Halban Mohammed Al Balushi, a 4th year student in the Department of Urban Planning and Architectural Design (UPAD) at GUtech has won the One Day Design Challenge Competition held in Muscat by the Interior Design Company ‘Roca’.
The jury was led by Omani architect Hilal Al Balushi and the Design Challenge by Roca is held regularly in more than 10 countries. In Oman, the competition was held for the second time. “This year’s challenge was to design a product that can be used by patients with bed-bound zero mobility in hospitals or at home in only 7 hours. I started the design without any expectations of the result.
“I finished on time and submitted my proposal to the jury. It was an honour for me as an undergrad student to win the first prize among 113 participants including architects, interior designers, and product designers. I couldn’t contain my excitement. This was one of the moments I will never forget.
“I give the credit for this achievement to my university, GUtech, because the education gave me a solid foundation, which yields in an obvious way. I also want to thank my mentor, Professor Ercan Agirbas of GUtech, for his continuous support,” said Halban.
This summer, Halban conducted two internships in Europe, including one with the interior design company Roca, based in Barcelona (Spain). In the interior design firm “Roca” Halban worked with more than 10 different nationalities.
The training included a workshop on digital architectural photography, including post-editing skills by famous photographers, like Anna Devis and Daniel Rueda. In Paris, Halban participated in another internship, where he worked with Veolia, a leading resource management company that works with sustainable energy and waste management.
My task was to create an ideal city, in terms of energy expenditure. The challenge was to manage all aspects of city planning, in terms of providing an accessible yet efficient plan. This includes putting in mind all other major aspects of urban planning, such as waste and water management.
This practical experience made me aware that urban planning can be a very cooperative, participatory process, thanks to my solid background that I gained from studying at GUtech.”