Innovation for Impact

From pollution to illiteracy, graphic design graduation projects aim to educate, empower and make a difference

By Devon Murray

Hessa fe Qessa (A Lesson in a Story) – Salma Elbarbary ’22

With Egypt’s illiteracy rate reaching 27% in 2020, Hessa fe Qessa is an educational app that teaches illiterate individuals how to read, employing an interactive story that discusses relevant social issues. The app includes an audio guide, exercises and an information bank.

Gowa El Hadota (Inside the Tale) – Rama El Bayoumi ’22

We live in a visually abundant world where millions of visually impaired children are deprived of daily activities, simply because they were designed with the sighted consumer in mind. Opening the gates to worlds that can be seen through storytelling and sensory stimulating activities, Gowa Al Hadota is a multi-sensory playing experience for visually impaired children aged 6 to 12. The narrated game targets the child’s imagination to unlock a world that can empower them to play and explore their surroundings independently and safely.

Terms and Conditions: On Data Privacy and Security- Reem Hasebou ’21

As the use of technology and the internet continues to rise throughout the world, how do we teach people to employ these tools in a safe and responsible manner? Terms & Conditions is a classic board game with a twist, covering topics of data consumption, privacy and security. The game helps explain what is traded in for convenient “free” services in hopes of demystifying technology and encouraging people of all ages to go beyond the default settings.

Waft – Lama Adham ’21

Air pollution in Egypt and the Middle East and North Africa region is responsible for a number of negative health outcomes among populations. People living in these areas may not even be aware of the health risks they face. Waft is a sustainable wearable technology kit designed to protect and monitor air pollution. The kit includes five different items: a gas sensor enclosure, mask made of nanofibers, charger, variable small pouch and sanitizing spray. Users can monitor air pollution levels and make informed decisions for better health outcomes through an app that pairs with the gas sensor.

Take a tour of the graphic design program’s 2022 graduation exhibition, which features a group of projects that highlight urgent topics related to social issues, healthcare and sustainability. The exhibition was held at the AUC Tahrir Cultural Center.

DemiCare – Donia Elshimy ’21

DemiCare is an application that aims to support the daily lives of dementia patients and informal caregivers through organization and training. The app includes a daily calendar, cognitive tests and games to track the disease’s progression over time. Without proper guidance and knowledge, caregivers for dementia patients are highly vulnerable to affective psychological disorders and overall burnout, so the app also aims to raise awareness and educate caregivers on the different types and stages of cognitive impairment.

Hacking Design – Salma Aly ’21

Hacking Design is a do-it-yourself kit for designers to hack and print over existing prints, tackling accessibility issues in design and encouraging innovation through collaboration. The kit includes a printing device, which seeks to merge the digital and analog aspects of design, and an open-source Arabic typeface called Ekhteraq (Hacking), designed for printing prominent text over existing prints. Aly created posters for a campaign dealing with Egypt’s looted artifacts and art titled Da Tarekhna El Masrouk (This is Our Stolen History) to demonstrate the kit’s features. This tool allows designers to create new design outcomes and widen the scope of their output.

Madar – Merna Kostandy ’22

Madar is an application aimed at promoting sustainability and green living among Egyptians through composting organic and food waste. Inspired by daily walks through Cairo with the familiar sight of garbage piled up on the street, Madar raises awareness of the pollution caused by this waste and offers a solution: composting. Acting as donors or hosts, users can learn how to compost, track their progress, earn badges and connect with other app users who live nearby.

Al Madda – Amanda Ioannou ’21

Al Madda is a bilingual, biodegradable materials library featuring do-it-yourself recipes that educate users on how to upcycle kitchen waste. It currently features three types of food waste commonly found in Egypt and provides environmentally friendly alternatives to food packaging, bowls, boxes and beyond. Following simple steps on Al Madda’s app or website, users can transform watermelon rinds, banana peels and tomato skins into food containers or storage boxes — or simply experiment with the materials.

Hermoonatek: Ely Mesawahaky (Your Hormones That Drive You Crazy) – Alia Tobala ’22

Hermoonatek is an application that provides women with an all-inclusive resource for hormone health by navigating different hormones, documenting changes in the body and tracking these changes over time. The primary aim of the application is to bridge the gap between medical information and public awareness through the use of elaborative illustrations, humor and Egyptian dialect. Hermoonatek encourages women to gain autonomy over their bodies through an educative, customized experience, employing a gallery of hormones, personalized journal and tracker, glossary and FAQ section.

All projects were supervised by Ghalia Elsrakbi, associate professor of practice in the Department of the Arts and director of AUC’s graphic design program. Adham, Elshimy, Ioannou and Hasebou showcased their work at the 2021 Dubai Design Week MENA Grad Show. Adham and Elshimy’s projects were selected for the show’s entrepreneurship program.

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