With the news out of Syria over the past year, it’s no wonder if Kevin Dahi has been distracted. A Canadian citizen originally from Syria, his attention has been divided between events in his homeland where members of his immediate family still live and his graduate studies at NSCAD.
"I had been feeling very emotional about the whole thing, especially because it’s so difficult to get information," explains Kevin, who had 15 years of design practice experience before deciding to apply to NSCAD’s Master of Design program.
At NSCAD, Kevin became part of a tight-knit group of students drawn to the university from all over the world. It’s changed his thinking—allowing him to approach design decisions objectively after first considering them from a multitude of perspectives. And it’s this approach that he brought to his thesis project, in which he designed an emergency management system for Syria.
"It’s been a very engaging, very full experience," says Kevin of the year-long master’s program. "I’ve met people who’ve challenged me and supported me. We’ve had some incredible discussions."
But it’s been frustrating too, knowing that any plan he designed is too late to assist with the "human-made" disaster that’s been unfolding in Syria since March 2011.
"What I’ve really learned about is process—that the best design works in collaboration with other disciplines and with much discourse and research. And that’s something I’ll always be able to keep with me."