Street vending is not something you see much of in Abu Dhabi, but it was nevertheless the theme of the 2013 Student Design Challenge, whose visual communication contest was recently won by NYU Abu Dhabi sophomore Arfa Rehman. Responding to the topic with an informative motion graphic, she explored street vending by conducting fieldwork in the capital, engaging with vendors to learn first-hand the ins and outs of their industry.
First hearing about the contest from NYUAD Visiting Assistant Professor of Visual Arts Goffredo Puccetti, Rehman chose to enter "because I thought it was a great initiative taken to promote socially responsible design, which I'm personally interested in," she explained. "I also thought the challenge brief was great; it involved conducting both primary and secondary research and then making a motion graphic — all of which I enjoy doing."
Rehman's resulting two-minute video is an animation based on the stories and information gathered during the research phase of her project. "I love the opportunity to combine research and design, as those are my main areas of interest. It was a great exercise on how to visually convey information, but also make it relatable and engaging," she said. "I wasn't expecting to win, but it's fantastic and very encouraging."