Students to Design Pavilion at Dubai Expo

ARCHITECTURAL students won a competition to design the Zimbabwe Pavilion at the Dubai 2020 World Expo. They secured this prestigious national project after shrugging off stiff competition from other tertiary institutions.

Dubai 2020 is part of the World Expo held every 5 years in different parts of the world. This edition of the Expo requires a total design of pavilion buildings from the ground up to be used for showcasing purposes. Different nations will compete for the most outstanding or memorable structure.

This expo will run under the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ which offers creativity, innovation globally. It is underpinned by three subthemes namely “opportunity, sustainability and mobility’. These themes were seen as fundamental in addressing the most pressing global issues.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in conjunction with Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology hosted this competition where students were required to design the Zimbabwe pavilion based on the expo’s theme. NUST came first scooping a first prize of $4000 against designs from Bulawayo, Harare and Mutare Polytechnics. Their model will be further refined and conceptualised at the Dubai 2020 Expo.

According to Dalubuhle Moyo, from the NUST winning team, the competition was quite challenging because other team members are on attachment in different parts of Zimbabwe. The team endured a number of sleepless nights while having to communicate via Skype or emails.

“On an academic level the competition was an eye opener as it helped us put into practise the theories we learn throughout our courses,” Moyo said.

Mr. C. Manyepa a lecturer, from the Architecture department, who was one of the mentors for this competition said the students who represented NUST in this competition were chosen based on merit as well as gender balance. He added that though all students were assigned mentors, they were responsible for generating their own ideas.  

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Eng. Mqhele Dlodlo speaking during the luncheon to congratulate the students emphasized that these students have placed a challenge for their fellow university mates. He was excited to note that these students have also placed the university on the world map.

Prof. Eng Dlodlo said, “Our Architecture Department has not only done us proud in this competition but has a collection of accolades recognizing their exceptional talents and skills, especially for designing exhibition stands.”

The Architecture students are yet to modify their project for their final execution at the Expo. The Dubai 2020 Expo aims not only to showcase global innovations but to also engage the global community through networking and sharing of ideas.

Ropofadzo Mataruse who is also part of the team said she was excited to represent NUST in the world’s best city of architecture. She stated that she looks forward to working with her team and planning more creative designs in preparation for the actual construction of their project.

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