School Children Promote Sustainability through interactive installations

110 students in Dubai participated in workshops to build sculptures that address five United Nations’ Sustainability Development Goals. Over 250 kg of recycled materials used to build four thought-provoking works.

Visitors can immerse in the realm of sustainability at City Walk and The Beach, JBR, through four captivating new installations crafted by students in Dubai. These sculptures represent the culmination of a six-month-long CSR initiative by Merex Investment aimed at fostering environmental consciousness among youth. Designed to spark dialogue and action, the installations invite the public to explore sustainable solutions to pressing issues such as clean energy and responsible production and consumption, which are part of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

The initiative engaged more than 110 students from prominent educational institutions including the Dubai International Academy Emirates Hills, Dubai International Academy Al Barsha, Collegiate International School, Lycée Français International de l’AFLEC, RAFFLES International School, and RAFFLES World Academy.

Led by Dubai-based sustainability artist Christine Iris Wilson, the students participated in a comprehensive programme of 32 workshops over five weeks. The sessions covered a diverse range of topics, including the circular economy, water pollution, plastic recycling, and fast fashion. Students delved into outside-the-box solutions and gained practical skills in upcycling waste materials. They then applied this knowledge to repurpose 250 kilograms of waste material, including plastic bottle caps, glass, waste textile and aluminium, in creating the four thought-provoking installations.

Shahram Shamsaee, CEO, Merex Investment says: “Our sustainability initiative with school students was driven by the desire to nurture an eco-consciousness generation and to ignite innovation among young people. We also wanted the students to inspire the public by crafting sculptures that provoke thought and champion sustainable practices. We are confident that these wonderful installations by these talented young individuals will prompt visitors to reflect on their own environmental impact and take steps towards reducing their carbon footprint and contribute to our collective journey towards sustainability.”

The art installations are now showcased at both destinations:

City Walk

Bridging the Gap Sculpture

This interactive installation, crafted by students from Collegiate International School and Lycée Français International de l’AFLEC, symbolises the transition from a linear to a circular economy. Using locally sourced materials like desert board, steel, and repurposed textiles — such as textile fashion waste and ‘datecrete,’ a date seed-based cementitious material — the students crafted a vibrant structure inspired by the Irish rope bridge. This piece encourages the public to reconsider conventional design and construction methods while showcasing the harmonious blend of beauty, utility, and environmental responsibility.

Slow Fashion Buzz Wire

Crafted by students from RAFFLES International School and RAFFLES World Academy, the interactive ‘Slow Fashion Buzz Wire’ invites visitors to navigate a maze constructed from recycled textiles, copper, and marine board without triggering the buzzer. Incorporating 3D perspective art, the installation reveals the word “fashion” when viewed from a specific angle, enticing people to engage with the game and navigate the metal frame maze at a deliberate pace, underscoring the principles of slow fashion. Through this artwork, students learn about responsible consumption and production and sustainable material alternatives, gaining invaluable insights into the environmental and social impacts of fast fashion on urban areas and understanding the imperative for sustainable consumption and production practices.

The Beach JBR

Ocean Soundwave Bench

The Ocean Soundwave Bench at The Beach, JBR, crafted by students from Dubai International Academy Emirates Hills, is inspired by the rhythmic waves of the ocean. This innovative seating solution, fashioned from recycled plastic sheets, palm tree fronds, and materials sourced from Polygood by Danube, is the embodiment of creativity and environmental awareness. Beyond its functionality, the bench serves as a reminder, enlightening visitors about responsible consumption and production, and advocating for marine conservation efforts. With an intricate interplay between land and sea, guests are invited to pause, listen, and contemplate the ocean’s beauty while pondering the necessity for action.

Starry Badriyeh Moon Sculpture

The Starry Badriyeh Moon Sculpture by students from Dubai International Academy Al Barsha is a testament to sustainability and clean energy solutions. This installation, sustainably illuminated saltwater powered LED lights, brings hope for a brighter, more sustainable future. Constructed from desert board, aluminium, glass, and repurposed plastic CD cases, it invites visitors to interact with its luminous glow simply by collecting 1,000ml of seawater to pour into the funnel located at the base of the structure. Students learned about affordable and clean energy, sustainable cities and communities, and life below water.

Inspired by the celestial beauty of the ocean moon and the twinkling starry night, this art installation advocates for innovation in sustainable energy while shedding light on ocean pollution.

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