weightless, such as elephants with long thin legs.

“Casa de Telaraña portrays this theme by using extremely thin wires to suspend massive heavy objects and link all the different areas in the VR space.”

Student: Nour Al Kilani
Course: DDFT 473 – Virtual Environments
Tutor: Dr. Georges Kachaamy


VR space design with shard-like reflective metal surfaces by a student at CRID

The Unconscious House by Jumana Yasser

“The unconscious mind gathers and collects bits and pieces of our everyday life and stores them.

“This Metahaus project shows how the unconscious mind relates to the body as a whole.

“The rooms in the house show the powerful aspects of our unconscious mind and once one enters a room, it unlocks a segment in our mind from our daily life.”

Student: Jumana Yasser
Course: DDFT 473 – Virtual Environments
Tutor: Dr. Georges Kachaamy


VR landscape made up if waved brown ribbons on the floor and above

Rove by Naya Aslan

“The project is a journey of non-traditional explorations of the senses into an abstract linear space that paves the way for the user to navigate the soulless world around.”

Student: Naya Aslan
Course: DDFT 473 – Virtual Environments
Tutor: Dr. Georges Kachaamy


A cube VR room with faceted gold walls by a student at CRID

Application by Reem Tawfik

“Solicitude is an intimidating space that desires to explore three of the human senses differently – touching, hearing, and seeing.

“It takes the human body into a journey that feels uncomfortable. However, after exploring the entire space, one can finally take a breath and be grateful for the senses.”

Student: Reem Tawfik
Course: DDFT 473 – Virtual Environments
Tutor: Dr. Georges Kachaamy


Happy partnership

This school show is a partnership between Dezeen and AUD Center for Research, Innovation, and Design. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.

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