Alfonso inspires talent in the Middle East

Alfonso inspires talent in the Middle East

Nissan Design is spearheading a program with Alfonso Albaisa, senior vice president of global design, to inspire the next generation of creators. This will help elevate the presence of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and Nissan design from a slightly different angle and approach. However, the greater goal is to encourage children worldwide to pursue careers in arts, design and creativity.
Named “Roots of Design,” the campaign was announced at the London Design Festival. On Nov. 13, Albaisa put the plan into practice by visiting the GEMS Dubai American Academy, a school in Dubai attended by Emirati and expatriate children from 90 countries.

Why is this important? The world is changing fast, affecting the way we live and the objects that surround us. All objects are designed by someone, and in everything you see there’s a great story of art and design. In an auditorium filled with 600 students from grades 9 to 11 in Dubai, Albaisa said: “Whether its auto design, architecture and city design, technology design, robot design – designers will determine what the future looks like. Designers will rule the future. That’s why we need you.”

It’s said that the creative industry will demonstrate remarkable resilience to the threats posed by increasing automation and AI, making the “creative economy” an important sector for economic growth and future jobs. A 2010 report by the European Union highlighted how cultural and creative industries have provided a catalyst for growth within declining local economies; in 2015, a report by the Bureau of Economic Analysis in the U.S. demonstrated that creative industries contributed $698 billion to the national economy. Today, the UAE has a vision to become one of best countries in the world by 2021. One of the goals in UAE Vision 2021 is for Dubai to become a global hub of design. For the creative industry in UAE to be self-sustainable and free of the need to import designers, 30,000 homegrown design students are needed by 2019.

We are witnessing rapid changes in the auto industry, especially in the areas of autonomous driving, electrification and connected car technologies. Changes to cars and other forms of mobility mean that cities will look very different in years to come. Cities will become smarter and more connected. This will create even more opportunities for designers.
With huge needs and opportunities predicted for future young designers, it’s critical that the program encourages young people to follow paths in design, not just in the halls of renowned design colleges and academies, but also in classrooms and communities where the opportunities aren’t well known. “Today, we are at an inflection point for automotive design that is being driven by the emergence of new technologies,” said Albaisa. “The world of tomorrow will need designers like never before.”

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