Department of Architecture’s Open Jury Week to boost graduate employability

December 27, 2022,

The Department of Architecture at the American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK) recently hosted its Open Jury Week, a biannual event organized to increase the department’s visibility and programs and contribute to the students’ employability upon graduation.

During the Open Jury Week, students enrolled in the Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) and Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design (BAID) were invited to present and defend their projects to a jury consisting of members of the Design Advisory Board, external experts, and AURAK department faculty and academic staff members.

The students’ projects were evaluated according to the assessment criteria set for the project. A jury panel was allocated to each project for evaluation.

Dr. Liudmila Cazacova, Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Architecture, said: “We are so proud of the projects our students put together and to showcase what they have learned. We believe that our Open Jury Week not only motivates our students to produce projects of high quality but also contributes to the continuous improvement of our programs and the employment of our students upon graduation”.

AURAK wishes to thank the Advisory Council Members and external jurors for attending the event and for their valuable assessments of the student’s projects.

A summary of the Open Jury Week

Day 1

  • The students presented their projects for Interior Design Studio 1, covering the topic of “small-scale residential environment,” a scenario-based design brief focusing on the early phases of the design process (pre-design, schematic design, design development) to meet space functional requirements and user needs.
  • The third-year Architectural Design Studio 3 students presented their final designs covering the topic of “Corporate Training Center in Ras Al Khaimah. It comprises hotel accommodation and a modern training center building which are closely connected.
  • Architectural Design Studio 5 students presented their projects covering the topic of “Museum of the Desert Life in the UAE,” focusing on the interpretation and presentation of the cultural life of the Emirati desert
  • Students also presented their Basic Design 1 Project.


Day 2

The fourth-year students presented their Landscape Architecture project, an assignment focusing on designing the Green Connectivity in the AURAK Campus.

Day 3

  • Students presented their projects for Architectural Design Studio 1, covering the topic of “Beach House in Al Marjan Island – RAK,” a project focusing on designing a vacation house for a family of 5 people that includes a person of the People of Determination category.
  • The fifth-year students presented their projects in Architectural Design Studio 7, covering the topic of “Margham, a sustainable agriculture community in the UAE desert,” focusing on the design of the masterplan and architecture of a 48000 sq.m GFA mixed-use complex on a 26000 sq.m site area.
  • Students in Interior Design Studio 5 participated in the 2023 IIDA Student Design Competition by designing several critical areas within an assisted living facility. The proposal included spaces that support healing, restoration, and connection for aging residents with varying levels of need.
  • Interior Design Studio 3 students presented their projects, covering “retail and storefront design.” The students designed a retail store with a branded environment and two storefronts for a mall and high street.

Day 4

Basic Design 1 students presented their projects, which are the twelve squares developed on the ordering system and application of the design principles to produce 2D & 3D compositions in standard format for the twelve squares. The projects have been exhibited in the studio, while the best five are displayed in the department hallway.

Day 5

  • Final year students presented their Graduation Project Thesis Research, in which each student worked independently on a selected topic. The presentation covered all the research stages the students conducted during the semester, selecting the project and defining its importance and nature.
  • Students also presented case studies, functional requirements, and spaces program. Each student selected a site for their project and conducted site analysis after studying three options. The outcome of this research and data collection led to a design statement and preliminary concepts which formalize the student’s perception of the project information, which will be developed into a complete design in the second semester.