ISSUE N o.
TA B L E of contents
DE AN’S MESSAGE
D OHA FIRE STATION
TA SMEEM D OHA 2015: 3A JEEB!
RE SE ARCH IN CONTEXT
CULTIVATING CRE ATIVE THINKING
THE YE AR IN NUMBERS
FACULT Y & STAFF ACHIEVEMENTS
A DE STINATION FOR DIALO GUE
FOSTERING COMMUNIT Y INVOLVEMENT
CL A SS OF 2015
DEAN’S Message DR. AKEL I. K AHER A
CONTEXT C RE DI TS
©Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar The VCUQatar Magazine is published annually by the Office of Communications & External Relations. We welcome your comments (firstname.lastname@example.org).
E D ITO R Meike Kaan
Dear Friends and Colleagues: I invite you to read the many success stories that are featured in our newest issue of Context. This issue promises to highlight innovative research methodologies and “forward thinking.” Above all, our ambition is to provide examples of scholarship that combine meaningful analysis with critical approaches to knowledge. I am honored to serve as Dean of an exceptional community of faculty, staff and students. I believe that our work will prove to be of enduring benefit to our students, helping them to understand the forces that shape the human condition and, indeed, our world. I also believe my experience as a teacher, a mentor and an administrator, coupled with my unyielding commitment to research and scholarship, has provided me with an excellent foundation for my leadership role here at VCUQatar. The theme “forward thinking” for this year’s inaugural faculty and staff meeting suggests growth, reflection, inclusiveness and cultural diversity, mentoring and nurturing, and above all, it suggests a commitment to excellence. How do we make learning an even more compelling experience? How do we combat the fear of interdisciplinary heutagogy? The answer is simple: We must remain steadfast and committed to our mission and vision. In my role as Dean, my primary duties are to build a community of scholars, to set direction and to achieve a common purpose. In so doing, I remain committed to the proposition that VCUQatar values collaboration, experimentation, innovation, relevancy and diversity. Our time span in the classrooms and studios or spent advising students is an opportunity to engage in mentorship. I am confident that this kind of engagement will propel our students to become better-informed global citizens. In fact, I am convinced that, for the state of Qatar and for the world, our graduates are now more important than ever.
WR ITE R Lauren Maas DESIGN
كلمة عميد الجامعة
الدكتور عاقل قاهرة
Sara Shaaban PR IN CIPAL PH OTO G R APH E R S
:أصدقايئ وزماليئ األعزاء
Markus Elblaus عددنا الواردة يف أدعوكم يف هذا المقام لقراءة العديد من قصص النجاح Raviv Cohen يف هذا العدد نسلط الضوء عىل مهنجيات البحوث المبتكرة.Context اجلديد من Leila Natsheh البحوث واألعمال فإننا نطمح إىل تقديم أمثلة عن،و"التفكري الريادي" وقبل كل يشء Omer Mohammad .األ كادميية اليت جتمع بني التحليل الهادف مع هنج حاسمة للمعرفة CO NTR IB UTO R S
والموظفني مية من أعضاء هيئة التدريس ّ َيرشفين اليوم أن أكون عميد ًا لمجموعة ُمت Annabel Armstrong-Clarke وسياسعدهم،طالبنا عىل تعود اليت الفائدة وأنا عىل ثقة بأن عملنا سيربهن.والطالب Patty Paine John بل Steffen وضع وظروف ،عىل فهم العوامل اليت ال تشكل ظروف ووضع اإلناسن فقط Ahmad Oustwan .ككل عالمنا Jesse Ulmer
إىل جانب الزتامي وشغفي الذي،كما أعتقد أيض ًا بأن خربيت كمعلم و ُمرشف ومسؤول TR AN S L ATO R S اس ممتاز ًا ً قد َوفّرا يل أاس،ال ينضب للبحث والدراسة جامعة فرجينيا هنا يف كقيادي Adel Jamal Awad .كومنولث يف قطر Nadia Abu Dayeh
– يشري موضوع االجتماع االفتتاحي – لموظفي وأعضاء هيئة التدريس يف اجلامعة إىل النمو والتأمل والشمولية والتنوع الثقايف والتوجيه،" "التفكري الريادي: هذا العام كيف ميكننا: عىل سبيل المثال. إنه يقرتح االلزتام بالتمزي، واألهم من كل هذا.والرعاية ”heutagogy“ أن جنعل التعليم جترب ًة أكرث إقناع ًا؟ كيف ميكننا مكافحة اخلوف من . ال بد أن نبقى ثابتني وملزتمني براسلتنا ورؤيتنا:تنويع االختصاصات؟ واحلل بسيط يقوم بتحديد، هو بناء جمتمع من العلماء،أحد واجبايت الرئيسية يف دوري كعميد أسلزتام بأن تواصل جامعة، وللقيام بذلك.االجتاهات وحتقيق األهداف المشرتكة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر يف حتقيق قيم التعاون والتجارب واالبتكار والتجديد .والتأثري والتنوع فليكن الوقت الذي نقضيه يف الفصول الدراسية أو االستوديوهات أو يف تقديم المشورة أنا واثق من أن هذا النوع من الماشركة سيدفع بطالبنا.فرص ًة للماشركة يف اإلراشد أنا عىل ثقة من أن خرجيينا اآلن، يف الواقع.ليصبحوا مواطنني عالميني ذوي اطالع أفضل .أكرث أهمية من أي وقت مىض لدولة قطر والعالم
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D O H A F I R E S TAT I O N Artist-in-Residence Program
T H E D O H A F I R E STAT I O N : A N E W A RT I ST- I N - R E S I D E N C E P RO G R A M I N Q ATA R 4 â€” Issue 4
D O H A F I R E STAT I O N
A L L F I R E D U P : N I N E VCU Q ATA R G R A D UAT E S AWA R D E D S P OT S I N Q ATA R M U S E U M ’ S N E W F I R E STAT I O N A RT I ST- I N - R E S I D E N C E P RO G R A M
خاصة ً مساحة ً منح تسعة خريجين من جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث في قطر بهم في الموقع الجديد لمتاحف قطر "محطة مطافيء الدوحة"، برنامج مقر الفنانين كانت حمطة مطايفء الدوحة لفرتة طويلة مكان ًا مسؤو ًال عن إطقاء احلرائق اليت قد تتعرض لها البالد .تم إعادة افتتاح المبىن حبيث يستطيع من خالله عرشون فنان ًا يقيمون يف قطر – للتسعة أهشر القادمة – القيام مبهمة صعبة يف إشعال لهيب اإلبداع لدهيم .أطلقت فريدة متاحف قطر "برناجم مقر الفنانني" يف مارس ،2015حيث يوفر هذا الربناجم فرص ًة ً ومقر ًا للمبدعني يف البالد لتقديم وعرض أعمالهم اإلبداعية مع أقراهنم الموهوبني وبتوجيه من المتخصصني يف هذا القطاع. يف هذا الصدد ،ويف سنة إطالق الربناجم ،تلقت جلنة التحكيم المكونة من معايل الدكتور الشيخ عبد الله بن عيل آل ثاين ورئيس قسم الرسم والطباعة يف جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر الربوفيسور ريس همزوورث ،وجون بول إجنلني من متاحف قطر وفاطمة الرميحي، الرئيس التنفيذي لمؤسسة الدوحة لألفالم – أكرث من 150طلب ًا من فنانني للحصول عىل هذه الفرصة .تم اختيار عرشين فنان ًا فقط ،تسع ًة مهنم حاصلون عىل هشادةٍ من جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر .التحق سبعة مهنم هبذا الربناجم وهم :عثمان خنجي ومريم آل محيد وعائشة نارص السويدي وإمييلينا سواريس وهناء السعدي وفاطمة الرميحي وروضة النرص .ميثل هذا الرتشيح نقطة حتو ًال يف حياة ما بعد التخرج لهؤالء الفنانني المدربني من جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر -توفر هذه الفرصة لكل مهنم استوديو خاص ًا به ،والتواصل مع فنانني معرتف هبم دولي ًا،وفرصة الماشركة بأعمالهم معرض يقام يف حمطة مطايفء الدوحة “ ”Garage Galleryيف فصل الربيع القادم. يف ٍ لالحتفال بافتتاح هذا المبىن واإلعالن عن فناين هذا العام ،استضافت معايل رئيس متاحف قطر الشيخة المياسة بنت محد بن خليفة آل ثاين ومدير حمطة مطايفء الدوحة السيدة هالة آل خليفة عرشين فنان ًا يف حفل استقبال خاص حيث قاموا مباشركة اخلطط المستقبلية ومماراست االستوديو واألعمال المتوقعة .ويف هذا احلفل قالت هالة آل خليفة مدير المحطة" :يعكس برناجم مقر الفنانني وبالفعل رؤية متاحف قطر إلثراء حياة كل أولئك الذين يعيشون ويزورون قطر ،كما انه يشجع ويدعم ثقافة أهل البلد لإلبداع واالبتكار ،وحنن نأمل بأن تعمل هذه الفرتة من اإلقامة الفنية (تسعة هشور) عىل االعرتاف هبؤالء الفنانني الموهوبني دولي ًا ليكونوا الرشارات اإلبداعية لمستقبلنا. يف حني أن حمطة مطايفء الدوحة حالي ًا مؤسس ٌة فريدةٌ من نوعها يف المجتمع الفين يف تراث استمر عرش سنوات الدوحة ،إال أنه ليس الربناجم األول من نوعه يف البالد .ولتكريم ٍ لمركز الفنون (مبادرة "الفنان المقيم" الاسبقة برعاية سعادة الشيخ حسن بن حممد بن عيل آل ثاين) ،أقامت حمطة مطايفء الدوحة معرضها االفتتاحي ،555والذي يعرض أعمال فنانني مهشورين أمثال ضياء العزاوي وإسماعيل فتاح وإسماعيل عزام ،وغريهم.
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The Doha Fire Station, a place long responsible for extinguishing the city’s actual, accidental flames, has been reimagined as a site where, for the next nine months, 20 Qatar-based artists will be hard at work stoking their own creative fires. This Artist-in-Residence program, launched in March 2015 by Qatar Museums (QM), provides a singular opportunity for the country’s creatives—a platform to make and show work in the company of talented peers and under the guidance of industry professionals. —In this, the program’s launch year, a distinguished panel of judges which included H.E. Dr. Sheikh Abdulla Bin Ali Al-Thani, Painting & Printmaking Department Chair Rhys Himsworth, Jean-Paul Engelen of Qatar Museums and Doha Film Institute CEO Fatma Al Remaihi—received over 150 applications vying for residency positions. Of those 150, 20 artists were selected—nine of whom hold degrees from VCUQatar, and seven of whom accepted their nominations (Othman Khunji, Maryam Al-Homaid, Aisha Nasser Al Sowaidi, Emelina Soares, Hana Al Saadi, Fatma Al-Remaihi and Roda Al Nasr). The residency represents a watershed moment in the post-graduate lives of these VCUQatar affiliated artists, providing each unlimited access to a studio of their own, contact with internationally recognized artists and art purveyors and the opportunity to participate in a culminating exhibition of works to be held at the Fire Station’s own Garage Gallery next spring. To celebrate the facility’s opening and the announcement of this year’s residents, QM Chairperson H.E. Sheikha Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani and Fire Station Director Hala Al Khalifa hosted a reception for the 20 artists in which plans for studio practices and future works were shared. “This Artist-in-Residence programme perfectly reflects Qatar Museums’ vision of enriching the lives of all those who live in and visit Qatar, as well as inspiring an indigenous culture of creativity and innovation, and we hope that the nine-month residency will enable these talented artists to be recognised on an international scale to become the creative sparks of our future,” said Director Al Khalifa at the event.
“With the amount of freedom that I have here, I’d like to produce artwork that is not necessarily client-based, but more purely based on my love for exploring, building, making and, most importantly, having fun…it will be driven mainly by passion and curiosity rather than overthinking the final product. I am looking forward to going with the flow and just letting it be.” –Maryam Al-Homaid MFA in Design ‘14 / BFA Graphic Design ‘10
While the Fire Station is currently a unique establishment in Doha’s arts community, it is not the first program of its kind in the country. To honor the decade-long legacy of The Art Center (a past artist-in-residence initiative sponsored by H.E. Sheikh Hassan bin Mohammed bin Ali Al-Thani), the Fire Station presented “555,” an inaugural exhibition showcasing works by renowned artists Dia Azzawi, Ismail Fattah and Ismail Azzam, among others. The exhibition’s subtitle, “reigniting the past,” speaks to the connection Sheikh Hassan’s early project has with those “creative sparks of our future” Director Al Khalifa described in her welcome address to the Fire Station’s new crop of talent. Additional programming designed to supplement the residency is certain to help the artists establish productive practices and collaborations. “We’ll able to participate in exhibitions and art events, workshops, critiques and conferences. At the Fire Station, the artists will be the center of attention…I think if we all work hard enough, more people will recognize successful artists from Qatar in the future,” says resident Hana Al Saadi (BFA Painting & Printmaking ‘15). The Doha Fire Station is poised to become key component in Qatar’s quest to encourage and promote young artists. To be sure, the initiative will speak to the aspirations of motivated VCUQatar graduates, especially those looking to participate in creative conversations and
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وقد أوضحت السيدة هالة آل خليفة مدير المحطة يف كلمهتا االفتتاحية للمواهب يشري إىل،"اليت تم اختيارها بأن "عنوان المعرض "جلب المايض إىل المستقبل عام ًا واليت20 الموجات الفنية اليت أثارها مرشوع الشيخ حسن منذ ما يقارب ."تعد اآلن رشارات إبداعية لمستقبلنا تم تصميم براجم إضافية هتدف إىل استكمال برناجم اإلقامة وماسعدة هؤالء الفنانني عن ذلك حتدثت أحدى الفنانني.عىل إناشء مماراست فنية وواسئل تعاونية فعالة خرجية قسم الرسم والطباعة يف جامعة فرجينيا، هناء السعدي،من هذا الربناجم "سنتمكن من الماشركة يف المعارض والفعاليات: قائلة٢٠١٥ كومنولث يف قطر ... الفنان هو حمور االهتمام، يف هذا المكان. وورش العمل والمؤمترات،الفنية جيب أن،ولكن هذا المكان لن يفيدنا إذا لم نستغل فرصة وجودنا هنا بالكامل نعمل مجيعا جبد حىت يكون هناك أناس أكرث يعرتفون بنا كفنانني ناجحني من قطر ."يف المستقبل
مع وعد بإقامات سنوية ،تستعد حمطة مطايفء الدوحة لتصبح عنرص ًا أاسسي ًا يف سعي قطر حنو تشجيع وتعزيز الفنانني الشباب .وللتأكد ،ختاطب حمطة مطايفء الدوحة تطلعات ومحاس خرجيي جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر ،ال سيما أولئك الذين يتطلعون إىل الماشركة يف النقااشت اإلبداعية ويعملون عىل إراسء مماراست عمليةٍ ٍ داخل البلد .ووفق ًا لريس همزوورث ،رئيس قسم الرسم والطباعة يف جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر" :توفر حمطة مطايفء الدوحة فرص ًة ال مثيل لها خلرجيي الفنون اجلميلة يف قطر .فمن خالل تقديم برناجم مقر الفنانني ،سيحصل الفنانون الشباب عىل فرص
الحق من حياهتم المهنية" .كما يوفر هذا الربناجم وقت مهنية تتاح عادة للفنانني يف ٍ ٍ ضمانات بأن قطر ال تزال ترى المهن الفنية كواحدةٍ من المهن القيمة اليت تستحق موقع لإللهام بقدر متابع ًة ودعم ًا .ومن هذا المنطلق ،فإن حمطة مطايفء الدوحة هي ٌ إشعال .فما من طريقةٍ أفضل لزيادة تراث البالد الفين من تعزيز جمتمع ما هي موقع ٍ المواهب المحلية بالطموحات الدولية؟ كل ما يتطلبه األمر هو رشارة.
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establish studio practices within the country. According to Rhys Himsworth, “The Fire Station provides an opportunity for art and design graduates in Qatar like no other. Through the residency programs offered, young artists have access to professional opportunities that would normally only be afforded to artists much later in their careers.” It also provides assurance that Qatar continues to see an artistic career as one worth pursuing and supporting. In this way, the residency is as much a site of inspiration as it is ignition. How best to further a country’s arts legacy and nurture a community of local talent with international ambitions? It starts with a spark.
D O H A F I R E STAT I O N
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D O H A F I R E STAT I O N
“I'm looking forward to learning from the other artists, exploring the different ways the residency program will add to my own process of making and seeing and discovering how my participation will add to the program.” –Fatma Al-Remaihi BFA Graphic Design ‘10
“The Fire Station embraces community-building for artists and other residents of Qatar. Knowing that there is a larger community I am engaging with now, I want to use this time to collaborate and generate new works with the other artists-inresidence. Also, using a heritage site to help artists develop is a statement made by the country— it shows that Qatar realizes the connection between its arts, culture and history.” –Emelina Soares BFA Painting & Printmaking ‘15
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“I’ve always wanted to work within a creative community. This place is like a dream come true. It’s not just a community of artists from all fields, but the architectural space has its own charms. Its raw walls and ceiling are like raw canvases—they allow for imagination.” –Aisha Nasser Al Sowaidi MFA in Design ‘13 / BFA Graphic Design ‘05 Assistant Curator, Doha Fire Station
“Most of the concepts that will come to life during my time at the Fire Station residency have initially been inspired by my MFA thesis research. Currently I'm working on a piece that is inspired by the connection Muslims have with Allah's holy land of Mecca. My pieces invoke Muslim minds and create room for dialogue in the hope of positively engaging the future generations with Islam and its wonders.” –Othman Khunji MFA in Design ‘15
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“The Fire Station will have a role in encouraging the Qatari community to evolve its perception of art. Hopefully, people will learn from what each artist is trying to convey and will start to think of art as much more than just a hobby.” –Roda Al Nasr BFA Painting & Printmaking ‘15
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TA S M E E M D O H A 2 015
TA S M E E M ‘ C O - C O - C O - C O C H A I R S ’ O U T A N D A B O U T I N S O U Q WAQ I F
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A ST R A N G E , C O O L , S L I G H T LY WEIRD WEEK IN REVIEW
قليال ،وغير عادي استعراض أحداث أسبوع مدهش ،غريب ً خالل التحضير لمؤتمر تصميم ”! ،“3ajeebتوجه أحد رؤساء المؤتمر ،ليفاي هاميت، قائال: بالحديث إلى قادة ورش العمل والذين وصلوا للمشاركة في المؤتمر ً
"نريد منكم المشاركة بكل ما هو غريب وغير عادي ويتعلق بالتصميم". وكان هذا بالتحديد ما قاموا به خالل الخمسة أيام القادمة.
تصميم دوحة هو مؤمتر للفن والتصميم يقام كل سنتني .يعمل هذا احلدث -إضاف ًة
D U R I N G T A S M E E M 3 A J E E B ! S E T - U P, C O N F E R E N C E C O - C H A I R L E V I H A M M E T T A D D R E S S E D A G R O U P O F N E W LY-A R R I V E D W O R K S H O P L E A D E R S F R O M T H E S TA G E I N V C U Q ATA R ’ S AT R I U M .
“ W E WA N T YO U TO C E L E B R AT E E V E RY T H I N G C R A Z Y A B O U T D E S I G N ,” H E TO L D T H E M . O V E R T H E N E X T F I V E D AY S , T H A T ’ S E X A C T L Y W H A T T H E Y D I D .
Tasmeem Doha is a biennial conference dedicated to art and design.
إىل ماشركة طلبة وأعضاء هيئة التدريس يف جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث -عىل جذب المصممني والفنانني واأل كادمييني والمتخصصني يف هذا القطاع من مجيع أحناء العالم. يقوموا ومن خالل هذا المؤمتر باستكاشف طرق جديدة يف التفكري ،والرؤية والصناعة والتعلم من خالل الرتكزي عىل الموضوعات المعارصة .جاء تصميم دوحة 2015 ليلخص مفهوم ًا جديد ًا حيوي ًا ومليئ ًا بالطاقة لل ـ "اللعب والمتعة والمرح" كما تعرب عهنم الكلمة العربية عجيب “!.”3ajeeb
In addition to the participation of VCUQatar students and faculty, the event attracts designers, artists, academics and industry professionals from all over the world. Each Tasmeem Doha explores new ways of thinking, making, seeing and learning by focusing on contemporary themes, with the 2015 edition presenting the playful, !eclectic concept of 3ajeeb
يف سبتمرب ،2013استوحى رؤاسء المؤمتر األربعة :ليفاي هاميت ،ومايكل هريرشد، وريتاشرد لومبارد وسيمون موسكولينو فكرة المؤمتر من الطاقة الغزيرة المحيطة هبم. صادف ذلك الوقت معرض ًا للفنان داميان هريست يف "معرض الرواق" كما تم الكشف عن أعمال فنية لمجموعة برونزية ضخمة من األطفال عىل اجلانب اآلخر من ومبتكرة .وهذا المدينة التعليمية ،كما أصبحت الماشريع داخل اجلامعة جتريبي ًة أكرث ً جعلهم يتعمقون يف نظرهتم إىل فكرة "اللعب" كمحفز للفن والتصميم .وعن انطالق مفهوم هذا المؤمتر ،حتدث أحد رؤاسء المؤمتر ،ريتاشرد لمبارد ،قائالً " :كنقطة انطالق ،شعرنا أن هذا المفهوم سيو ّلد نتاجئ ًا خارج ًة عن المألوف ،ال ميكن التنبؤ هبا كثري ًا ،ولكنه يشجع التعاون والماشركة احلية".
In September 2013, the conference’s four co-chairs—Levi Hammett, —Michael Hersrud, Richard Lombard and Simone Muscolino found themselves inspired by the exuberant energy of their surroundings. Damien Hirst was presenting an exhibition at Al Riwaq and unveiling a set of massive bronze babies across the highway from Education City, while projects inside the university were becoming more experimental and innovative. This prompted a deeper look into the idea of “play” as a catalyst for art and design. “As a starting point, we felt it would generate outcomes that were bit out of the ordinary, a little unpredictable, while also encouraging collaboration and lively participation,” says co-chair Richard Lombard of the concept’s beginnings.
يف بدايات عملية العصف الذهين توصل الفريق إىل الكلمة العربية "عجيب" واليت تطابق إىل حد كبري رؤيهتم للمؤمتر .وتبني لهم بأن هذه الكلمة حتمل نفس المعىن تقريب ًا يف كل من اللغة العربية ،والهندية ،والبنغالية واألوردو كما تعكس تنوع جمتمع جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر وتو ّلد جمموع ًة رائع ًة من ردود األفعال .قد تكون كلمة عجيب عند البعض تعبري ًا عن كلمة “! ،”coolبينما قد يفهمها البعض اآلخر مبعىن "أخرق"، واعتقد البعض اآلخر بأهنا قد تعين "كل ما هو غريب" .أما يف سياق تصميم دوحة، فتم تعريف كلمة عجيب يف هناية المطاف عىل أهنا "غريب بطريقة غريبة بعض اليشء، مدهش ،وخارج عن المألوف" .وأصبح هذا المفهوم الضمين إطار ًا لهذا احلدث. مفهوم "اللعب" يف الفن والتصميم ليس جديد ًا؛ وميكن العثور عليه يف أعمال الشخصيات المؤثرة مثل تاشرلز وراي اميز وليبوز نيكلوفا الذين رأوا أكرب قيمة يف ال ُّلعب والكرايس المصممة تصميم ًا جيد ًا .أما الباحثون المعارصون فريون "اللعب" عنرص ًا حيوي ًا يف تطوير دوائر الدماغ :فمن خالل معرفة القواعد والمعايري والنتاجئ المحتملة ،حتصل أدمغتنا عىل أفضل النتاجئ واحللول .ونتيجة لذلك ،فالتعلم ليس فرض ًا إمنا هو حاجة وغاية من أجل حتقيق نتاجئ أفضل .كان الهدف من تصميم دوحة تبن هذه النقطة ،من خالل تعزيز النتاجئ الهجينة وغري المتوقعة واليت ظهرت ّ 2015 من هتافات احلضور يف “!.”3ajeeb كان المؤمتر ،ببعض الطرق ،خارج ًا أيض ًا عن التوقعات .يف منطقة اخلليج ،يتعرض الطالب وبشكل منتظم للنتاجئ المصقولة ،والمخرجات الراقية ،من الفن لفن العمارة، من داميان هريست إىل ريم كولهاس .كان تصميم “! ”3ajeebفرص ًة لتسليط الضوء عىل الفوىض ،ونقط االنطالق اليت ال ميكن التنبؤ هبا يف العمليات اإلبداعية ،احلوادث الرسيعة والعالقات الغريبة األاسسية لممارسة الفن والتصميم.
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Early brainstorming led the group to a Arabizi word—3ajeeb—that closely matched their vision for the conference. It had roughly similar meanings in Arabic, Hindi, Urdu and Bengali—reflecting the diversity of the VCUQatar community while provoking a wonderful range of reactions. Some used it to express “cool!” while others understood it to mean “awkward,” and still others thought “bizarre.” In the context of Tasmeem Doha, 3ajeeb eventually came to be defined as “strange in a strange way, cool in a cool way, and slightly weird in a slightly weird way.” This became the subtext and framework for the event. The concept of “play” in art and design is not new; it can be found in the work of influential figures like Charles and Ray Eames and Libuše Niklová who saw as much value in well-designed toys as they did in well-designed chairs. Contemporary researchers see play as a critical element in the development of the brain’s circuitry: by figuring out rules, parameters and possible outcomes, our brains get the best workout. As a result, learning is not forced; it is needed, even craved, in order to achieve greater results. The goal of Tasmeem Doha 2015 was to embrace this focus, while promoting the wild, unex!pected outcomes implied by its rallying cry—3ajeeb
“Contemporary researchers see play as a critical element in the development of the brain’s circuitry: by figuring out rules, parameters and possible outcomes, our brains get the best workout. As a result, learning is not forced; it is needed, even craved, in order to achieve greater results.” 01 02 03
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Conference participants connecting on the first day of Tasmeem Doha 2015 Participants bringing their robots to life in the Robots With Character workshop Studio participants draw the projections on a blank canvas in the first phase of Praesentia: Drawing + Code workshop
TA S M E E M D O H A 2015
05 04 Touch The Sound outcomes on Day 5 of Tasmeem Doha 2015 05 Mechanisms Of Delightful Interaction workshop
وأخري ًا ،ومن وجهة نظر عالمية ،بدا التوقيت مناسب ًا حق ًا لطرح مثل هذا الهنج .وعىل الرغم من الرتابط الرقمي لدينا فتغطية األحداث احلالية اجلارية تصور عالم ًا مستقطب ًا (حمور ًا لالهتمام) وبشكل مزتايد .وجاءت الفرصة مع تصميم عجيب “! ”3ajeebإلقامة شبكات وعالقات إجيابية متنوعة وخالقة بني الناس يف الوقت الصحيح واحلياة احلقيقية ومن خالل تبادل األفكار واخلربات والمهارات .فالهوية الفريدة جلامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر كفرع من جامعة أمريكية يف الرشق األوسط ،واخلليط المتنوع من مخسني جنسية واختالف اخللفيات الثقافية والدينية كل ذلك جعلها اخللفية المثالية لمثل هذا التبادل.
The conference was, in some ways, also about shifting expectations. In the Gulf region, students are regularly exposed to the most polished, high-end deliverables—from art to architecture, Damien Hirst to Rem Koolhaas. Tasmeem 3ajeeb! was an opportunity to showcase the messy, unpredictable starting points of the creative process—the happy accidents and strange connections essential to the practice of art and design.
وبالنظر يف تنظيم هذا احلدث ،استوحى رؤاسء المؤمتر األفكار من بعض الفعاليات الناجحة مثل مهرجان OFFFالثقايف الرقمي ،وهو مهرجان يقام سنوي ًا يف برشلونة للفنانني المعارصين والمصممني والمخرجني والفنانني .وكان هدف تصميم “!”3ajeeb الوصول إىل نوع من التبادل اإلبداعي باستخدام طرق جديدة غري تقليدية ماشهب ًا لمهرجان .OFFFوحتقيق ًا لهذه الغاية ،حتول "المؤمتر" والذي يستمر أسبوع ًا إىل "مهرجان" هشد العديد من الرباجم والتجمعات المتمزية والمختلفة. ٍ
Finally, from a global standpoint, the timing seemed right for this approach. Coverage of current events portrays an increasingly polarized world, in spite of our digital connectedness. With Tasmeem 3ajeeb! there was an opportunity to forge positive, creative and diverse networks of people in real life and real time, through the sharing of ideas, experiences and skill sets. VCUQatar’s unique identity as an American branch campus in the Middle East—a mash-up of fifty-plus nationalities and many different cultural and religious backgrounds—made it the ideal backdrop for such an exchange.
انطلقت األنشطة يف خريف 2014مع برناجم "تصميم يف الفصول الدراسية (")TIC والمرشوع الفين "ميين غولف" (ملعب غولف مصغّ ر) .كان هذا الربناجم ( )TICعبارة عن سلسلة من الماشريع انطلقت ُقبيل المؤمتر وقام بابتكارها وإعدادها طلبة وأعضاء هيئة التدريس يف جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر وريتشموند ومتحورت حول مفهوم “! .”3ajeebتراوحت نتاجئ هذا الربناجم ( )TICمن األداءات للقطع الفنية اليت ميكن ارتداؤها وإىل أجهزة تفاعلية لتقنيات الرسم المبتكرة .وقد تم اختيار عرشين طالب ًا وعرشة من أعضاء هيئة التدريس من الماشركني يف برناجم TICمن اجلامعة األم يف ً ريتشموند ،حلضور مؤمتر تصميم “! ”3ajeebيف الدوحة ،كما أقيمت المعارض لعرض الماشريع يف كل من معرض جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر ومعرض Depotيف ريتشموند بوالية فرجينيا .وتم عرض مرشوع ملعب اجلولف المصغّ ر ،وهو مرشوع أقامه الفنانان الزائران روبن شوارتزمان وتوم لوفتوس عىل مدى فصل درايس كامل ،تعاونا فيه مع طلبة جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر وأعضاء الهيئة التدريسية إلقامة هذا المقرر وإناشء هذا الملعب الفريد من نوعه خصيص ًا من أجل تصمــيم “!.”3ajeeb شمل المؤمتر العديد من استوديوهات “! ،”3ajeebو 26ورشة عمل متمزية بقيادة عدد من المبدعني المحرتفني من مجيع أحناء العالم والعديد من المتحدثني .هشدت ليلة االفتتاح Pors & Rao؛ وكان أحد ضيوف المؤمتر الممزيين المصمم العالمي Issue 4 — 17
While considering the organization of the event, the co-chairs were inspired by the success of the post-digital culture festival OFFF, held annually in Barcelona for contemporary artists, !designers, filmmakers and performers. Like OFFF, Tasmeem 3ajeeb aimed to approach creative exchange in fresh and unconventional ways. To this end, the week-long format was shifted from “conference” to “festival,” with several distinct blocks of programming. Activities kicked off in Fall 2014 with Tasmeem In The Classroom (TIC) and the Artist Mini Golf project. TIC was a series of pre-conference projects developed by students and faculty at VCUQatar and VCUarts in Richmond centering on the theme of 3ajeeb. TIC outcomes ranged from performance to wearable art to
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The Nomadic Doll workshop Outcomes from The Moneychanger workshop Marionette Kinect workshop Students prepare Floating Architecture installation for Festival Day Phonotropia workshop Bamboo Bike Building workshop
Next page Printing out real-time tweets at Tasmeem Doha 2015
interactive devices to innovative drawing techniques. Of those participating in the TIC program at VCUarts, twenty students and ten faculty were selected to attend Tasmeem 3ajeeb! in Doha, and exhibitions featuring the projects were held at the VCUQatar Gallery and the Depot Gallery in Richmond, Virginia. Artist Mini Golf was a semester-long project led by visiting artists Robin Schwartzman and Tom Loftus who collaborated with VCUQatar students and faculty to create a unique mini golf course for Tasmeem 3ajeeb!. The conference itself was defined by 3ajeeb! Studios (26 distinct workshops led by creative professionals from all over the world), featured speakers (opening night’s Pors & Rao, special guests Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti, closing night’s Casey Neistat), Shawarma Sessions (mid-day talks by workshop leaders) and the Day OFFF (a curated day of presentations by contemporary creative thinkers). The conference culminated in Festival Day, a public showcase of the 3ajeeb! Studio projects where visitors could engage with artists and designers and be all things 3ajeeb!. A good deal of focus was placed on branding the event. Culling inspiration and imagery from classrooms, the streets of Doha and weird recesses of the Internet, the co-chairs worked with a team of designers to present Tasmeem 3ajeeb!’s offbeat identity. This work became the foundation for all conference documentation including the Tasmeem Doha website, the Tasmeem In The Classroom publication, the Tasmeem 3ajeeb! program and accompanying ephemera. The Tasmeem Doha website also featured 3ajeeb! Live—a virtual counterpart to the physical conference. 3ajeeb! Live featured real-time updates from Twitter, Vine and Instagram feeds, as well as live streaming of all presentations. With interested parties spanning the globe— especially in Richmond—3ajeeb! Live was an invaluable asset. And the virality of #tasmeem3ajeeb was a success—by week’s end, more than 3,000 posts had been aggregated. As co-chair Michael Hersrud noted: “word came in from alumni all over the world that scenes of the conference was dominating their social media feeds, proof that 3ajeeb! Live feature strengthened VCUQatar’s sense of community.”
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ومن. أما ليلة اخلتام فأحياها كييس نيستات،فالنتينو غارافاين وجيانكارلو جيامييت جلاست الاشورما وهي حمادثات دارت يف منتصف الهنار من قبل:فعاليات المؤمتر هشد عروض ًا وحمارضات قامOFFF يوم: وتم ختصيص يوم باسم.قادة ورش العمل حيث، توج المؤمتر بيوم المهرجان.هبا العديد من المفكرين المبدعني والمعارصين ” ومتكن الزوار3ajeeb!“ أقيم معرض ًا مفتوح ًا لعرض نتاجئ وماشريع أستوديوهات .”3ajeeb!“ من الماشركة والتفاعل مع الفنانني والمصممني لعمل كل ما هو تم استيحاء هذه الهوية من.تم الرتكزي وبصورة كبرية عىل حتديد وتصميم هوية المؤمتر عمل رؤاسء. ومن شوارع الدوحة ومن اخلبايا الغريبة عىل االنرتنت،الفصول الدراسية وتم.”3ajeeb!“ المؤمتر مع فريق من المصممني عىل تقديم هوية خاصة بتصميم استخدام هذه الهوية اخلاصة يف مجيع وثائق المؤمتر مبا يف ذلك الموقع اإللكرتوين وبرناجم المؤمتر وكل ما يلزم،" وكتيب "تصميم يف الفصول الدراسية،لتصميم دوحة .من ملصقات ولوحات وإعالنات خاصة بالمؤمتر حيث تم التحديث مبارشة،عرض الموقع اإللكرتوين لتصميم دوحة بث ًا حي ًا للمؤمتر . باإلضافة إىل بث مبارش جلميع العروض، وإنستجرامVine لكل من تغريدات تويرت و هشد،ومع وجود األطراف المهتمة يف خمتلف أحناء العالم وخصوص ًا يف ريتشموند جناح ًا#tasmeem3ajeeb هذا الموقع احلي رصد ًا ومتابع ًة ال تقدر بثمن وحقق وعن ذلك حتدث. ماشركة قبل هناية األسبوع3000 حيث تم جتميع أكرث من،باهر ًا أن، "أبلغنا خرجيونا يف مجيع أحناء العالم:أحد رؤاسء المؤمتر مايكل هريسد قائال وهذا دليل،ماشهد المؤمتر هيمنت عىل واسئل االتصال االجتماعي اخلاصة هبم وقوى إحاسس المجتمع جبامعة فرجينيا ّ ” زاد3ajeeb!“ عىل أن هذا البث احلي لـ ." كومنولث يف قطر وهو هدف دون شك،كانت الماشركة اجلماعية هي أحد األهداف الرئيسية للمؤمتر اشرك الطالب داخلي ًا وخارجي ًا مع بعضهم ومع قادهتم يف المؤمتر.قد تم حتقيقه تعاونوا ومتكنوا من حل، متكنوا من استيعاب المفاهيم اجلديدة رسيع ًا.وبناشط متكن الطالب من التعبري: وعىل نفس القدر من األهمية، ثاني ًا.الماشكل بشكل خالق ” كلمة ذات دالالت شخصية؛ ففكرة3ajeeb!“ فعجيب.عن أنفهسم وشخصياهتم وأوضح أحد الرؤاسء.شخص واحد عن ما هو عجيب قد ختتلف متام ًا عن فكرة اآلخر الماشركني سيمون موسكولينو "كان الهدف خلق منصة مفتوحة يشعر فهيا الطالب . " "وقد قاموا فعال بذلك،"ومجيع الماشركني بالراحة يف التعبري عن أنفهسم وتم ضمان النجاح أيضا مباشركة جمموعة عالمية من المواهب اليت جاءت إىل جامعة ، قادة االستوديوهات: ”3ajeeb!“ فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر إلظهار كل ما هو عجيب فحكاياهتم الشخصية يف اإلبداع.فقد كانت استثماراهتم يف الربناجم والطالب معدية . ولكن للحدث بأكمله،والتطوير المهين ضبطت النغمة ليس فقط للطالب
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Mass participation was the primary goal of the event—one that was undeniably achieved. Students were actively engaged, with leaders both internal and external, and with each other. They absorbed new concepts quickly, worked collaboratively and solved problems creatively. Secondly, and of equal importance: they were able to express themselves and their individuality. 3ajeeb is a word with personal connotations; one person’s idea of what is 3ajeeb! might be very different from another’s. “The aim was to create an open platform where the students—and all participants—would feel comfortable expressing themselves,” explained co-chair Simone Muscolino. “And they did.” Success was also ensured by the dedicated participation of a world-class group of talent that came to VCUQatar in the form of 3ajeeb! Studio leaders—their investment in the program and the students was infectious. Their personal tales of creativity and professional development set the tone not just for the students, but for the entire event. Several days after the conference, VCUQatar was given the opportunity to show participant work at Design Days Dubai. Displayed amidst works by Zaha Hadid and Studio Job, were empathic robots, bamboo bicycles and turntable-based animations which provided, as Domus magazine wrote, “testimony to the reverberations of work that certainly centered on critical, lateral and divergent thought, managing to move the horizon and construct new points of view.” As a university, we are most proud of these “new points of view.” Using the theme of 3ajeeb!, the conference attempted to present new ways of seeing, making and creating work. Workshops resulted in a multitude of strange wonders and what the experience served to highlight was the possibility of creating, from wildly different inputs, a very strong communal voice.
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حصلت جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر عىل فرصة لعرض ونرش أعمال المؤمتر تم عرض هذه األعمال يف خضم أعمال زها حديد.”Design Days Dubai“ يف حيث تم عرض الروبوتات احلاسسة والدراجات المصنوعة من،وستوديو جوب كما كتبت جملة دوموس "داللة عىل ما تركته،اخلزيران وأسطوانات الرسوم المتحركة فقد حركوا،هذه األعمال من أصداء ركزت بالتأكيد عىل األفكار النقدية والمتباينة ." ما يف األفق ومتكنوا من بناء وجهات نظر جديدة ،”3ajeeb!“ " وباستخدام مفهوم. "بوجهات النظر اجلديدة،نفخر حنن كجامعة .حاول المؤمتر تقديم طرق جديدة للرؤية واالبتكار وصناعة وصياغة األشياء أسفرت ورش العمل عن العديد من العجائب الغريبة وأظهرت التجربة ابتكار .صوت مجاعي قوي جد ًا مستمد ًا من مدخالت خمتلفة إىل حد كبري
TA S M E E M D O H A 2015
Clockwise from left 01 Tokyo to Doha: 3D Print Exchange workshop 02 The WonderBox workshop 03 Upcycling Knitting Machines workshop 04 Portrait Machine workshop 05 Casey Neistat takes a selfie after his talk, closing Tasmeem Doha 2015 06 Light Calligraphy session at the Corniche 07 They Promised Us Jetpacks workshop 02
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O N LY C O N N EC T: A SS I STA N T P RO F E SS O R O F P H OTO G R A P H Y G EO RG E AW D E …O N T H E C OV E R O F C A N VA S , O N C R E AT I N G A RT S C O M M U N I T I E S.
R E S E A RC H I N C O N T E X T George Awde
Scan a dossier of George Awde’s recent accomplishments in photography—regional and international exhibitions, residencies, speaking engagements, editorial features—and it might be easy to overlook the fact that he is also a full-time assistant professor in VCUQatar’s Painting & Printmaking Department. But professor he is, and since joining the faculty ranks in 2013, his impressive creative output and industry acuity have provided lessons of equal value to those he teaches in the university’s classrooms and studios. As a prolific and increasingly visible young artist based in Doha, Awde is a vital example for art and design students who may one day hope to follow suit. In his work, Awde explores cultural expectations of masculinity in Middle Eastern societies. His subjects—young men from Syria, Syrian Kurdistan, Lebanon and Egypt—are captured in quiet moments of revelation, baring scars both physical and psychic, the effects of coming of age during times of deep unrest in the region. For Awde, landscape is also of great significance, informing and reflecting the displaced youth featured in his photographs. Such portraits were central to “Fragile States,” a solo exhibition of Awde’s work at Dubai’s East Wing gallery in May 2015 and to his work in “I Spy with my Little Eye,” a group exhibition of Beirut artists held at The Mosaic Rooms in London as part of the Shubbak [Window on Contemporary Arab Culture] Festival, also in May 2015. The latter drew the attention of Canvas magazine, which reviewed the show and selected one of Awde’s images for its September/ October 2015 cover. In the review, Canvas noted, “Awde explores the places and spaces our bodies inhabit in the midst of social, political and physiological change.” Shot with medium and large format cameras, these photographs are a continuation of several bodies of work begun in 2007. In her recent article “George Awde: Where Light Falls” for ArteEast, Mathaf curator Laura Barlow observed the importance and protraction of time in Awde’s work: “Much like the sequential passing of a day, George Awde shoots in serial rhythms, sectioning together moments across days, weeks, and years to write an expanded image-based narrative of existence in times of extreme political and social unrest.”
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: لنتواصل فقط
أستاذ مساعد في التصوير الفوتوغرافي … على غالف مجلة،جورج عودة البتكاره مجتمعات فنية،Canvas
،بالنظر إلجنازات جورج عودة يف التصوير الفوتغرايف مؤخر ًا – معارض إقليمية ودولية مقاالت – ال ننىس بأن جورج عودة هو أستاذ ماسعد، مناظرات،مقرات للفنانني ، كأستاذ.كامل يف برناجم الرسم والطباعة يف جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر بدوام ٍ ٍ فإن إنتاجه االبداعي،2013 ومنذ انضمامه إىل مصاف أعضاء هيئة التدريس عام ً الرائع وفطنته يف هذه الصناعة وفرت درو اس قيم ًة موازي ًة لتلك اليت يقوم بتدريهسا ذو اخليال اخلصب والظاهر، هذا الفنان الاشب.يف فصول واستوديوهات اجلامعة هو مثال حيوي لطالب،مبواهبه للعيان بشكل مزتايد والمستقر حالي ًا يف الدوحة .الفنون اجلميلة الذين يأملون يف يوم من األيام يف اتباع هنجه وطريقه .يستكشف عودة يف عمله التوقعات الثقافية للرجولة يف جمتمعات الرشق األوسط ومرص – يلتقطها يف حلظات، ولبنان، وكردستان سوريا،موضوعه – الشبان من سوريا وآثار التقدم يف العمر يف أوقات، لتعري الندوب اجلسدية والنفسية،الوحي الهادئة االضطرابات العميقة يف المنطقة – يقوم عودة بإظهار األهمية الكبرية لهذا المهشد .واليت تتضح ويظهر انعكاهسا يف الصور اليت التقطها للشباب النازحني ” الذي أقامه جورج عودةFragile States“ كانت هذه اللوحات حمور المعرض ويف المعرض اجلماعي لفناين بريوت2015 يف جالريي اجلناح الرشيق يف ديب يف مايو يف غرف2015 ” والذي أقيم أيض ًا يف مايوI Spy with my Little Eye“ . نافذة عىل الثقافة العربية المعارصة،"الموزاييك يف لندن كجزء من مهرجان "شباك اليت قامت باستعراض المعرض واختيارCanvas هذا المعرض جذب أنظار جملة ذكر هذا.2015 أكتوبر/صورة عودة لتكون عىل غالف المجلة يف عددها سبتمرب "يستكشف جورج األماكن والماسحات اليت تعيش فهيا أجاسدنا يف خضم:العدد ".التغيري االجتماعي والسيايس والفسيولوجي هذه الصور واليت التقطها عودة باستخدام الكامريات الكبرية والمتوسطة هي استمرار القيمه عىل المعارض َ ، الحظت لورا بارلو.2007 لعدة أعمال ابتدأها عودة يف عام يف متحف أهمية وإطالة أمد الوقت يف أعمال عودة وذكرت يف مقالهتا األخرية "كأهنا حلظات متتابعة:ArteEast ” ل ـGeorge Awde: Where Light Falls“ جتزء معا حلظات عرب، يقوم جورج عودة بالتصوير بإيقاعات متسلسلة،خالل اليوم األيام واألاسبيع والسنوات لتكتب صورة متتد لترسد قصة وجودها يف أوقات ."االضطراب السيايس واالجتماعي الشديد
R E S E A RC H I N C O N T E X T
الوقت وفكرة العودة هي المفتاح لفهم عالقة المصور مع الرشق األوسط .جورج عودة ،المولود يف بوسطن والذي تلقى تعليمه من جامعة ييل وكلية مااستشوستس للفنون ،من أصل لبناين .بدأ جورج يف العودة والسفر إىل بريوت يف منتصف عام 2000إلعادة التواصل مع مدينته وعائلته اليت تعيش هناك .وكنقطة انطالق لسلسلة من قاعدة الصور واليت اختذت شكالً منذ ذلك احلني ،تشكل بريوت أيض ًا ً ل ـ ،marra.teinمقر الفنانني الذي أبتكره عودة وياسعد بإدارته العالم االجتماعي جاريد ماكورميك .تأسس marra.teinعام 2013باعتباره مكان لتبادل األفكار متعددة التخصصات يف بريوت .يستضيف المقر العديد من الباحثني والفنانني والمفكرين وعىل قامئهتم الفنانة الكويتية علياء فريد والكاتبة اإليرانية أشكان سهبوند والفنان العرايق األمريكي ريم القايض .يشجع هذا المقر إقامة الماشريع المستقلة ،والبحوث الرسمية والرشاكات مع المؤساست المحلية وبصورة خاصة حماولة بناء عالقات إقليمية. جورج عودة ،والذي استفاد بنفسه من العديد من مثل هذه المقرات كان آخرها ،الربناجم الرائع Light Workيف سرياكيوز ،نيويورك – يشدد عىل قيمة انبثاق مثل هذه المبادرات ،وخاصة عندما تتعلق بالطالب ليبدؤوا هبا مماراسهتم ومههنم اإلبداعية اخلاصة يف قطر .وعن ذلك قال جورج عودة" :هيمين جدا أن نشجع طالبنا عىل ابتكار وإجياد أماكهنم اخلاصة -حيث ميكهنم بدء احلوار واالستمرار يف بناء المجتمع. هذه قيمة تشجعها إدارتنا يف اجلامعه ككل ،يف الدوحة ويف ريتشموند، ويشء وجدته أاسسي ًا لمماراسيت .ما أقدره كثريا يف marra.teinهي المحادثات واالتصاالت اليت سنحت يل وأعطتين الفرصة للماشركة يف أعمال الفنانني المقيمني لدينا .أمتىن أن يصبح marra.teinمنوذج ًا لطالبنا حيهثم عىل التفكري بالطرق اليت تاسعدهم عىل االستمرار يف هتيئة وتعدهم لما بعد وقهتم يف جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف الوسط الفين ّ قطر – وتاسهم يف اجلوانب األ كادميية والفنية والثقافية يف الدوحة". باإلضافة إىل الدوحة وبريوت ،فجورج عودة لديه عالقات قوية مع جمتمع الفنون يف القاهرة .فالقاهرة هي موقع آخر معرض إلعماله - عرض مجاعي يف مركز الصورة المعارصة [ ]CICبعنوان حتية لمن أسل عين “ ،”Greetings to those who asked about meوالذي يستمر حىت الثالث من ديسمرب ،2015يركز المعرض عىل مأسلة السجن مع الرتكزي بشكل خاص عىل منطقة الرشق األوسط وأفريقيا.
Time and the idea of return are key to understanding the photographer’s relationship with the Middle East as well. Awde, who was born in Boston and educated at Yale University and Massachusetts College of Art and Design, is of Lebanese descent. He began traveling back to Beirut in the mid-2000s to reconnect with the city and extended family living there. Beyond acting as a starting point for photo series that have taken shape since, Beirut also serves as a base for marra.tein, an artist residency Awde created and co-directs with social anthropologist Jared McCormick. marra.tein was founded in 2013 as a space for interdisciplinary thought and exchange in Beirut. Hosting researchers, artists and thinkers—a talented roster that includes Kuwaiti artist Alia Farid, Iranian writer Ashkan Sepahvand, and Iraqi-American artist Rheim Alkadhi—the residency encourages independent projects, formal research, partnerships with local institutions and specifically tries to build regional connections.
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R E S E A RC H I N C O N T E X T
“It's important for me to encourage our students to create spaces of their own—where they can start dialogue and continue to build community.”
Awde, who has been the beneficiary of numerous residencies himself—most recently attending the prestigious Light Work program in Syracuse, New York—is emphatic about the value of such homegrown initiatives, especially as they relate to students beginning their own creative practices and careers in Qatar. “It's important for me to encourage our students to create spaces of their own—where they can start dialogue and continue to build community. This is a value that our department as a whole is encouraging, both in Doha and Richmond, and something I have found fundamental to my own practice. What I value most about marra.tein are the conversations and connections it allows for and the opportunity it has given me to engage with the work of our residents. I hope marra.tein can stand as a model for our students to think through ways in which they can continue to foster an artistic community and discourse after their time at VCUQatar—and contribute to the academic, artistic, and cultural aspects of Doha,” he says. Beyond Doha and Beirut, Awde has strong ties to the arts community in Cairo. The city is the site of his latest exhibition of work—a group show at the Contemporary Image Collective (CIC) titled “Greetings to those who asked about me.” Running through December 3, 2015, the exhibition centers on the issue, real and metaphoric, of imprisonment, with a particular focus on the Middle East and Africa. Awde’s photographs, made with Polaroid and large format cameras and digital negatives of images sent to him via social media, are from the ongoing series “Imagined Measures,” focusing on young men of Kurdish-Syrian background in Beirut and Syria. Equal parts intimate and worldly in his approach to art making and to community building, George Awde’s career is thus far a study in the connective power of creativity—its potential to dissolve social, geographical and ideological borders. And whether behind a camera, in front of a classroom, or running a modest Beirut artist residency— connections are what matter most of all.
واليت التقطها بكامريات البوالرويد والكامريات كبرية احلجم،أرسلت صور جورج عودة وهم جمموعة من سلسلة صور،والكاميريات الرقمية عرب واسئل التواصل االجتماعي السوري يف كل من- واليت تركز عىل الشباب الكردي،”Imagined Measures“ .بريوت وسوريا وبناء،يوازن عودة بني عواطفه وخربته بشؤون احلياة والناس يف طريقه لصناعة الفن – فوظيفة جورج عودة اآلن هي دراسة قوى الربط والتواصل يف اإلبداع،المجتمع وسواء كان وراء الكامريا.إمكاناهتا حبل احلدود االجتماعية واجلغرافية واأليديولوجية أو يدير مقرا للفنانني يف وسط بريوت – فالتواصل هو عىل،أو أمام أحد الفصول .هيم االرجح أكرث ما
Issue 4 — 27
R E S E A RC H
Nanotechnology for Qatar’s Next Chapter Dr. Khaled Saoud’s innovative work with aerogel wins a Challenge 22 award and is now being vetted for possible uses in Qatar 2022 construction. In January 2015, assistant professor of physics in the Liberal Arts
Dr. Saoud has been working in the field of nanotechnology for most of
& Sciences Program at VCUQatar, Dr. Khaled Saoud, was named
his professional career and has found many ways to make his research
a winner of Challenge 22, an innovation award sponsored by the
relevant not just to his students at VCUQatar, but also to the present
Supreme Committee of Delivery and Legacy with the support of
needs of the country. In 2013, he was awarded a QNRF grant from
Qatar Foundation. Dr. Saoud’s entry presented a new thermal
Qatar Foundation, for a project that used nanotechnology to help
insulation material—an amalgam of polystyrene and aerogel—that
preserve the country’s paper-based cultural heritage. With his new
may have the potential to lower energy consumption and enhance
research venture, investigating the use of nanotechnology in construc-
the safety and comfort of buildings.
tion, Dr. Saoud hopes to continue pushing the boundaries of possibility
Now being incubated at Qatar Science & Technology Park, the next phase of development focuses on the creation of a prototype to prove the material’s effectiveness. The eventual aim is to incorporate its use into Qatar’s 2022 FIFA World Cup stadia and in sustainable construction throughout the country in general.
for such materials. These advances, he hopes, are mutually beneficial to VCUQatar's parent organization. “Qatar Foundation has enabled me to conduct impactful research that I hope can create tangible benefits for society,” Dr. Saoud told “The Foundation” in September. “To see this material being used in a nation that has provided me with so many research opportunities, contributing to the legacy of a knowledge-based economy would be incredibly rewarding.”
Bridging Classroom and Curation A VCUQatar grant investigates how 21st century museums and global art history students can learn from each other. The Qatar National Vision (QNV) 2030 identifies five areas of “Opportunities and Challenges.” They include the modernizing and
Directly related to the grant’s vision of capacity building, six Art History seniors have been placed in two area museums. Co-principal
preserving of traditions, and providing for the needs of this and future
investigator on the project, Dr. Radha Dalal adds, “internships within
generations. A grant for the project “Building Knowledge Base through
a museum environment expose our students to the broad range of
Online Educational Resources in Qatar,” awarded to the VCUQatar
career opportunities in the arts and museum realm, and offer them
Art History Department in collaboration with Qatar Museums, directly
pre-professional experience that adjuncts their own career goals and/
addresses these strategic areas. The main thrust of the project is
or their pursuit of MFA or other graduate work.”
to consider how a knowledge economy can be developed through sustained partnerships between universities and cultural institutions, specifically through pre-professional opportunities for students within museums in Qatar.
The project also aims to develop best practices related to ongoing professional development for staff in key museum positions. According to Dr. Dalal, studies have indicated that many museum staff, not only in Qatar, but worldwide, do not necessarily have sufficient art
Preliminary data from a summer 2015 survey has yielded findings that
history background. In turn, the question arises: how does this lack
support the mutual aims of the grant and the QNV 2030. The survey
of knowledge impact the operations of a museum, and further, what
results indicate that Qatar Museums places high value on intern-
sort of training can be provided to improve the working environment
ship opportunities that create a process for pre-professional experi-
for both the individual and the museum? The grant will address this
ence. The data also indicated that Qatar Museums recognizes that
aspect in the second year of the project by creating open access
sustained mentorship is a critical factor in building the knowledge
online modules that will provide content knowledge to support the
economy outlined in QNV 2030 and fortifying the lead role Qatar has
needs of Qatar Museums.
taken in the promotion of arts and culture in the region. Dr. Dina Bangdel, chair of the Art History Department, states, “partnerships between museums and educational institutions are essential in providing students with exposure to the inner workings of a museum.” Such partnerships ultimately serve to enhance career opportunities for students and simultaneously build a foundation for the museums’ future growth.
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R E S E A RC H
Requiem in Words Patty Paine’s latest poetry collection “Grief &
Can you talk a little about your
Other Animals” is a moving personal catalog of a
creative process and its evolution?
universal experience: loss.
When I was a young writer I relied solely on
In August 2015, Patty Paine, interim chair of the
the random and
Liberal Arts & Sciences Program, published “Grief &
fickle appearance of
Other Animals,” a collection of poems addressing
inspiration. When I
the pain and revelations that accompany individual
was a youngish writer
loss. Poet and critic David Wojahn observes that
my process entailed
Paine’s “superb new collection arises from the
sitting down for a few
nearly unbearable—a mother’s death, but most
minutes then bolting
especially the senseless death of a husband. And, as
out of my chair to
the crucial elegiac poets know, grieving never truly
de-clutter a drawer, or
arrives in ‘stages,’ and never ends in ‘closure.’”
dust off the tops of all
For Paine, the project was an inevitable quest for
my books. As an oldish
catharsis, taking shape in the months after her
writer I've abandoned
spouse’s sudden passing. Though the subject mat-
any illusions about
ter is heart-rending, Paine’s voice and her treat-
inspiration, and I'm
ment of material is attentive, providing moments of
content to live with
clarity to readers as they move through the haze of
dust and clutter, which
mourning alongside her. Poet and educator Emilia
is to say, that I sit
Phillips says of the book, “Grief & Other Animals”
down now and attend
reminds us of the great but elusive presence that
to the work of writing.
stays with us after great loss, like a shadow without
I suppose I've learned
a subject […] These poems then offer us a body
that if you put too
in which to live, an hourglass container that Paine
many conditions on
skillfully turns over and over so it never runs out.”
writing—needing large swathes of time, for
This is Paine’s fourth book of poetry; she is also
the co-editor, alongside Assistant Professor Law
probably won't write.
Alsobrook, of Diode, an online literary journal, and Diode Editions, a curated series of print chapbooks. Below, she shares a few thoughts on this latest collection and the influence her work has on her time in the classroom. How has the release of this book been different from that of your others? The release of “Grief & Other Animals” has
How does your life as a professional writer inform your teaching of/interactions with students? Being a writer very much informs my teaching. In the broadest sense being a working writer makes me more sympathetic to my students. I get it. Writing is
been different in the sense that this is probably
hard. Being a writer also makes me less sympathetic
the most personal writing I've ever done, but
to my students. Writing is hard. It requires time, a lot
whatever vulnerability I've felt has been balanced
of time, and a commitment to and trust in process. I
by the satisfaction of knowing that the poems
expect my students to take that time and make that
are utterly authentic.
commitment. I encourage my students to read like writers, to examine those moments when something leaps off the page, when something strikes for its beauty, for the emotion it evokes. To write well one has to read well. I ask students to dissect what they read—to read intentionally, purposefully—in order to be better writers.
Issue 4 — 29
R E S E A RC H
High-minded Historian Dr. Jörg Matthias Determann’s second book delves into the nature of scientific scholarship in the contemporary Arab world. A visit to Saudi Arabia’s National Museum in Riyadh planted the seed
have been known to offer patronage to biologists working on desert
of inquiry for Dr. Jörg Matthias Determann’s second book. Back in
ecology. However, just as important are the horizontal links between
2010, while conducting research for his first book, “Historiography
scientists, both within the Gulf region and beyond.
in Saudi Arabia: Globalization and the State in the Middle East,” he began to notice references to creationism in the museum displays and his interest in the history of science and scientific scholarship in the modern Arab and Muslim world was piqued. The recent publication of “Researching Biology and Evolution in the Gulf States: Networks of Science in the Middle East” by the independent publishing house I. B. Tauris, is the culmination of a five-year investigation into this fascinating intersect of science, politics and religion in the region. Because of its association with atheism, officials and religious scholars in the Gulf have repeatedly banned the teaching of the theory of evolution. In Saudi Arabia, textbooks used to instruct both religion and science promote the notion of life’s inception through divine creation. Dr. Determann, an assistant professor of history at VCUQatar, argues that, despite official prohibition, research on biological evolution has flourished in the region, due in large part to the development of academic and professional networks. “I like to find out to what extent and
Through interviews with biologists working in Gulf monarchies, and through analysis of their publications, Dr. Determann identifies how researchers support the theory of evolution in an environment shaped by official challenges. By asking what has enabled these scientists to incorporate the theory into their work, he offers a new perspective on science in the Middle East. His work has also been intrinsically connected to his teaching responsibilities at VCUQatar. Within the Liberal Arts & Sciences Program, Dr. Determann leads courses on Middle Eastern history and science, technology and society. “I avoid assigning my own publications to students and rather ask them to read texts written by my peers […] these courses include discussions of the natural sciences and modernity in the contemporary Muslim world which are informed by, and feed back into, my research. In my conversations with students, I am often learning as much from them as they are from me.”
under what conditions scientists and scholars can be innovative and
Dr. Determann’s third book is currently underway and furthers his
creative—and ultimately contribute to knowledge economies—in the
scholarly quest to understand the place of science and technology in
Middle East,” says Dr. Determann.
contemporary Arab society. The topic? Space exploration. In this way,
His book traces such networks through the history of various branches of biology, including botany, conservation research, ornithology and paleontology. Typical of rentier societies, some of the scientific networks in the region consist of vertical patron-client relationships— for example, those in power who are interested in wildlife conservation
30 — Issue 4
not even the sky is the limit for Dr. Determann’s research pursuits.
R E S E A RC H
“Bling Warrior” Brings Home Two Awards World of WearableArt success for VCUQatar Fashion Professor Ali Khan, assistant professor in the VCUQatar Fashion Design Department has submitted another successful entry into the internationally renowned World of WearableArt (WOW) Awards Competition, held annually in Wellington, New Zealand.
RESEARCH S TAT I S T I C S 2 014 –2 01 5
The event, now in its 27th year, challenges designers to move “art off the wall and onto the human form.” The competition is a twohour spectacle of dance, theater, music and art, and is New Zealand’s largest arts show, hosting over 50,000 attendees from around the world each year. Entrance into WOW is fierce with only 100 garments nominated to participate in the final presentation of work. Once the month-long exhibition has ended, the garments become part of the permanent collection of the World of WearableArts Mu-
DISSEMINATION (TOTAL FACULTY: 63)
108 P R E S E N TAT I O N S
seum in Nelson, New Zealand and can be selected for international
P U B L I S H E D A RT I C L E S
WOW touring exhibitions.
23 PUBLISHED POEMS
Khan has presented three garments in the WOW Awards Competition, each a collaborative effort with his design partner Frida Khan. The creative process is a lengthy one for each piece. From development to realization, each takes well over four months.
43 CRITICAL REVIEWS
Their entries “Bling Warrior” (Avant Garde Section) and “Skulls
of Bondage”(Bizarre Bra Section) were both entered in the 2014
competition. “Bling Warrior” was the recipient of two awards (the First Time Entrant Award and third prize in the American Express Open Section). Their piece, ‘Soldier of Fortune,’ was nominated in the Man Section 2015.
3 C U R AT O R I A L
“Bling Warrior” and “Soldier of Fortune” are part of their Warrior series, which perceives of the soldier as an ‘idealized model of invincibility.’ In Khan’s words, the soldier is “adorned with the reminders of his achievements that are toxic, gaudy and a predominant element of his being, reflecting the collective decisions of the social order that produced this soldier.”
SPONSORED RESEARCH (GRANTS & CORPORATE)
$ 576, 2 2 0. 8 4
Khan explains: “In developing these outfits we wanted to maintain a strong connection between them yet push the techniques further forward, as well as bring the distinct and strong codes of menswear and masculinity to the pieces.” Materials include vinyl, white and gold chain, canvas, lurex, football pads and 10,000 Swarovski crystal diamantes. Khan, who has been teaching at VCUQatar for eight years, is currently working on his PhD thesis which has the working title of: “Anatomy of Contemporary Macho: Breaking stereotypes to define a new ‘macho man’ through the eyes of five unique global pop subcultures.”
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C U LT I VAT I N G Creative Thinking Collected, in College Painting & Printmaking senior’s work acquired by the Barjeel Foundation. Last year—his junior year at VCUQatar—Habeeb Abu-Futtaim found himself somewhat at loose ends. Drawing on current events in the region to inform his research-based approach to art making, he recalls feeling “very frustrated and lost, mostly because the subject matter I was dealing with was very disheartening and depressing, but I took it upon myself as an artist to not be passive and just watch, but do whatever I [could].” He diligently shared his work through social media and, over time, began to develop a following—the reach of which was revealed when he was invited in February 2015 to participate in “The Post Oriental Odyssey,“ a group show of GCC-based artists at The Mine, a Dubai-based contemporary art gallery. The exhibition, which explored the influence of cultural identity in Middle Eastern contemporary art, included two sculptures that Abu-Futtaim produced in class, entitled “The Star of Jaffar” and “The Making and Unmaking of a People.” The works are part of an ongoing series that attempts to square historical events with present-day happenings in the region. “Raising questions through the arrangement of noticeable referential icons from various time periods that are identified with the region […], my work also aims to explore notions of nationalism, the rebranding of nations, identity and postcolonial cultural imperialism,” he explains. The show garnered a significant degree of press attention, and Abu-Futtaim’s works gained the notice of prominent collector and cultural commentator, Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi, founder of the Sharjah-based Barjeel Art Foundation. The two works are now part of Barjeel’s permanent collection, in the company of pieces by internationally renowned artists such as Mona Hatoum and Shirin Neshat. Beyond the prestige and thrill of being collected at such a formative stage in his arts education, Abu-Futtaim gained some practical knowledge from the experience. “I was able to learn how art shows, galleries and the art market work, from simple things such as paperwork, policies and shipping, to set up. Most importantly, I got to know a lot of artists, curators and intellectuals in the art market, my network grew a lot […] I am much more thoughtful about my work now, I am more interested in the process than the final outcome,“ he says.
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CU LT I VAT I N G C R E AT I V E T H I N K I N G
“Soul Maker” at the Salone del Mobile MFA graduate work is presented at top international design fair. 2015 MFA in Design graduate Malaz Elgemiabby was invited to show her work as part of Wallpaper* magazine’s second edition of “Middle East Revealed“—an exhibition at this year’s Salone del Mobile in Milan, Italy. The magazine’s yearly exhibition was initiated in 2014 and aims to highlight the work of creatives hailing from across the Arab world. As the premiere international furniture and design fair, Salone del Mobile offered Elgemiabby’s project broad exposure in the company of some of today’s most innovative and interesting work in contemporary design. Her short video “Soul Maker” was screened in the Wallpaper* space. Filmed in Souq Waqif, the video features Elgemiabby fabricating concrete spheres that are filled with her own breath—the spheres themselves were also displayed at the fair. Her project was one of several outcomes comprising “Souvenirs”—a collaboration between two graduate-level design courses at VCUQatar led by Professors Paolo Cardini and Simone Muscolino in 2014.
Leading with LEED Interior Design pilots a course in sustainability with sponsorship from Qatar Green Building Council. When Dr. Cherif Amor first conceived of establishing an advisory
Aside from the Sustainability course, another valuable offshoot of
council for the Interior Design Department at VCUQatar, he believed it
the Advisory Board’s creation was the establishment of a direct
would provide a link between real world insight and pedagogical goals.
connection to the Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC). The goal
His vision came to fruition when a Sustainability course was taught by
of the QGBC is to drive “sustainable growth in Qatar through
an Advisory Board member during Summer 2015. This course provided
education and networking programs, demonstrating commitment
interior design students the opportunity to prepare for the Leadership
to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and
in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Associate (GA)
environment-friendly building practices.” The partnership between the
exam. Following course completion, a total of ten students qualified
Interior Design Department and the QGBC has been exceptional, as
for this internationally-recognized certification.
was made evident when the Council offered sponsorship by providing
The Sustainability course found its impetus in what Dr. Amor calls a “trilogy” of goals—it began to address aspects of the Qatar
a 70% discount on course-related expenses. “The LEED certification is such a wonderful program,” says
National Vision (QNV) 2030 by focusing on the needs of today without
Dr. Amor, citing its focus on a variety of physical criteria from site
jeopardizing the needs of future generations, while it also met two
assessment to lighting. “It forces students to think not from a
of VCUQatar’s strategic goals—specifically, to offer more courses on
theoretical perspective, but from the perspective of application.
sustainability and to offer students learning opportunities that reach
The LEED program forces students to think not only as designers,
into the professional sphere.
but as human beings,” he adds.
Taught as a practicum, the course also enabled students to learn firsthand about the current construction industry, while it helped them to prepare for their future careers. Students simultaneously learned theoretical principles while they worked on actual projects. According to Dr. Amor, the experience “bridged the gap between theory and application, between academia and industry.”
Issue 4 — 33
CU LT I VAT I N G C R E AT I V E T H I N K I N G
Cairo Meets Qatar Graphic design students partner with Mahatat for contemporary art in the Wonderbox Project. A partnership was formed in Fall 2014 between graphic design
Led by Hamdy and Emans, small groups of junior students created
students at VCUQatar and the public arts organization, Mahatat,
boxes made of various materials (wood, paint, cardboard, wheels and
located in Cairo, Egypt. As part of the collaboration, a project
mirrors), within which stories were told. The project enabled students
titled “The 3ajeeb! Wonderbox: Interactive storytelling for cultural
to develop stories that were specific to Qatar and the region, and
preservation in Qatar,” was created.
linked to the strong oral traditions of poetry and storytelling.
Graphic Design faculty Basma Hamdy and Denielle Emans explain the
The WonderBoxes were exhibited as part of Tasmeem in the Classroom
project, “Traditionally, peep-show devices, or the original ‘Wonder-
and were also placed in public spaces in Doha to enable local commu-
Boxes,’ engaged the public in education and entertainment as the
nities to interact with them. This included a performance by students
storyteller helped to guide the audience through the story. However,
at Souq Waqif of “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.” Onlookers young
the WonderBox has largely faded from public discourse, with moving
and old received this with enthusiasm and the students gained a posi-
images safely contained in the screens of theaters, computers, and
tive outlook on the role of the design as an agent for social change.
mobile devices across the world…We see this effect on ourselves and on our students on a daily basis and feel that we are living in a continually disconnected world. Unfortunately, students miss out on the opportunity to directly connect with an audience and see the immediate effect on their work…We saw this [collaboration] as the perfect opportunity, not only to connect students with a regional creative organization, but also to create work that directly engages the community.”
Nabiila Lubay, a junior graphic design student, expressed the following after the performance; “The feedback we received from the community was extremely endearing…l honestly felt like it didn’t matter what grade I got because this experience was more valuable and rewarding than anything a mere studio grade. It was exposing design to people who probably don’t have the time and resources to see an art /design exhibition themselves. We also learned more about our project's weakness and strength just by seeing people who are non-designers interact with the WonderBoxes.”
34 — Issue 4
CU LT I VAT I N G C R E AT I V E T H I N K I N G
Connective Issues: The Art & Medicine Project Amy Andres and Rhys Himsworth pilot a progressive interdisciplinary course with colleagues at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar. While at first glance art and medicine may seem like strange aca-
to Qatar Robotics Institute for Development, the Qatar Science and
demic bedfellows, in practice, the past, present and future of the two
Technology Park and Hamad Medical Corporation rounded out the
fields are intrinsically connected. From early anatomical renderings to
semester’s investigation. “It was really this wide net of support, there
the design of high-tech surgical tools, from psychology's connection
was so much enthusiasm from the participants, the guest lecturers
to color theory to the effects of the built environment on the human
and so forth,” explains Andres of the undertaking.
mind and body, there is a great deal medical and art scholars can learn from each other. Such was the premise behind Art & Medicine, an interdisciplinary collaboration between VCUQatar and Weill Cornell Medical College (WCMC-Q). A special topics art seminar offered during Spring 2015 and led by four faculty members (Rhys Himsworth, director of Painting & Printmaking; Amy Andres, interim director of Libraries; Alan S. Weber and Stephen Scott of WCMC-Q), this “learning laboratory” experimented with new pedagogical approaches in arts and medical curricula.
During Spring 2015, the group developed an exhibition called “Chromosthesia,“ an immersive environment inspired by the work of contemporary artists like James Turrell and Olafur Eliasson, that sought to “colorize the senses.” The next steps for students of Art & Medicine include a collaborative exhibition scheduled for Spring 2016 and an accompanying documentary. Keeping in mind VCU’s university-wide legacy of excellence in the arts and in medicine, Andres and Himsworth look forward to the arrival of these concrete deliverables. “When the exhibition and documentary are complete,
Students participated in a series of workshops, seminars and lectures
we’ll be eager to share the results with the home campus and dissemi-
that investigated how each discipline utilizes problem solving meth-
nate the work as much as possible,” said Himsworth.
odologies, develops expertise and uses creativity, analysis, synthesis and evaluation to create new knowledge. More specifically, the course objectives were two-fold: to develop interdisciplinary pedagogies that would provide art students with new understandings, materials and tools to further developed their artistic practices; and to assist medical students in rethinking medical decision-making and patient care. “The project touches base with so many of VCUQatar’s goals in terms
For now, the two faculty investigators are focused on analyzing pedagogical data collected during the pilot course. Andres describes this aspect of the project as “quasi-experimental,” and details the process of sorting student interviews, interactions and course transcripts with the help of NVivo, a coded software system designed for qualitative analysis. “We’re looking primarily at how students approached things like decision making, creativity and problem solving, asking if there’s
of interdisciplinarity,” says Himsworth. Indeed, Art & Medicine’s
any difference between the two groups of students.” Differences and
success seems buoyed the involvement of many collaborators—guest
similarities aside, it seems certain that such thorough inquiry into the
faculty from nearly every major at VCUQatar lectured on a diverse
benefits of interdisciplinary learning and teaching will lay groundwork
range of topics, with a number of scholars from various Education City
for further cutting-edge collaborations to take shape throughout
universities stepping in to provide lessons from their specific areas of
Education City, Qatar and beyond.
expertise. And the learning wasn’t limited to the classroom—field trips Issue 4 — 35
Designers & Duomos: MFA Field Study in Italy
During the Fall of 2014 the MFA in Design Department conducted a field trip to Italy. The first destination was Venice, where they visited pavilions and events affiliated with the Architectural Biennale, including the Korean pavilion in the Giardini, where MFA faculty member Marco Bruno was exhibiting work. Their stay in Venice was followed by a four-day workshop at the Fornace Carena near Turin, where the students and faculty had an opportunity to learn more about the brick-making process, and muck about in clay. The trip concluded with a visit to the Maker Faire in Rome, where the group had a chance to engage with various useful and spurious fabrication and "making"-related technologies (from Arduino boards to 3D Printers).
36 â€” Issue 4
G LO B A L E X P E R I E N C E
Issue 4 — 37
G LO B A L E X P E R I E N C E
01 02 03 04 05
Field study trip to South Korea Field study trip to Portugal Field study trip to South Korea Students at the Opera House in Oslo, Norway Students observing one of Iceland’s natural wonders – the geothermal pools of the Blue Lagoon
38 — Issue 4
International Learning Opportunities VCUQatar visits Portugal, Italy, India, South Korea and Iceland. VCUQatar organizes annual international study experiences for undergraduate and graduate students. These programs provide the opportunity to learn in an international context, work with students from international universities, attend and present at international art and design events and share the cultural heritage of Qatar and the region. This year, over a hundred VCUQatar students participated in a variety of trips abroad. In November 2014, the Graphic Design and Art History Departments led an interdisciplinary field study to Lisbon, Portugal with the primary aim of attending the International Workshop Global Trends in Contemporary Islamic Art. Scholars, curators, artists and other professionals working in the field of contemporary Islamic art came together to discuss their projects, ideas and recent research. Faculty and students also went on a tour of the city with the express task of observing the confluence of culture, contemporary society, history and food, by visiting museums and markets and sharing their individual findings each day. 04
In February 2015, the Art History Department, in conjunction with the Painting & Printmaking Department, organized a trip to India for 17 students. The students visited the Kochi Biennale (India's contemporary art biennial located in the southern province of Kerala), the Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri and other cultural monuments and finished the trip at the India Art Fair (a leading art fair for contemporary and modern art). The Graphic Design Department took sixteen students to South Korea in February 2015. The trip encompassed an investigation of design and culture in various locations in South Korea, particularly Seoul and the â€œslow cityâ€? of Jeonju. The trip was an opportunity for students to develop their critical thinking and cultural understanding as well as investigate various aspects of Korean culture. Students were introduced to
important points of contrast between South Korea and Qatar to use as references guiding their experience, including: cultural and social norms, traditional dress, gastronomy, design, language and heritage. May 2015 saw the Interior Design Department taking 15 students to Reykjavik, Iceland. This Icelandic field study was an opportunity to develop design skills and knowledge beyond the traditional classroom and focused on intellectual growth and the development of a global design perspective. The trip included a visit to the Icelandic architectural practice Studio Granda as well as a range of other architectural and cultural sights.
Issue 4 â€” 39
G LO B A L E X P E R I E N C E
Reorienting Repair Designer-in-residence Felipe Fonseca visits the MFA Department. VCUQatar, in partnership with the Qatar-Brazil Year of Culture at Qatar Museums, hosted MFA Designer-in-Residence Felipe Fonseca from November 2–13, 2014. Fonseca is an activist and independent researcher in the fields of digital culture, free and open technologies, collaborative networks, participatory society and local development. In 2002, he co-founded the MetaReciclagem network in Brazil, a self-organized network that proposes the deconstruction of technology for social change— upgrading obsolete PCs with free and open source software and then giving away the hardware to social projects and movements. In addition, he presented a lecture at VCUQatar as part of the Crossing Boundaries series discussing “Repair Culture” through the popular Brazilian practices of “gambiarra” (using improvised methods /solutions to solve a problem with any available material) and “mutirão” (community projects that require the effort of the whole group), demonstrating how social creativity is latent in virtually every human activity.
G LO B A L E X P E R I E N C E
During his two-week workshop with the MFA students, Fonseca focused on the theme of “upcycling,” i.e. finding ways to reuse discarded objects or material to create products of higher value than the original. Students and select faculty visited a tire yard, car scrap yard, Souq Ali and various carpenters, tailors and upholsterers, learning new methods of repair and upcycling. The students then appropriated and adapted various discarded items and technological apparati into diverse and imaginative designs. In Fonseca's own words: “Repairing things as a cultural trend is inextricably related to organic food, natural birthing, cultural diversity, upcycling, sustainable mobility, urban farming, fair trade, culture of peace and digital commons. Repair culture, in that sense, is not a mere side effect of the development of industrial societies. On the contrary, it is one of the very few distributed and consistent niches of resistance against the transformation of all human creativity into quantifiable commodity.”
Issue 4 — 41
VCUA RT S Richmond
RVA in NYC: Work of VCUarts Faculty Exhibited in Chelsea's Mixed Green Gallery “New Dominion,” a show of eight Richmond, Virginia-based artists was presented this summer at Mixed Greens Gallery in Chelsea, New York. Organized by the inaugural curator of VCU’s forthcoming Institute of Contemporary Art, Lauren Ross, the exhibition was inspired by the dynamic atmosphere—from historical conflicts to contemporary creativity—surrounding Virginia’s capital city and VCU’s hometown. Included in the show were six members of the VCUarts faculty, including Craft / Material Studies Chair Sonya Clark, whose works “Unravelling“ and “Unravelled“ approach Virginia’s past through a painstaking process of disassembly. In 02
“Unravelled,“ three piles of string—one red, one white and one blue—are all that remain of a Confederate flag. For “Unravelling,” Clark and about 50 other participants carefully dismantled the symbol, thread by thread, during the show’s June 11th opening. “The process is supposed to be difficult,” said Clark. In “Breathing on Land,” the work of Art Foundation Associate Professor Hope Ginsburg, the artist and others are documented in a number of environments— including the Qatari desert—practicing meditative breathing in full scuba gear. Inspired by her recovery from a physical injury and interest in environmental issues, Ginsburg took her healing process to sites that also appeared in need of remediation. John Freyer’s “Free Ice Water” was a performance piece generated by the artist’s own experiences with recovery. Freyer, assistant professor of Cross
Courtesy of Mixed Greens. Photographed by Etienne Frossard.
Disciplinary Media, sat and shared a Mason jar filled with ice water with different participants, conversing without distraction on a subject of their choosing. At the end of each conversation, a small object representative of the dialogue was dropped in the jar, which was then sealed and added to the collection. “There is a tension going on in Richmond, between the past and the future,” notes Ross. “It’s not a bad tension—it’s what gives the city its unique character. I began
01 “Breathing on Land” Zekreet, Qatar III, 2015 02 “Unravelled” by Sonya Clark 03 “New Dominion” exhibition at Mixed Greens
42 — Issue 4
to see these themes emerge as I got to know the city and its artists: independence versus loyalty, individuality versus community, innovation versus tradition. I feel that this body of work touches on those tensions on various levels.”
VCUA RT S R I C H M O N D
Stellar Photographer Interns at NASA Photography major Allison Bills spent her summer taking pictures of astronauts, and of herself, in zero-G. Bills interned with the photography staff at
opened my eyes to everything that art exists in,”
NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
she says, and this education bolstered the cre-
As the only photography intern on site, she was
ativity she brought to her NASA photography.
given a wide range of assignments—from more traditional portraits of astronauts in their space suits and NASA personnel training in zero-gravity flight to more creative compositions of objects like the “space cup,” a zero-gravity coffee cup. Astronaut Don Pettit, who helped invent the space cup when he was aboard the International Space Station, allowed Bills to be the first person to photograph it. “I was able to photograph the cup on three separate occasions, which is unheard of,” says Bills. “They granted me a lot of artistic freedom.”
She credits VCUarts photography faculty for turning her on to the internship opportunity. “As students, we’re so lucky to have such great professors who are genuinely eager to help us progress through our careers.” Bills, who is passionate about fine art photography, hadn’t considered photojournalism as a career. Working with NASA completely changed her perspective. “The internship taught me that I could follow my passion of photo-making while incorporating it into a climactic career,” she says.
Bills had access to a variety of specialized equipment, including 3-D rotary orbit cameras, high-speed cameras and quality lenses, but she credited her fine arts background as the real tool that helped her succeed in her work. “It Photos courtesy of NASA-Allison Bills
VCUarts Students Develop “Green” Skateboard As part of its annual Research Grant Program, VCUarts in Richmond, Virginia awarded a group of four undergraduates a research grant to study the design and production of a skateboard as a sustainable art object. This group, one of ten grant recipients this past year, included avid skateboarder David Sparace and Noah Congedo from Painting + Printmaking, Samuel Jason Adkins (Graphic Design) and Samuel Morgan (Sculpture) in a project advised by Assistant Professor Matthew Spahr (Art Foundation). At the outset of skateboard construction, the group discussed the competitive pricing of professional boards on the market and the general marketability of a new product. Each student, coming from a different discipline or perspective, wanted to apply what they were learning to this singular project. They decided to challenge existing manufacturing practices in order to design a “green” board. As the group explored these issues, they ultimately decided to create a board that had the smallest possible impact on the environment and developed an ethical approach to their work. “The important thing is that they learned to hold each other accountable,” says Spahr. The group hopes that this project will have a larger impact on the community and Spahr believes there is the potential for the project to take off from here. Photos courtesy of Diego Valdez
Issue 4 — 43
From Doha, Qatar to Richmond, Virginia Annual student exchange culminates in fifth annual VCUQatar Day Since 2010, students and faculty from VCUQatar have visited Richmond each year for a week of student leadership training and cultural activities, including tours of the campus, the city of Richmond and Washington, D.C. This group also participates in the organization of VCU’s annual Qatar Day, which typically features henna tattoos, Middle Eastern food, Arabic calligraphy, music, a fashion show—this year featuring the work of Hisham Dawoud, a 2014 fashion graduate of VCUQatar—and the opportunity to dress in traditional Qatari garb and pose for a professional photo. The event, which was held on September 30, 2014 on the Commons Plaza at VCU's Monroe Park Campus, intends to strengthen the relationship between the Qatar and Richmond campuses while providing students and faculty with an opportunity to learn more about each other. Since the focus of the trip is student leadership training, visiting students attended meetings of the VCU Student Government Association, Emerging Leaders, VCU Globe, the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and the School of the Arts. This year, organizers also tried to build in creative studio time in partnership with VCUarts. Visiting students worked in the letterpress studio and participated in a class at the MoB studio space—a collaborative studio shared by students and faculty from the Fashion, Graphic and Interior Design Departments.
44 — Issue 4
E XC H A N G E
The cultural exchange works both ways as seven Monroe Park campus students traveled to Qatar in October. While in Qatar, the Richmond students met with student governments from across Education City to discuss principles of leadership and how their generation of future leaders will lead in a global society. In addition, VCU Globe developed an alternative spring break program that enabled Globe students to visit Doha. VCUQatar Day is co-sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs, University Student Commons & Activities and the Global Education Office. The SGA is instrumental in developing the event and continues to support it both financially and through volunteer participation.
Photos courtesy of Megan McSweeney
Issue 4 — 45
THE YEAR In Numbers
17 T H AC A D E M I C Y E A R 2 81 B FA / 2 3 B A / 14 M FA S T U D E N T S E N R O L L E D C ANADA
I N T H E I N C O M I N G FA L L C L A S S E S 14T H G R A D UAT I N G C L A S S 4 3 B FA / B A + 5 M FA S T U D E N T S G R A D UAT E D I N M AY 2 01 5
318 S T U D E N T S
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
BR A ZIL
BREAKDOWN BY MAJOR B FA A RT F O U N DAT I O N 7 1 FA S H I O N 27 GR APHIC 63 INTERIOR 64 PA I N T I N G & P R I N T M A K I N G 2 1
S T U D E N T P O P U L AT I O N
BA A RT H I S T O RY 2 3
Q ATA R I
N O N - Q ATA R I
14 S T U D E N T S
C R O S S R E G I S T R AT I O N FA L L S E M E S T E R 2 0 1 4
A LU M N I 2002–2015
E D U C AT I O N C I T Y U N I V E R S I T I E S: 26
5 0 8 G R A D UAT E S
AC A D E M I C B R I D G E P R O G R A M: 9
314 Q ATA R I , 194 N O N - Q ATA R I
S P R I NG S E M E ST E R 2015
47 9 F E M A L E , 2 9 M A L E (S TA RT I N G 2 011)
E D U C AT I O N C I T Y U N I V E R S I T I E S: 37 AC A D E M I C B R I D G E P R O G R A M: 3
FA S H I O N 49
RECRUITMENT FA L L 2 0 1 4
GR APHIC 230
I N T E R I O R 18 6 G R A P H I C / FA S H I O N 4
93 AC C E P T E D S T U D E N T S 69 E N R O L L E D S T U D E N T S
I N T E R I O R / FA S H I O N 11 PA I N T I N G & P R I N T M A K I N G 14 M FA 18
2 0 01
176 C O M P L E T E D A P P L I C AT I O N S
2 01 5
2 01 0
2 0 07
2 0 03
2 0 02
SOUTH AFRIC A
FACULT Y / STAFF
T O TA L E N R O L L M E N T
A RT F O U N DAT I O N
A RT H I S T O RY
9. 5% AUSTR ALIA
E N R O L L M E N T B Y D E PA R T M E N T
M FA D E S I G N
PA I N T I N G & P R I N T M A K I N G
8. 2 %
2 2 .6%
FA S H I O N D E S I G N
GR APHIC DESIGN
2 2 . 3%
NEW ZE AL AND
SYRIA IR AQ
UNITED KINGD OM
FR ANCE BELGIUM SWITZERL AND
EGYP T PALESTINE
SRI L ANK A
A LU M N I P RO F I L E S
J U N I O R FACU LT Y, G R A P H I C D E S I G N , VCU Q ATA R M FA I N D E S I G N ' 14 / B FA G R A P H I C D E S I G N ' 10
A LU M N I P RO F I L E S
Maryam Al-Homaid received her BFA in Graphic Design and her MFA in Design from VCUQatar in 2010 and 2014, respectively. In 2014, she was the first alumna to participate in VCUQatar’s pilot Qatari Junior Faculty Development Program. This program was created to expose exceptional VCUQatar graduates of Qatari nationality to the field of teaching, by providing mentorship and classroom experience that will allow them one day to compete for positions at world-class research institutions. Now beginning her second year as a VCUQatar junior faculty member, Maryam reflects on lessons she has learned…and taught…thus far. How did you feel when you learned you were named the first Qatari Junior Faculty participant? What did you expect of the program?
It felt more like an accomplishment rather than just a job title. I'm not sure if it’s because I am the "first" junior faculty candidate or because it felt right to be a teacher at VCUQatar. I think it’s an excellent opportunity that gives me exposure to how everything works behind the scenes in academia. What courses did you teach?
I taught mainly in the Graphic Design Department—courses such as design technology, interaction design and imaging. Outcomes are always surprising as they become more interdisciplinary each year— they are a mixture of product design, engineering, interaction design, etc. It is always great to see the expansion of the field of graphic design through student outcomes. After the experience of the first year, what are you planning to approach differently in year two?
Year one was more about “hey, I am your little teacher…okay, bye!”— year two is more about “hey, I am your teacher, let’s talk about your ideas and how to improve them…let me show you some helpful resources…why don’t you try this or that, etc.” I am approaching my teaching with less shyness and more confidence this year—it's a learning progress for me too. What is your favorite part of teaching?
Learning from my students. Every conversation, every idea and every thought we discuss is inspiring. What is the most challenging part of teaching?
Dealing with unmotivated students who are not bothered to change or even try. It is frustrating, like seeing a family member of mine go down the drain.
“Teaching really does keep your mind moving…students inspire me every day with their ideas, thoughts and processes.” مريم آل حميد
– تصميم الغرافيك20١0 دفعة، – درجة الماجستر في التصميم20١٤ دفعة
حصلت مريم آل محيد عىل درجة البكالوريوس يف تصميم الغرافيك وعىل درجة عىل2014 و2010 الماجستري يف التصميم من جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر عام
كانت مريم أول خرجية قطرية تنضم إىل الربناجم التجرييب لتنمية،2014 يف عام.التوايل تم إناشء هذا الربناجم لمنح خرجيي جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث.أاستذة اجلامعة القطريني من خالل،يف قطر من القطريني الممزيين فرصة االخنراط يف جمال التدريس اجلامعي تقديم النصح واإلراشد وجتربة الفصول الدراسية اليت من أشهنا أن تسمح لهم بالتنافس تبدأ مريم اآلن عامها الثاين كأول.عىل المناصب يف مؤساست حبثية عالمية المستوى وتعكس مريم الدروس،عضو هيئة تدريس قطري يف جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر .اليت تعلمهتا … واليت تدرهسا … حىت اآلن كيف كان شعورك عندما علمت بأنك أول أستاذة جامعية قطرية تشارك في
هذا البرنامج؟ ما الذي تتوقعين الحصول عليه من هذا البرنامج؟
لست متأكدة.أشعر إنه أشبه بإجناز أكرث من جمرد حصويل عىل هذا المسمى الوظيفي إن كان هذا الشعور ألنين أول أستاذة جامعية أو ألنين رأى أين استحق أن أكون عضو ًا اعتقد اهنا فرصة رائعة أن تسنح.يف هيئة التدريس يف جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر .يل فرصة اكتاشف ما جيري وراء الكواليس يف األواسط األ كادميية ما هي المقررات التي تقومين بتدريسها؟
،أدرس وبشكل رئييس يف قسم تصميم الغرافيك — مثل مادة تكنولوجيا التصميم ّ مثرية للدهشة حيث جتمع بني التخصصات تأيت النتاجئ دامئ ًا.التصميم التفاعيل والتصوير ً والتصميم، والهندسة، فهي مزجي من تصميم المنتجات.المتعددة بصورة أكرب كل عام من الرائع دامئ ًا أن نرى التوسع يف جمال تصميم الغرافيك من. وما إىل ذلك،التفاعيل .خالل خمرجات الطالب ما هي مخططاتك للوصول إلى نهج مختلف في،بعد تجربة السنة األولى
– "! وداع ًا، أنا مدرستكم الاشبة…حسن ًا، ًالسنة األوىل كانت تدور أكرث حول "أهال فلنتحدث عن أفكاركم وكيفية حتسيهنا، أنا مدرستكم، ًهذا العام أسركز أكرث عىل "أهال …اسمحوا يل أن أعرفكم عىل بعض الموارد اليت ستفيدكم … لماذا ال تقومون بتجربة – خبجل أقل وثقةٍ أكرب أنا اقرتب من التدريس،" هذا العام. وما اىل ذلك،هذا أو ذاك ٍ .إنه تقدم بالنسبة يل أيضا ما هو الجزء المفضل لديك في التدريس؟
. كل فكرة وكل خاطرة نناقهشا تلهمين، كل حمادثة.التعلم من طاليب ً تحديا في التعليم؟ ما هو الجزء األكثر
ٌ .التعامل مع الطالب الذي ال يكلف نفسه عناء التغيري أو حىت المحاولة ،حمبط جد ًا .هباء إنه كرؤية أحد أفراد أرستك يذهب ً
Issue 4 — 49
What’s it like teaching with your former instructors?
Honestly, it was awkward at first. It felt like I was still their student and I had to “behave” as a student. I’ve gotten used to them as my colleagues rather than my teachers. I have a lot of respect for them as they come from long periods of teaching and life experience. It was also weird seeing my former instructors being stressed out when preparing for their classes. I was always used to seeing them all happy, bubbly and well-prepared…but never stressed out. I get so stressed out and anxious before each class too, so now I know exactly how they feel. Teaching is not easy! How has teaching helped your practice as a designer?
Teaching really does keep your mind moving. I think it’s great because you always have to be updated on what’s out there in terms of artists, designers, conferences, technologies, etc. As a designer and a teacher, you need to have that knowledge. Also, students inspire me every day with their ideas, thoughts and process…the conversations we have and the ideas that we put together keep me growing as a teacher and as a designer. Would you like to teach in the future?
Of course. I would also love to have my very own design studio and maybe conduct some workshops every now and then. What does it mean to you as Qatari to teach at a Qatar-based university? What opportunities has this given you?
I consider myself super lucky to have the opportunity to teach at the university I graduated from in Qatar. I have seen this university grow from its beginnings and now I am contributing to its future growth. As a Qatari teacher who cares about VCUQatar’s growth and the art & design culture in Doha, I want to take this opportunity to be an example for those students who have lost their motivation halfway through in regards to where a design/art degree can take you. What advice would you give to the next junior faculty member?
You are surrounded by great professors, students and colleagues who will be almost like your family. Be open to the advice you get from your colleagues and don’t be offended if students give you comments on your teaching skills or projects—they are informing your work because they want what’s best for you and your growth as a professor.
50 — Issue 4
ما هو شعورك بالتدريس مع من كانوا أساتذتك السابقين؟
كنت أشعر بأنين ال أزال طالبة واضطررت اىل. يف البداية كنت أشعر باإلحراج،برصاحة لدي الكثري. كان ال بد أن اعتاد علهيم كزماليئ بد ًال من كوهنم أاستذيت."الترصف" كطالبة كما كنت استغرب أيض ًا.من االحرتام جتاههم خلربهتم الطويلة يف التدريس وجتربة احلياة اعتدت دامئ ًا رؤيهتم.رؤية أاستذيت الاسبقني متوترين عند التحضري لفصولهم الدراسية متوترة كما أنين أصبح. ولم أرهم أبد ًا متوترين...مجيع ًا سعداء ومستعدين جيد ًا ورائعني ً ! ً التدريس ليس هسال. فأعلم اآلن بالضبط كيف يشعرون،جد ًا وقلق ًة قبل كل حمارضة كيف ساعد التدريس في ممارساتك كمصمم؟
واعتقد أن هذا يشء رائع حيث.ًياسعد التدريس حق ًا يف إبقاء عقلك نشط ًا وفعاال يتوجب عليك أن تبقى دامئ ًا عىل اطالع وتواصل بكل المستجدات يف كل ما يتعلق فأنت كمصمم ومدرس.بالفنانني والمصممني والمؤمترات والتكنولوجيا وما إىل ذلك وخواطرهم ومعتقداهتم، يلهمين الطالب كل يوم بأفكارهم.حتتاج إىل أن متتلك المعرفة وما يقومون به من خطوات عملية … األحاديث اليت نتبادلها واألفكار اليت جنمعها .تاسعد يف منوي كمدرس ومصمم هل ترغبين بالتدريس في المستقبل؟
ورمبا عقد بعض ورش العمل من، أحب أن يكون يل استوديو التصميم اخلاص يب.بالطبع .حني آلخر ٍ ماذا تعني لك كقطرية فرصة التدريس في إحدى الجامعات في قطر؟ ما هي
الفرص التي تفتحها أمامك؟
أعترب نفيس حمظوظ ًة جد ًا يف احلصول عىل هذه الفرصة للتدريس يف اجلامعة اليت خترجت لقد رأيت هذه اجلامعة تنمو من بداياهتا و اآلن أنا أاسهم يف منوها يف.مهنا يف قطر كمدرس قطري اهتم بنمو جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر وبثقافة الفن.المستقبل أود أن انهتز هذه الفرصة أل كون مثا ًال للطلبة الذين فقدوا الدافع،والتصميم يف الدوحة . الفن أن تأخذك إليه/يف حياهتم من منتصف الطريق يف ما ميكن لدرجة التصميم ما النصيحة التي ترغبين في تقديمها لعضو هيئة التدريس التالي؟
ٌ أنت تقبل النصاحئ. طلبة وزمالء سيكونون تقريب ًا مثل عائلتك،حماط مبدرسني رائعني اليت حتصل علهيا من زمالئك وال تستاء إن سمعت من أحد الطالب تعليق ًا عىل فهم يعملون عىل إثراء عملك ألهنم.مهاراتك يف التدريس أو عىل أحد ماشريعك .يريدون ما هو األفضل لك ويرغبون يف ماسعدتك عىل النمو كربوفيسور
A LU M N I P RO F I L E S
FA S H I O N D E S I G N I N T E R N AT M A RC H E S A , N YC B FA FA S H I O N D E S I G N ‘ 14
After graduation, Hisham Dawoud jumped at the chance to move to New York and intern for couture designer Ralph Rucci. A few months later, on the day he was scheduled to fly back to Doha, he made the last-minute decision to stay—there was still so much he felt he could learn from the city. Below, we catch up with Hisham and hear more about his professional initiation in the ever-bustling fashion capital. What have you been up to since graduation?
Well, I landed an internship with the designer Ralph Rucci in New York, which was an amazing opportunity—he’s known as one of the few designers who still practices couture in the traditional sense. He was the first American designer in sixty years to be invited to show couture collections in Paris. That internship was five months long and I was there to witness Ralph’s last collection—I worked under the label’s artistic director, and was able to work closely with patternmakers and to design artwork for one or two pieces that went into the show. I also got to meet Whoopi Goldberg, André Leon Talley, and models Patricia and Anna Cleveland—they’re like industry royalty—two generations of models who’ve walked for Rucci.
– تصميم األزياء٢٠١4 دفعة
انتقل هاشم داوود بعد خترجه من قسم تصميم األزياء إىل مدينة نيويورك للتدرب لدى ويف اليوم الذي كان من المقرر أن يعود أدراجه إىل.مصمم األزياء الراقية رالف رويش واستطعنا لقاء هاشم ومعرفة المزيد عن بداياته وتعليمه. قرر هاشم البقاء،الدوحة .المهين يف واحدة من أهشر عواصم الموضة هشام … على ماذا كنت تعمل منذ التخرج؟
فهو أحد،سنحت يل فرص ٌة مذهل ٌة للتدرب لدى المصمم رالف رويش يف نيويورك كان رالف.المصممني القالئل الذين ميارسون تصميم األزياء بالمعىن التقليدي للكلمة أمريكي متت دعوته لعرض أزيائه الفاخرة يف باريس خالل الستني عام ًا مصم ٍم أول ّ ٍ ، وأدركت بعد تدريب هناك بأن هناك الكثري مما ميكن أن أتعلمه يف نيويورك.الماضية .فقررت البقاء .استمر التدريب مخسة أهشر هشدت خاللها العمل عىل جمموعة رالف األخرية يف األزياء وحصلت عىل فرصة العمل،عملت حتت إرشاف المدير الفين لهذه العالمة الراقية كما حصلت عىل فرصة تصميم قطعة أو اثنتني من،عن قرب مع صناع مناذج األزياء ، سنحت يل فرصة االلتقاء بأوبرا وأندريه ليون تايل.القطع اليت ذهبت إىل العرض وعارضات األزياء باتريشيا وآنا كليفالند واللتان احتكرتا العمل يف عروض أزياء رالف .رويش جليلني من الزمن
Issue 4 — 51
I took a little break before starting my second internship at KAUFMANFRANCO and was with them for about seven months. They are all about the red carpet. With them, I got to finish dresses, and design some pieces that went to Taylor Swift, Angelina Jolie, and Sofia Vergara. It was another amazing internship. There, I was mainly in design but also got to experience the sales department— I would help with market days and meet buyers from Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman and 51 East, among others. What did you take away from these internships?
At KAUFMANFRANCO, I learned all about the sale. They were very much about the business side of fashion. At Ralph Rucci, I learned about the value of craft and ease in fashion. Going to Fashion Week and looking at other designers’ work, I think you start to develop a more critical eye. By interning with Ralph and learning the craft—learning more about construction and patternmaking— I started to find my voice as a designer and my aesthetic. It would come down to the tiniest of things, like how to make a zipper completely invisible, a trick I learned from hand-sewers. Something so small can change the quality and wearability of an entire garment. How did life in Doha and at VCUQatar prepare you for this move?
Strangely enough, I think my experience in Qatar made me really informed about the luxury market. This gave me an advantage at a place like Ralph Rucci because it’s a couture label and all about luxury. In New York, luxury is not as accessible to regular people, while in Qatar it’s somewhat easier to experience. Like, if you have one Qatari friend, you’re good—they’ll take you to events, to shops, etc. It also helped that I was surrounded by girls at university—I have an understanding of what they look for and what luxury means to them. For both brands I’ve interned with, their bigger clients have been from the Middle East—Saudi princesses, Syrian princess, Jordanian princesses. In that way, my peers in Doha are kind of my market! So I would find that I was always a little ahead of the graduates from Parsons and FIT—for them, it was more about technical skills and ready-to-wear—whereas at VCUQatar, it was all about evening wear and luxury. It was a good fit for a student like myself has always been obsessed with ball gowns—their construction, their history. I’m realizing that as a designer, my forte and interest really lie in evening wear. Any highlights from your time in New York that you’d like to share?
Former supermodel Pat Cleveland told me that I could be a model! I couldn’t believe it…I thought that was very kind! Let’s see, what else? I personally worked on a dress that Taylor Swift wore. Also… moving. Growing up in Qatar, you know, we’re a pretty sheltered and a little bit spoiled. When I moved into my new apartment after
52 — Issue 4
KAUFMANFRANCO قصرية بدأت تدرييب لدى كوفمان فرانكو بعد اسرتاح ًة ً وتصميم بعض، حصلت عىل فرصة إهناء الثياب.أهشر تقريب ًا واستمريت معهم سبعة ٍ لقد كان تدريب ًا. وصوفيا فريغارا، أجنلينا جويل،القطع اليت ذهبت إىل تايلور سويفت عملت هناك وبصورة رئيسية يف التصميم وحصلت أيض ًا عىل اخلربة من.رائع ًا حق ًا اسعدت يف أيام التسويق والبيع وحصلت عىل فرصة لقاء العديد،قسم المبيعات . إيست والعديد غريهم51 برغدورف غودمان و،من كبار المشرتين أمثال بارنزي ما الذي اكتسبته من هذه الفرص التدريبية؟
استفدت. تعلمت عن عملية البيع،KAUFMANFRANCO يف كوفمان فرانكو تعلمت كل يشء عن قيمة احلرف، يف رالف رويش.كثري ًا عن اجلانب التجاري يف األزياء ، اعتقد بأن حضور أسبوع الموضة والنظر إىل أعمال المصممني اآلخرين.وهسولة األزياء وهبذا العمل لدى رالف وتعلم.يعمل عىل تطوير نظرة نقدية ثاقبة لديك أكرث وأكرث بدأت يف إجياد صويت، والتعلم أكرث عن كيفية صنع النماذج وبناء األاساست،احلرفة مثل، شمل التدريب أهسل وأصغر األشياء.كمصمم وإدراك اجلوانب اجلمالية لدي يشء. خدعة تعلمهتا عىل أيدي أمهر اخلياطني،سحاب بطريقة غري مرئية ّ كيفية عمل .صغري جد ًا قد يؤثر يف نوعية وجودة اللباس بأكمله كيف ساهمت الحياة في الدوحة وفي جامعة فرجينيا باإلخص في إعدادك لهذه الخطوة؟
وهذا أعطاين مزية يف.أعتقد بأن جتربيت يف قطر عرفتين بواقع سوق المنتجات الفاخرة الرتف يف نيويورك ليس يف متناول.فاخرة مكان مثل رالف رويش كوهنا عالم ًة جتاري ًة ً
إذا كان لديك، ً فمثال. بينما من الهسل جتربته إىل حد ما يف قطر،الناس العاديني كما، فستسنح لك فرصة مرافقته إىل المناسبات والمحالت التجارية،صديق قطري اسعدين أيض ًا أنين كنت حماط ًا بالكثري من الفتيات يف اجلامعة مما خلق لدي فهم ًا لما كان من أكرب، ويف كال المكانني. وما تعين العالمة الفاخرة بالنسبة لهن،يبحنث عنه كانت. أمريات الرشق األوسط السعوديات والسوريات واألردنيات: العمالء لدهيما . إيست51 جناح ًا معKAUFMANFRANCO أكرث صفقات كوفمان فرانكو !وهكذا شكل زماليئ يف الدوحة سوق ًا بالنسبة يل
، فبالنسبة لهم،FIT وParsons لذلك كنت أجد نفيس دامئ ًا سباق ًا مقارن ًة خبرجيي كانت أكرث حول المهارات التقنية واألزياء اجلاهزة بينما يف جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث لقد كان هذا مناسب ًا جد ًا.يف قطر كانت أكرث عن مالبس الهسرة والمالبس الفاخرة وقد- لطالب مثيل كان هاجسه دامئ ًا البحث يف أاسس وتارخي مالبس احلفالت ٍ .أدركت بأن اهتمامايت احلقيقية كمصمم هي مالبس الماسء والهسرة هل ترغب في تسليط الضوء على وقت محدد من أوقاتك في نيويورك
قالت يل عارضة االزياء الاسبقة بات كليفالند أنين أصلح أل كون عارض ًا! لم أستطع أن ماذا أيض ًا؟،أصدق ذلك … اعتقدت بأن هذا كان جمامل ًة ولطف ًا كبري ًا مهنا! دعوين أرى أتعلمون … عند االنتقال والعيش.عملت شخصي ًا عىل لباس ارتدته تايلور سويفت ولكن عندما قررت البقاء يف نيويورك.يف قطر فأنت تشعر بأنك حممي جد ًا ومدلل ، ما أعنيه.وانتقلت إىل شقيت اجلديدة شعرت كم أنا بار ٌع كما لم أشعر ذلك من قبل
A LU M N I P RO F I L E S
deciding to stay in New York, I never felt more accomplished in my whole life. I mean, I installed my own window AC unit, I signed a lease, I went to IKEA. I have a tiny loft in East Harlem that’s basically like a bed, a sewing machine, a dress form and a whole mess of fabric. I remember when I was a sophomore at VCUQatar, [New Yorkbased] designer Eric Gaskins lectured and he told a story about working all night on a garment in his hot studio apartment and then realizing in the morning that he’d stuck himself with a needle and had bled all over the dress. At the time I was like that’s crazy, but then something very similar happened to me recently—and I felt so proud! To know that someone from Qatar can come to New York and kind of make it…maybe I haven’t made it yet, but I feel like I’m doing it. I’m actually chasing my dream, in the same way Eric did. It made me feel like I was on the right track and I only need to keep working harder and harder…and maybe try not to bleed on my work anymore. What's on the horizon? What are you excited to work on next or currently working on?
I’m taking some time off to work on my portfolio. I’ve gathered a lot of experience over the past year, so I want to implement the skills I’ve learned while interning. I also just scored an internship with Marchesa—the label responsible for making me first fall in love with fashion. It was their FW 2008 collection and I was in 10th grade in Qatar—I realized then that fashion was basically architecture for the human body. Getting this internship is really a dream come true for me. Any advice for current VCUQatar students you'd like to share?
Yes! Now heed my words, VCUQatar… 1. Take advantage of your facilities. You guys don’t understand how lucky you are—people at FIT practically have to fight over sewing machines to get work done! You have amazing resources and technology available to you 24/7 and you need to take advantage of it all to find your voices as designers. 2. Bother your professors with questions—they are goldmines and they live for that stuff. This is a rare time in your life when you have people around you that will tell you the truth about your work and not just what you want to hear—that’s an amazing thing. It will make your work better, I promise. 3. Above all, don’t confuse education with hard work. I remember being at university looking at work coming out of Parsons and FIT and just feeling so intimidated, like I could never measure up. Now, I realize that VCUQatar graduates are just as good, if not better. You just really need to apply yourselves beyond the classroom. Seriously, now is the time to do it—when you graduate, you’ll have other responsibilities and bills to pay. College is the time to go above and beyond the classroom and go all-out crazy with your work.
“College is the time to go above and beyond the classroom and go all-out crazy with your work.”
. وذهبت إىل ايكيا، ووقعت عىل عقد اإلجيار،قمت بنفيس برتكيب المكيف يف شقيت مناذج، ماكينة خياطة،لدي دور علوي صغري يف رشق هارلم يبدو متام ًا كالرسير .لأللبسة وجمموعة فوضوية من األنسجة المختلفة قام المصمم اريك جاسكزن – والقادم من،أذكر عندما كنت طالب ًا يف سنيت الثانية نيويورك – بإلقاء حمارضةٍ يف جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر وروى لنا قص ًة عن ليكتشف يف،عمله طوال الليل عىل قطعةٍ من المالبس يف شقته الصغرية واحلارة جاء وقت.الصباح بأنه وخالل عمله جرح أصبعه باإلبرة ونزف دمه عىل كامل الثوب أمر ماشبه وشعرت بالفخر ٌ ولكن مؤخر ًا حدث يل،كنت أشعر فيه مبثل هذا اجلنون وجنح نوع ًا ما … رمبا،جد ًا! أن تشعر بأن أحد ًا استطاع القدوم إىل نيويورك من قطر انا أسعى، يف الواقع. ولكين أشعر بأنين عىل وشك حتقيقه،لم أحقق هذا النجاح بعد وهذا جيعلين. بنفس الطريقة اليت استطاع فهيا اريك حتقيق حلمه،لتحقيق حلمي أشعر بأنين عىل الطريق الصحيح وإنين يف حاجةٍ فقط إىل العمل أكرث وأكرث … ورمبا .حماولة أن ال أنزف عىل أعمايل بعد اآلن ً حاليا؟ ماذا ترى في األفق؟ ما الذي تتطلع للعمل عليه أو تعمل عليه
مجعت الكثري من اخلربة.أعطي نفيس اآلن فرصة العمل عىل إجناز أعمايل الشخصية وأريد أن أميض بعض الوقت يف تطبيق هذه المهارات اليت،خالل العام المايض ”Marchesa“ طلب للحصول عىل فرصة للتدرب يف قمت أيض ًا بتقديم.تعلمهتا هنا ٍ لقد كنت يف.العالمة التجارية اليت كانت سبب ًا يف وقوعي يف هوى تصميم األزياء وعندها أدركت، يف قطر2008 FW الصف العارش عندما قاموا بعرض جمموعهتم وحبصويل عىل هذه الفرصة أسشعر.بأن األزياء هي هندس ٌة معماري ٌة للجسم البرشي .بأنين قد متكنت من حتقيق حلم ًا من أحالمي هل ترغب في تقديم أي نصيحة لطلبة جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث الحاليين؟
: نعم! أود أن أطلب مهنم
، ال تدركون يا رفاق كم انتم حمظوظون. االستفادة من المرافق واإلمكانيات المتوفرة.1 يتعارك الناس عىل آالت اخلياطة ليتمكنوا من إجناز أعمالهم! لديكمFIT يف، ًفمثال أيام يف األسبوع عليكم االستفادة من7 اسعة24 موارد مذهلة وتكنولوجيا متاحة ٌ .كل ذلك لتجدوا أصواتكم كمصممني هو وقت،مناجم من ذهب وعليكم االستفادة مهنم هم، إرهقوا أاستذتكم باألسئلة.2 ٌ ً نادر يف احلياة جتدون أنا اس من حولكم يقولون لكم احلقيقة عن أعمالكم وليس فقط . أعدكم، سيجعل هذا أعمالكم أفضل. وهذا يشء مدهش،ما تريدون سماعه أتذكر وأنا يف اجلامعة كم كنت. ال ختلطوا بني التعليم والعمل الاشق، قبل كل يشء.3 شعرت بأنين لن أمتكن أبد ًا من،FIT وParsons أشعر بالرهبة وأنا أرى اعمال ولكنين اآلن عىل يقني بأن خرجيي جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر.االرتقاء لذلك اآلن هو. أنتم حباجة فقط للخروج من الفصول الدراسية.جيدون وقد نكن األفضل سيكون لديكم مسؤوليات جديدة وفواتري، عند التخرج،الوقت المناسب لذلك هذا هو الوقت المناسب للذهاب إىل ما بعد حدود، زماليئ.تقوموا بدفعها .الفصول الدراسية واالنطالق خارج ًا للعمل جبنون
Issue 4 — 53
A LU M N I P RO F I L E S
Reem Al Thani
H E A D O F E X H I B I T I O N D E S I G N , Q ATA R M U S E U M S
PUBLIC SPECTACLE FOR SOCIAL INTEGRATION This thesis explores the ways socio-cultural methods of integration can influence architecture, using built form as a catalyst for connection in fragmented cities or communities.
Integrating diversity through architecture requires three interconnected elements: first behavioral integration – a willingness to change has to be present on some level for socio-cultural development to accrue. Second, programmatic integration,outlined through public sphere theory – the needs of public spaces and public engagement, emphasizing free access, meeting strangers and freedom of expression. Giving a voice to the voiceless – storytelling allowing all to share their perspective on city life for a leveling ground and sense of equality. Third, architectural integration demands a public space typology, that allows for democratic architecture in design considerations and hosting public engagement activities.
M A I N T E R I O R A RC H I T E C T U R E ' 15, R I S D / B FA I N T E R I O R / FA S H I O N D E S I G N ‘ 10, VCU Q ATA R Architecture plays a role in accentuating or diminishing socio-cultural segregation that exists in developing cities with diverse cultures. Doha, Qatar, with a population split between 13% National and 87% Expatriate, is an example of a developing city with extreme diversity that struggles to maintain its local community alongside foreign influx. The situation is jarringly apparent in the form of isolated architecture that has overtaken the city with glass towers and megastructures that are out of context with the desert weather and way of life. Isolated architecture enforces social boundaries through physical boundaries and strategically limited access. Social change will not be achieved by eliminating the expats or stripping the nationals of power or ownership of place; a democratic architectural intervention can create an equilibrium that heightens sense of social responsibility and allows for social integration. However, until that equilibrium is found, the society of Doha continues to become more fragmented due to lack of awareness and understanding of the integration that needs to occur, both on a social and architectural level.
The site is a part of the city’s fabric that can host all the qualities needed for social and architectural integration. The water tower presents itself in a very standoffish manner throughout the city, almost forgotten due to its apparent abandonment. It is an obsolete icon of the city’s development, giving it an almost untouchable air of isolation and independence, though it once served all residents of Doha equally – making it a perfect location to create a public spectacle in which to tell stories of the city and its people. This thesis proposes an architectural intervention driven by acknowledgment of a human need for space that address the underlying issues of a diverse society.
GLASS AND MULLINS
LED CONCRETE WALLS AND CEILING
GATHERING SPACE FLOOR AND SEATING
NEW ROOF AND TRUSS STRUCTURE
WHISPER GALLERY WALLS
WHISPER GALLERY FLOOR
CONICAL RAMP STRUCTURE
STREET LEVEL PUBLIC SPACE
INTERVENTIONS EXPLODED AXO
Recruited while still in university to join the inaugural staff of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Contemporary Art, Reem Al Thani had more than a fair share of professional experience before launching her graduate studies in Interior Architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 2013. She’s managed exhibition design for shows including “Swalif” and “Tea with Nefertiti,” and since receiving her master’s diploma in Providence, has returned to Qatar to act as Head of Exhibition Design for Qatar Museums. Here, Reem discusses balancing her passion for design with her managerial responsibilities, her lessons learned in higher education, and her hopes for the future of Qatar’s creative class.
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ريم آل ثاني
RISD ، – درجة الماجستير في الهندسة المعمارية الداخلية20١٥ دفعة VCUQatar ، األزياء/ – التصميم الداخلي20١0 دفعة
المتحف:كانت ال تزال طالب ًة يف اجلامعة عندما بدأت العمل وانضمت إىل متحف حصلت ريم عىل نصيب كبري من اخلربة المهنية،العريب للفن المعارص قبيل افتتاحه وفرصة استكمال درااسهتا العليا2013 قبل االلتحاق بكلية رود ايالند للتصميم عام " متكنت ريم من إدارة تصميم المعارض مثل "سوالف.يف الهندسة المعمارية الداخلية عادت ريم إىل قطر بعد حصولها عىل درجة الماجستري للعمل."و "الاشي مع نفرتييت حبا ّ تناقش ريم موازنة، يف اللقاء أدناه.بوظيفة مدير تصميم المعارض يف متاحف قطر والدروس اليت تعلمهتا من استكمال دراسهتا،للتصميم مع المسؤوليات اإلدارية لها . وآمالها يف مستقبل اإلبداع يف قطر،العليا
كيف كانت األيام األولى في متحف؟
مرت األيام جبنون ،منذ األسبوع األول كنت أكتب العقود ،وأتعامل مع القيمني عىل المعارض ،أحاول أن أتعلم الكثري خالل فرتة قصرية من الزمن .كانت جترب ًة رائع ًة وتعلقت عىل الفور بطريقة سري تصميم المعارض .لقد وجدت نفيس أحبث عن كل ما يتعلق بذلك .سنحت يل فرصة لقاء شون موين والعمل معه (المدير الاسبق لتصميم المعارض يف متحف غوغهنايم وأحد مؤسيس مرشوع - SMAK استاشريي المعارض) ،قمنا معا بالعمل عىل المعرض األول لمتحف مما سمح لنا بناء عالقة مهنية قوية ،كان من الرائع وجود شخص خبربته إىل جانيب ،يستطيع اإلجابة عن تاسؤاليت ويرشدين إىل الطريق الصحيح ،لقد كان مرشدي. يا لها من بداية ،كان ال بد لنا من الماشركة يف جوهر وروح هذا المتحف ،فأنت يف الداخل تطلع عىل كل ما يدور وراء الكواليس .كان أحيان ًا أمر ًا مرهق ًا ،ولكنه ممتع ًا حق ًا ومفيد ًا يل من الناحية العلمية جد ًا .يف نفس الوقت ،كنت أعرف أنين أرغب يف احلصول عىل هشادة الماجستري حق ًا ،لكين لم أكن واثقة من أين أو مىت أو عىل ماذا أسركز .قلقت جد ًا ،كان هناك ما يشدين يف االجتاه اإلداري – ولكنين كنت أرغب وبشدةٍ يف الرتكزي عىل التصميم. كيف اتخذت قرار االلتحاق بكلية رود ايالند للتصميم الستكمال دراستك العليا؟
تقدمت بطلب التحاق إىل الكثري من الكيات المختلفة ،ولكن RISDكانت أكرثهم تركزي ًا عىل التصميم .وألنين أشعر بأن لدي الكثري مما أستطيع القيام به لنفيس ولبلدي قطر يف التصميم ،قررت الذهاب إىل هناك .وأنا اليوم أول قطريةٍ تتخرج من كلية رود ايالند للتصميم .RISD
كانت خطوة صعبة يف البداية ،ولكهنا أطلعتين عىل الكثري مما أنا قادرة عىل حتقيقه .مير الوقت يف الدوحة رسيع ًا ،من الهسل جد ًا البقاء مستيقظ ًا طوال الليل والنوم طوال الهنار .من الهسل ترك األمور متر دون حتقيق أي يشء يذكر ،دون أن تعرف كم ميكن ان تنتج كشخص وما ميكن أن تكون .ولكن RISDجعلتين أدرك قويت اإلبداعية ،عرفتين كيف أفكر ،علمتين كيف أعمل وعلمتين كيف أتناقش مع أاستذيت .أول يشء قالوه لنا " :ال تأسلنا إذا كان عملك صحيح ًا ،لن خنربك بذلك أبد ًا"…كان هناك الكثري من االستقاللية واالعتماد عىل النفس .يف الهناية ،أيقنت بأن النجاح ال يقاس بالدرجات ولكن يقاس بنموك كشخص وكمصمم. ما الذي عملت عليه في RISD؟
كانت معظم ماشريعي تدور حول الشخصيات البرشية وكيفية تفاعلهم يف األماكن اليت يعيشون فهيا .حاولت أخذ أكرب عددٍ ممكن من المقررات خارج برناجم الهندسة مقررات يف النحت ويف الصناعة الرقمية والعديد غريهم. المعمارية الداخلية .درست ٍ لتصور موقع مهجور لراسليت ،عدت إىل الدوحة أحبث عن ما ميكن أن يكون احتجت ّ هذا الموقع .لدي صفح ٌة إلكرتوني ٌة (بلوج) تسمى الزجاج يف الصحراء ،ظننت أنين أرغب يف رؤية منطقة اخلليج الغريب ،والمباين هناك .لدى الكثري من األسئلة عهنم: لماذا تم صنعهم ،لمن تم صنعهم ،وما آثارهم يف المستقبل .كنت أفكر كيف نبتكر اسحات للماشة واسحات عامة يف مثل هذه البيئة .ويف هناية المطاف ،ركزت عىل المرشوع وركزت أكرث عىل أبراج المياه يف مجيع أحناء البالد ،تارخيهم ،الغرض من إناشهئم وما هي إمكانية إعادة التكيف. بصورة عامة ،كانت RISDجترب ًة رائع ًة وآمل يف أن أجلب معي هنا بعض ًا من ذلك ، سواء كان ذلك من خالل التدريس ،أو إناشء عميل اخلاص ،أو توفري مكان مستقل للناس للتجربة فيه مثل ماسحة إبداعية لصنع … يشءٍ خمتلف قليالً عن ما هو موجود حالي ًا يف الدوحة.
Issue 4 — 55
?What were the early days of Mathaf like
It was crazy—within the first week of working there I was writing contracts, dealing with curators, trying to learn so much in such a short amount of time, but it was an amazing experience and I got hooked on the exhibition design process right away. I found myself researching everything about it. I was also able to meet and work with Sean Mooney [former director of exhibition design at the Guggenheim Museum, co-founder of SMAK Projects, an exhibitions consultancy], who’s become my mentor. We developed a strong pro—fessional relationship while working on Mathaf’s first exhibitions it was great to have someone with so much experience around to answer my questions and show me how things were done. Mathaf felt like such a start-up—you were instantly involved in the spirit of the museum and you got the inside scoop on everything going on behind the scenes. Of course, it could be stressful, but it was also really enjoyable and very educational for me. At the same time, I knew that I really wanted to go and get my master’s, but I wasn’t sure where or when or what the focus was going to be. I did worry I was getting pulled too much into management—I still really wanted to focus on design. ?How did you decide on RISD for graduate school
I applied to a lot of different schools, but out of all of them, RISD was the most design-focused. And because I believed there was so much more to do in design, for myself and for Qatar, that’s where I decided to go. Now, I am the first Qatari to have graduated from RISD. At first the move was difficult, but it taught me a lot about what I’m able to accomplish. Time spent in Doha can be fleeting—it’s very easy to stay up all night and sleep all day. It’s easy to let things go, to not produce and not know how much you, as a person, can make and be. But RISD made me much more aware of my creative power, of how I think. I learned how to make and how to negotiate with my teachers. The first thing they said to us was: “don’t ask us if your work is “right,” we will never tell you that”…so there was a lot of independence. In the end, I felt like success was measured by how you grew as a person and as a designer, rather than by grades.
“RISD was an awesome experience for me and I’m hoping to bring some of that back here, whether it be through teaching, creating my own work, or providing an independent place for people to experiment in, like a creative space for making…”
What did you work on while at RISD?
Most of my projects were about human figures and how they interact in the spaces they inhabit. I also tried to take as many classes outside of the Interior Architecture Program as possible. I took sculpture, digital making, etc. For my thesis, I needed to re-imagine an abandoned site. I came back to Doha to look for what that could be. I have a blog called “Glass in the Desert,” so I thought I wanted to look at West Bay, the buildings there. There are so many questions I have about them—why they’re made, who they’re made for, what their future implications are. I was thinking about how you create pedestrian and public spaces in such an environment. Eventually, I focused the project even more specifically on the water towers all over the country—their history, purpose and potential for adaptive reuse. All in all, RISD was an awesome experience for me and I’m hoping to bring some of that back here, whether it be through teaching, creating my own work, or providing an independent place for people to experiment in, like a creative space for making…something a little different from what currently exists in Doha. How did VCUQatar prepare you for graduate school?
At VCUQatar, I learned a lot from the crazy atmosphere and deadlines of the Fashion Department—that kind of environment was really good for someone like me who thrives under pressure. Mathaf had that too. I think last-minute decisions always end up being the most pure and they happen when you absolutely have to get the work done. In Interior Design, Liam [Colquhoun] and Matthew [HolmesDallimore] and (former chair) Alan Hing prepared me a lot for my work in exhibition design. I can get lost in my own brain, and they were good at letting me go, then bringing me back. And all the computer skills…I was so prepared heading into graduate school knowing Rhino, Illustrator and CAD in general. I could take electives outside of my degree because I had developed many technical skills already at VCUQatar. Not everyone at RISD had this kind of background coming in and I learned much faster because of it.
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كيف ساعدت جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث في قطر في إعدادك لدراستك العليا؟
يف جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر الكثري من اجلو احلمايس والمواعيد الهنائية لقسم تصميم األزياء – هذا النوع من البيئة كان حق ًا جيد ًا لشخص مثيل يستطيع أن يتطور أعتقد دامئ ًا بأن قرارات اللحظة األخرية. كان لعميل يف متحف دور أيض ًا.حتت الضغط . هي يف هناية المطاف أكرث دقة وحتدث عندما جيب عليك إجناز العمل
داليمور ورئيس القسم- اسعد كل من ليام كالهون وماثيو هولمز،يف التصميم الداخيل ميكن أن أصل يف تفكريي.الاسبق آالن جي كثري ًا يف إعدادي لعميل يف تصميم المعارض ثم إعاديت إىل الطريق مرة، وهم كانوا جيدين يف السماح يل بالتحليق،إىل أبعد مدى ومهارات احلاسوب … كنت معدة إعداد ًا جيد ًا للذهاب إىل الدرااست العليا.أخرى متكنت من أخذ العديد.Rhino, Illustrator, CAD :مع معرفة عامة بكل من من المواد االختيارية ألنين كنت قد اكتسبت بالفعل العديد من المهارات التقنية يف هبذه اخللفية اليتRISD لم يتمتع اجلميع يف.جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر .حرضت هبا إلهيم واليت كانت سبب ًا يف أن أتعلم أرسع بكثري كيف يجري العمل اآلن؟ هل هناك أي مشاريع قادمة تستعدين لها؟
اآلن أنا أشغل منصب رئيس قسم تصميم المعارض يف دائرة المعارض المركزية يف RISD اتصلوا يب من متاحف قطر وأنا عىل وشك االنهتاء من دراسيت يف.متاحف قطر لكين أرصيت عىل شغل، ففعلت.وأسلوين عما إذا كنت أرغب يف العودة إىل العمل شديدة يف اجتماعي األول مع كنت. أعمل هناك منذ أغسطس.وظيفة يف التصميم ً أنا مهووسة قليالً بإجراءات سري العمل – أعتقد.اجلميع ورشحت دور اإلدارة اجلديدة أن هذا يشء حصلت عليه من دراسيت يف جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر ومن أيامي ولكنه ياسعدين اآلن عندما أعمل عىل سياسة معينة وأحاول فهم احتياجات،يف متحف … فاإلجراءات تاسعدين عىل وضع رؤية أوسع لما ميكننا القيام به.المتاحف المختلفة
How’s work going now? Any upcoming projects you’re excited about?
Now I’m Head of Exhibition Design in the Central Exhibitions Department at Qatar Museums. When I was just about done with RISD, QM contacted me and asked if I wanted to come back to work. I did, but I was adamant about my role being a design position. I’ve been working there since August. It was intense at first—meeting with everyone and explaining the role of the new department. I’m a little obsessed with process—I think this is something I got from VCUQatar and from my days at Mathaf—but it helps me now when I’m working on policy and understanding the needs of the various museums. Process helps me have a broader vision of what we can do… We’re looking forward to the upcoming years of culture, China and Germany, and I’m working on a project for Mathaf that’s heading to Madrid. I know the job is going to be a lot of management at first, but eventually I would like to structure the department more like a studio made up of the designers for the specific museums. I try to take one thing at a time and pace myself, because here, everything is “urgent.” I’ve learned that that’s not always the case. So we’re trying to take a step back and not jump at everything—I think it’s so important to be proactive rather than reactive. Any advice you’d like to share with fresh VCUQatar grads?
My advice is: make something! In Doha, there’s so much opportunity, but you can’t just wait for people to give it to you…you need to go out and make it. Not everyone knows what a designer can do for them—you have to ask for jobs, propose ideas. People need to be educated about design. The good news is that there’s always a lot of work that needs to be done in Doha. What do you hope the next ten years will hold for Doha and its arts community?
Once, in a meeting, one of my professors asked me what I really wanted to do. I thought about it and, to me, it all came down to this missing thing in Doha—we don’t have a space where I can just be a designer and work on whatever I want, or a studio space where I can collaborate independently with other designers—so I told him that I wanted to create a design army when I go back. He thought that was a really interesting choice of words—“design army”—but it’s still what I want to do, to encourage people to design here in Doha. In general, I’m hoping for greater integration and awareness across the demographics of the country—between expats and locals. I’m always asking: what is being made here that will help integrate people? I think we need to work together and try harder to retain people for their skills, power and talent. I’d also like to see less government dependency amongst creatives—I hope we can move away from that. The country is growing—architecture is growing, thought is growing—but people need to learn to go outside the box in order to create something that’s a little new and different.
وأعمل حالي ًا عىل مرشوع، الصني وألمانيا،نتطلع اىل السنوات المقبلة من الثقافة ولكن، أعلم بأنه سيكون هناك الكثري من اإلدارة يف البداية.لمتحف يتجه إىل مدريد .أرغب يف الهناية أن أرى شيئ ًا شبهي ًا باستوديو يتكون من مصممني لمتاحف متخصصة ولكين أدركت بأنه ليس." كل يشء "عاجل، هنا،أحاول اختاذ خطوة متقدمة كل حني أعتقد أنه من المهم جد ًا،مرة واحدة ً حناول أن خنطو مسبق ًا وأن ال نقفز.دامئ ًا عاجل .أن نكون سباقني بد ًال من القيام بردودٍ لألفعال هل هناك نصيحة ترغبين مشاركتها مع الخريجين الجدد من جامعة فرجينيا
كومنولث في قطر؟
ال تنتظر أن يقدمها، تقديم يشء! تتوفر الكثري من الفرص يف الدوحة:نصيحيت هي ال يدرك اجلميع ما يستطيع المصمم. حقّ ق شيئ ًا.لك الناس … اخرج واغتنم الفرص . حيتاج الناس إىل تعلم التصميم. وان تعرض األفكار، عليك أن تبحث عن عمل،إجنازه . هناك دامئ ًا الكثري من العمل نستطيع القيام به يف الدوحة:واخلرب الاسر ما الذي تأملين أن نراه في العشر سنوات القادمة في الدوحة والمجتمع الفني فيها؟
وكل ما دار، فكرت يف ذلك.مرة أحد أاستذيت ما الذي أريد فعالً حتقيقه ً أسلين ال يوجد مكان أستطيع أن أكون فيه جمرد مصمم،خباطري أننا نفتقد شيئ ًا يف الدوحة أو استوديو ميكنين أن أتعاون فيه وبشكل مستقل مع غريي،وأن أعمل عىل كل ما أريد ولذلك أخربته بإنين أرغب يف إناشء "جيش من المصممني" عندما،من المصممني وكان رد أستاذي بأنه يعتقد بأن هذا مزجي مثري لالهتمام من الكلمات "جيش.أعود لتشجيع الناس عىل التصميم، لكنه ما أريد وال أزال أريد القيام به،"من المصممني .هنا يف الدوحة مبزيد من التكامل والوعي عرب الرتكيبة السكانية للبلد ما بني العمالة أتأمل،بشكل عام ٍ ٍ ما الذي نستطيع القيام به هنا لناسعد: أنا دامئ ًا ما أأسل.الوافدة والسكان المحليني جهد أكرب الحتفاظ الناس عىل اندماج الناس؟ أعتقد أننا حباجة إىل العمل مع ًا وبذل ٍ أود أيض ًا أن أرى تبعي ًة أقل بني المبدعني للحكومة – أمتىن. وقوهتم وموهبهتم،مبهاراهتم تنمو البالد وتتطور – وتنمو العمارة واألفكار – ولكن.ان نستطيع االبتعاد عن ذلك ٍحيتاج الناس أن يتعلموا اخلروج من احلدود وابتكار يشء . جديد وخمتلف ٍ
Issue 4 — 57
A LU M N I N E W S
Alumni Professional Development Workshops In collaboration with Bedaya Learning Center, the VCUQatar Alumni Relations Office conducted a series of five professional development workshops during the 2014–2015 academic year. Alumni seeking support with career searches and professional enrichment were provided with focused and innovative training. Workshop topics varied and were determined by popular demand. They included: Creative Thinking @ W Doha Hotel Personal Branding @ Katara Art Center Team Building @ Anima Gallery Building Blocks @ Museum Of Islamic Art Introduction to Project Management @ Mathaf Workshops were conducted in various art and design venues throughout Doha and were followed by networking luncheons open to all participants and instructors.
Alumni Reunion 2015 April is VCUQatar's Alumni month. During this month, the Alumni Relations Office organizes a reunion where alumni from various classes come together to reconnect and network. This year, starting a new tradition, the Alumni Relations Office also invited the graduating class of 2015 to attend the 2015 Alumni Reunion as an official welcome to the VCU Alumni Association. Joseph Seipel, Dean of the VCU School of Arts in Richmond, shared a few words visa video from the main campus along with Gordon McDougall, VCU's Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations and Executive Director of the MCV Alumni Association, acknowledging the alumni body at VCUQatar for their many outstanding accomplishments. Sahar Mari (GDES & IDES '10) was nominated to be the event speaker. Sahar shared a story—a memory from her days as a student at VCUQatar, and emphasized the importance of a highly connected alumni body. Her speech also inspired her peer-colleagues to continue making their highly appreciated art and design contributions to Qatari society and the world. During the event, many great discussions took place over topics including the establishment of a VCUQatar alumni board, the organization of a professional development trip for alumni and ways to better connections with current students in order to enhance and strengthen the larger VCUQatar community.
58 — Issue 4
A LU M N I N E W S
VCUQatar Alumni Trip to London, UK VCUQatar's Alumni Relations Office believes that in order to build a highly collaborative and creative alumni network, we need to promote more than just the skills and abilities of each individual graduate. Our alumni thrive on learning how to function as a cohesive professional unit. With an eye to foster this community-centered approach to professional development, the Alumni Relations Office organized VCUQatar’s first entirely alumni-driven trip abroad in order to attend two design-focused events in the United Kingdom this summer. The trip took place during New Designers 2015—a conference where over 3,000 of the most promising graduates from Britain’s leading design schools came together to exhibit work at the London Business Design Centre. The VCUQatar alumni also visited New Blood Design Exhibition hosted by the British educational organization Design & Art Direction (D&AD). The trip focused on exposing entrepreneurial VCUQatar alumni to the art and design culture being cultivated in a different country and culture. To this end, they interacted with a number of UK-based design graduates and shared with them their educational backgrounds and creative ambitions. Other learning objectives that took place during the trip included team building, problem solving, critical thinking and leadership development. The five alumni were responsible for researching and scheduling activities throughout the week, with each member accountable for a day and a specific theme, proposed during the trip’s planning stage. Themes included “Time & Space,” “Partnership & Entrepreneurship” and “Art & Politics.” Visits to various museums, art galleries, pavilions and historic landmarks rounded out the experience. By and large, the trip proved enriching and feedback from participants has been overwhelmingly positive. “I have been working for three years and thought that I lost my design confidence. Through VCUQatar's Alumni trip to London, I have regained my passion for design once again! Learning & exploring London, getting inspired and having fresh, new perspectives has empowered my decision to continue my studies in higher education,” said Wafa Al Saffar, a VCUQatar graphic design graduate currently pursuing her MSc in Sustainability at the University of Nottingham.
Issue 4 — 59
FAC U LT Y & S TA F F Achievements
Throughout the year, faculty and staff
The City, September 7–8, 2015, where he
College in Oakland, California where he
publish in professional journals and public
presented on “Emerging Trends in Interior
successfully completed the advanced-level Arabic course. He has since enrolled in NYU's
magazines and participate in conferences
Architecture: Impact of Neuroscience.” Dr.
and exhibitions as guest speakers and
Amor served as a moderator for the Qatar
Certificate Program in Arabic to English
artists /designers. A few examples of these
Green Building Conference that was held in
translation. Dr. Bianchi is also translating
endeavors are listed below. Position titles
April 27–28, 2015 at Qatar National Conven-
Classical Arabic religious texts for the Bahá'í
and achievements reflect the academic year
tion Center. Likewise, in collaboration with a
World Centre on a volunteer basis. In terms of
doctoral student from Texas Tech University,
research, he published an article on 3arabizi
Law Alsobrook, Assistant Professor in Graphic Design, exhibited his interactive sculpture, “Te kalliste: to the fairest,” at the
Dr. Amor presented “Learning and applying
in Q-Science's Tasmeem journal in Spring
sustainability principles is a challenging edu-
2014, completed a book chapter for Springer
cational task.” The outcome was published in
Publishing Company on English language
QScience Proceedings, (2015), 26.
education in Palestine, which is forthcoming,
20th International Symposium on Electronic
George Awde, Assistant Professor of Photog-
Arts (ISEA) in Dubai, UAE. He presented “Are
raphy, exhibited in the critically acclaimed
we our fictions? The narrative boundaries of
exhibition Imagined Cities at the Los Angeles
and drafted another book chapter on the future of the Arabic language for Akkadia Press. On a creative note, he has almost completed his first novel, “7abibi.”
self” at Fak’ugesi, a Digital African Arts
Municipal Gallery in the fall of 2014 and “I
Conference, hosted by University of the
Spy with my Little Eye” at The Mosaic Rooms
Ryan Browning, Assistant Professor in the
Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South
in London in May 2015. He also had a solo ex-
Art Foundations Department, had an FRG
Africa. The paper was subsequently published
hibition “Fragile States” in May 2015 at East
grant-supported solo exhibition of paintings
in Technoetic Arts: Journal of Speculative
Wing in Dubai and was an artist-in-residence
entitled “Cruiselandia” at ADA Gallery in
Research. He was invited to submit an
at Light Work in Syracuse, New York, during
Richmond, Virginia in the fall of 2014. He
article, “The Tesseract: between mediated
the summer of 2015. His work has just been
received a Faculty Research Grant in the
consciousness and embodiment” to the
featured on the cover of this month’s Canvas
spring of 2015 supporting an upcoming solo
online journal Noema: Technology & Society.
magazine and there is an article on his work
exhibition, entitled “General Drift” which will
In June 2015, together with Diane Derr, he
in this month’s Art Asia Pacific.
conducted the workshop “Variable There: Reconfiguring narrative through urban data” at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa and at the conference Arte Present: Mapping Space that Could Return to Earth Again in Havana, Cuba. His TedxEducation City talk was recently included on the list of “50 of the best inspirational and motivational talks for creatives.” Ranked number 14, he shares the list with JJ Abrams, Neil Gaiman, and Steven Spielberg. He also published poems in Petite Hound Press, The Volta, Typehouse Literary Magazine, and After the Pause.
Dr. Summer Bateiha, Assistant Professor of Mathematics in the Liberal Arts & Sciences
be held in 2016 at The Third Line gallery in Dubai, UAE. In June 2014, Marco Bruno, Assistant
Program, was the keynote speaker at The
Professor in the MFA in Design Program,
3rd Abu Dhabi University Annual Interna-
together with Simone Muscolino, Director
tional Conference in March 2015. She also
of Art Foundation, presented an interactive
presented her research in the “Show and Tell
installation titled “Borrowed City Flip” at
Series” at Virginia Commonwealth University
Crow's Eye View (CEV), the Korean Pavilion
in Qatar and in the Mathematics Depart-
at the XIV Venice Architecture Biennale.
ment at Qatar University. In addition, she
Due to the success of the exhibition (the
gave a talk at the competitive 2015 Liberal
Korean Pavilion received the Golden Lion
Arts and Sciences Conference at Texas A&M
for Best National participation), the CEV
University in Qatar. Two of her papers were
was installed again in Seoul at Arko Center
accepted for publication—one as an article
(March–May 2015) and in New York City at
in Investigations in Mathematics Learning
Tina Kim Gallery (September–October 2015).
Cherif Amor, Chair of the Department of
and the other as a book chapter in “Learning
During the New York opening, Professor
Interior Design, presented at and served on
Across Borders: International and Trans-
Bruno participated in a public talk at the
the conference committee for EDRA 46 Los
Storefront for Art and Architecture and
Angeles Conference, May 27–30, 2015. He also served as the conference chairman for the Future Interiors Qatar conference that was held at the Intercontinental Hotel
60 — Issue 4
Assistant Professor of English, Dr. Robert Bianchi, was selected to attend the prestigious Arabic Language School of Middlebury
lectured at Rhode Island School of Design School of Architecture. In addition, a revised second edition of his book “Borrowed City,”
FACU LT Y & STA F F AC H I E V E M E N T S
was released in South Korea in August 2015.
Diane Derr, Assistant Professor in the MFA in
Also, Professor Bruno's MOTOElastico Experi-
Design Program and the VCUQatar Library
Canada. In June 2015, Emans presented two
mental Space Lab, in partnership with French
presented “Capturing Gaddafi: Narrative
papers at the DRS Conference, LearnxDesign
Design Education Conference in Toronto,
Architect Stephane Maupin, was selected to
as System Currency” at Fak’ugesi, a Digital
in Chicago, entitled “WonderBox: Story-
design 4 Mobile Art Shop to be installed in
African Arts Conference, hosted by University
telling and emerging technologies” with
the newly open Dongdaemun Design Plaza in
of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South
Basma Hamdy, and “Experiential elements
Seoul. The project opened in September 2014
Africa. The paper was subsequently published
of high-to-low-context cultures” with Kelly
and was featured in the Mobile Home Exhibi-
in Technoetic Arts: Journal of Speculative
tion organized in Seoul at the Songwon Art
Research. In June 2015, Diane Derr and Law
Center (November–December 2014).
Alsobrook conducted the workshop “Variable
Dr. Radha Dalal, Assistant Professor of Art History, presented “Intertextual Representations of Modernity: Max Fruchtermann’s Postcards and the Sultan Abdul Hamid II Photo Albums” at the Annual Conference
There: Reconfiguring narrative through urban data” at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa and at the conference Art Present: Mapping Space that Could Return to Earth Again in Havana, Cuba.
For Tasmeem in the Classroom, Robin Fetherston, Assistant Professor of English, and her Textual Analysis students created and hosted “Victorians at Play,” a universitywide game event with a Sherlockian twist, in November 2014. That same month, the School-wide Reading Committee, which she
of the Middle East Studies Association in
Jörg Matthias Determann, Assistant
chairs, brought novelist Abdulaziz Al-Mah-
Washington, DC in November 2014. She
Professor of History in the Liberal Arts &
moud to present “16th Century Gulf History“
was invited to present “Tipu Sultan in the European Imaginary” at the Museum of
Sciences Program, published a book entitled “Researching Biology and Evolution in the
to the public. In March 2015 Fetherston performed two readings of original short
Islamic Art, Doha in conjunction with the
Gulf States: Networks of Science in the
fiction and served as a session chair at the
exhibition “The Tiger’s Dream: Tipu Sultan” by
Middle East“ with I.B. Tauris in 2015. He also
Hope and Happiness Global Conference in
William Greenwood in January 2015. In March
presented the results of this book at the Brit-
Prague, and again at Great Writing in London
2015, Radha was invited to the Metropolitan
ish Society for the History of Science Annual
in June 2015. Both conferences published her
History Seminar at the University of London’s
Conference at Swansea University and the
abstracts in print. She completed a Faculty
School of Advanced Studies to speak on
Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society for
Grant project at the 29th Iowa Summer
“Postcarding the Capital: Representations of
the History and Philosophy of Science at the
Writing Festival in 2015, where she was a
Ottoman Istanbul, 1890–1914.” In May 2015,
University of Ottawa in 2015. Earlier this year,
peer reviewer. The short fiction she presented
at the invitation of Dr. Ibrahim Abu ‘Amar of
Jadawel released an Arabic translation of his
there, “Meeting Dickens in the Arabian
Al-Quds University, she accompanied Dr. Jose
book “Historiography in Saudi Arabia: Global-
Gulf” has been accepted as an e-book by
Cristobal Carvajal Lopez from UCL Qatar to
ization and the State in the Middle East.“ The
an archaeological excavation at Beit Bassa
translator is Abdullah Alaskar, a professor of
in Palestine. In addition, during the summer
history at King Saud University in Riyadh.
and fall of 2015, along with Dina Bangdel, she conducted onging research for the QNRF National Priorities Research Fund grant on “Museums in the 21st Century and Global Art History: Building Knowledge Base through Online Resources in Qatar.” Sterling Daniel, Director of Financial
Dr. Ryad Ghanam, Associate Professor of Mathematics in the Liberal Arts & Sciences
Assistant Professor of Graphic Design,
Program, has published three research ar-
Denielle Emans, published “Sustainability at
ticles during the academic year 2014–2015
the forefront: Educating students through
in the Journal of Geometry and Physics 97
complex challenges in visual communication
(2015) 69-76, in Boundary Value Problems
and design” with Kelly Murdoch–Kitt and Dr.
DOI 10.1186/s13661-015-0281-0 (2015) and J.
Kelly Norris Martin (Rochester Institute of
Math. Sci. Univ. Tokyo 21 (2014), 129–152. He
Technology) in the Interdisciplinary Environ-
also gave research presentations at the AMS
Planning and Operations, co-led two-day
mental Review Journal: Vol. 16. In April 2015,
meeting in San Antonio in January 2015 and
training workshops on best practices in public
she presented “Culture in a box: Reshaping
at Qatar University.
sector budgeting for staff at the Ministry of
community-based narratives into visual
Finance in Tunis, Tunisia in June 2015. Daniel
constructs” with Basma Hamdy and “Creat-
was invited as a subject-matter expert by the
ing significant change through re-directive
non-profit organization, Financial Services
practice” with Kelly Murdoch–Kitt at the AIGA
Volunteer Corps, under a grant from the U.S. State Department. Issue 4 — 61
FACU LT Y & STA F F AC H I E V E M E N T S
Assistant Professor of Graphic Design,
Assistant Professor of Writing, N. Jean
Basma Hamdy, published “Suspending
Hodges, developed and presented “What
Fleming Jeffries, collaborated with UCL
Freedom: Image Politics and Propaganda in
happens on the other side of the tutorial
graduate student Kelley Lowe and Dubai-
Egypt” in Seismopolite, Journal of Art and
report: The ongoing importance of appoint-
based artist Sophiya Khwaja in a 3-person
Politics. No. 8, December 2014. She was also
ment information” at the joint conference of
show, “Rock Paper Scissors” at the HBKU Student Center Gallery in January. Supported
Assistant Professor of Painting & Printmaking,
invited as a member of the panel discus-
the International Writing Centers Association
sion “Design As A Social And Political Tool”
and the National Council of Peer Tutor Writ-
by a Faculty Research Grant, this project led
at the symposium The Global Shift: Who
ers. Entitled “The Wonderful World of Writing
to a paper “Material Empathy: Navigating
Shapes the Future of Design? organized by
Centers,” this conference was held in Orlando,
the Undercurrents of Cultural Experience”
the Vitra Design Museum, Germany and
Florida, from October 30–November 1, 2014.
presented in April at the Marcia Powell
held at the Palazzo Clerici in Milan, Italy, April 15, 2015. This past year, Hamdy was also featured and interviewed in Print Mag, Jadaliyya, Huck Magazine, Al-Jazeera and most notably The New York Times in which Steven Heller featured her book “Walls of Freedom” with seven others whose “design, art and photography circumvent established norms or smash accepted verities to smithereens.” Hamdy also co-presented with Denielle Emans at LearnxDesign, the 3rd International Conference for Design Education Researchers in Chicago, IL, June 2015 and at the AIGA Conference, Spaces of Learning: Inside Outside Graphic Design Education in Toronto, Canada, April 2015.
Assistant Professors of Interior Design, Matthew Holmes-Dallimore and Liam Colquhoun, presented a poster at the Hawaii International Conference on Arts & Humanities (HICA) in January 2015, that charted their ongoing collaborative research project, “Mobile, Ad-Hoc, Impromptu Retail Structures,” exploring small vernacular retail
Festival of Religion and the Arts at VCU Richmond. Her prints were selected for INK!, a juried exhibition at the Silpe Gallery, Hartford Art School; Navigation Press Portfolio at Southern Graphics Conference International in Knoxville, Tennessee; and a benefit auction for Critical Resistance in Los Angeles, CA. Valerie Jeremijenko, Assistant Dean of
structures and drawing conclusions that
Student Affairs, was awarded a PhD from
inform subsequent student studio design
the School of Communication and Creative
projects. In addition, they presented their
Arts, Deakin University, Melbourne, Austra-
collaborative Scholarship of Teaching and
lia. Her dissertation, a practice-led research
Learning Abstract, “Fostering Effective
project exploring the interplay between
Collaborative Partnerships in a Retail Design
lived perceptual experience, the possibility
Studio,” in March 2015 at the Interior Design
of a reconfiguration of the sensual hierarchy
Educators Council (IDEC) Conference in
and the visual representation of the aural/
Assistant Professor of Graphic Design,
Fort Worth, Texas. Through pedagogic
oral spectrum in an original work of creative
Michael Hersrud, co-chaired the 2015
experience, the authors established
fiction was nominated for the Alfred Deakin
Tasmeem Doha International Art & Design
collaboration as a critical course element,
Medal for Best Doctoral Thesis. In addi-
Conference titled 3ajeeb!. In association
with partners from industry as well as other
tion, she co-presented with Jeremy Schenk,
with Tasmeem 3ajeeb!, Professor Hersrud
design programs contributing to the studio
Director of VCU University Commons and
helped co-curate work for an exhibition at
experience, and illustrated how different
Student Activities at the Association of Col-
Design Days Dubai, co-authored content
approaches to the pedagogical process can
lege Unions International annual conference
for the publication #TakeMeWithYou and
help support diverse collaborations.
in San Antonio, Texas in April 2015. The topic
conducted a letterpress workshop at VCU Richmond. Professor Hersrud organized a collaboration with visiting artists Tom Loftus and Robin Schwartzman, and led teams of students and faculty to design the first 9-hole artist mini-golf course in Qatar. He also contributed work in a collaborative Risograph artist book project with artist-in-residence James McPherson titled “The Extreme Limits of Understanding.” Michael began work on “Uncharted Territories,” a series of experimental parametric plotter drawings for upcoming exhibitions.
62 — Issue 4
Alberto Iacovoni, Assistant Professor of Space Research in the Art Foundation Program taught at Syracuse University in Florence during the academic year 2014–15 and participated as a workshop leader and lecturer in Tasmeem Doha 2015: 3ajeeb!. Key projects developed with his firm, ma0 studio d'architettura (www.ma0.it) in 2015, was the design for the Italy City mall in Xi'an, China
of presentation was: “Building community through international leadership exchange experiences.” She also developed and led the Qatar Institute of Intercultural Communication Institute (QIIC). The collaborative project provided intercultural communication training to more than 100 Education City community members. Ali Khan, Assistant Professor of Fashion
and the shortlisted proposal for the Concorde
Design, participated in the prestigious World
Secteur A Competiton in Geneva. Alongside
of WearableArt (WOW) Awards Competition
his firm, he has been nominated for the 2015
2014 in Wellington, New Zealand, where his
garment “Bling Warrior” won two awards.
FACU LT Y & STA F F AC H I E V E M E N T S
As part of his ongoing PhD thesis, he also pre-
Dr. Thomas Modeen, Associate Professor
Dr. Khaled Saoud, Assistant Professor of
sented two research papers at international
in the MFA in Design Program, conducted a
Physics in the Liberal Arts & Sciences Program,
conferences in London and Reykjavik during
presentation of his research and practice at
has been awarded two prestigious awards
the summer of 2015.
the WISE/ Learning Festival event that took
(Dubai Nanotech Distinguished Scientist
place at the Katara Cultural Village in Doha
Award and Qatar Challenge 22 Award) and
Assistant Professor of Art History, Leah Long, presented at several international, peer-reviewed conferences throughout the academic year. At the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research in San Diego, she gave the talk, “Socializing the Exchange of Dokimeion Marbles,” in the session on Social Aspects of the Use and Reuse of Marble in Roman and Byzantine Near East. At the Archaeological Institute of America’s Meeting in New Orleans, she presented, “Interpreting Isotopes from the Regional Marble Quarries of Aphrodisias, Turkey: An
in November 2014. He received a Faculty
published 5 peer-reviewed journal papers
Research Grant to lay the foundations for a
during the previous academic year.
collaboration with Chandler Ltd. in St. Paul, MN, to set up and develop an exhibition exploring the region's idiosyncratic take on contemporary design (May 2015). He was awarded an academic promotion to the rank of Associate Professor (Spring 2015), and presented at the Tongji University, College of Design Innovation in Shanghai a lecture titled “Protean Hybrids - Exploring the Paradigms of Interdisciplinary Design" (June 2015).
Outreach & Community Class Manager, Annette Wendling-Willeke, attended the Community Art Education Conference in Los Angeles (November 2014), acted as one of two workshop liaisons for the Origami Studio during Tasmeem 2015 and attended the International NYT-organized Art for Tomorrow Conference in Doha in March 2015. She participated in the workshop “Fundamentals of Intercultural Communication” in Doha, May
Interdisciplinary Approach” in the colloquium,
Patty Paine, Interim Director in the Liberal
Getting Elemental: Integrating Isotopes and
Arts & Sciences Program, recently had her
Origami and Collage). She continues her
Archaeology. A Faculty Research Grant sup-
sixth book, “Grief & Other Animals,” published
painting practice and exhibited in a solo show
2015 and in various art workshops (namely
ported her research on “The Roman Decora-
by Accents Publishing. In a review of the
in Stuttgart, Germany and in three group
tive Stone Collection in the Kelsey Museum of
collection, the poet Bob Hicok observed that
exhibitions in Doha, Qatar. She is a member
Archaeology.” This collaborative book project
"This stunning book both resurrects and more
documents the pursuits of museum’s founder,
truly buries, and does what the best poetry
Francis W. Kelsey, in amassing a collection
does—shows me the world of another, and in
of colorful building materials derived from an-
doing so, brings me closer to my own. I feel
cient buildings throughout the Mediterranean.
bitten by these haunted poems." In addition,
Sadia Mir, Assistant Professor of English in the Liberal Arts & Sciences Program presented the paper, “Qatari Women and the Knowledge Economy” at American University of Kuwait’s Centre for Gulf Studies Symposium in March 2015. She co-authored “In Majalis Al-Hareem: The Complex Professional and Personal Choices of Qatari Women” which was presented at the Doha Interna-
Professor Paine had poems published in Blackbird: A Journal of Literature and the Arts, The Georgetown Review, Revolution House, Sundress Publications, The Louisville Review, and The Literary Review. Her work has been reviewed in Zeteo, and Marvels & Tales, and interviews of her have been featured in Pirene’s Fountain, TS Poetry Journal, and Best American Poetry.
of the International Artists Doha (IAD). Assistant Professor for English, Liberal Arts & Sciences, Diana Woodcock’s grand prizewinning poem, “Music as Scripture,” was performed in Lincoln Park, San Francisco, September 2014, at Artists Embassy International‘s 21st Dancing Poetry Festival. Her fifth chapbook, “Desert Ecology” was published October 2014. Her article, “Two Ecosystems in Crisis: What the Everglades and Arabian Desert Have in Common” was published in Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Oxford University Press, May 2015. She led workshops and read from
tional Family Institute Annual Conference on
Greet Provoost, Assistant Dean for
Family Research and Policy in April 2015, and
Enrollment and Registration Services, was
Presidential Research Quest Fund Award, at
received the Best Paper Award for the “Role
selected for a two-year term to serve on the
the 11th Conference of Association for Study
of State Policies on Family Formation and
Certification Commission of the American
of Literature and Environment, June 2015 and
Stability” pillar. In 2014–2015, in collaboration
International Recruitment Council (May 2015).
the 9th International Congress /Education
with the Supreme Education Council (Qatar)
She was also selected to the Planning Team
in Botanical Gardens (BGCI), April 2015. She
and the American Embassy, she presented
of the Institute for International Education
read from another work in progress, “All That
a series of seminars on teaching creative
(IIE)'s Internationalization of Higher
Wild Wetness,” at Under Western Skies 3,
writing in elementary and secondary educa-
Education Initiative in Myanmar(May 2015).
Calgary, September 2014. She participated in
work in progress, for which she received a
tion, and served as editor for “Young Writers
Climate Change Himalaya: Engaging the Arts
Journal,” an anthology of art and writing
and Humanities, City Museum, Kathmandu,
produced through this program.
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A D E S T I N AT I O N Fo r D i a l o g u e
2014–2015 Exhibitions & Lecture Series Throughout the year, VCUQatar offers a diverse program of public exhibitions and lectures, including solo and group exhibitions hosted by the Gallery at VCUQatar. Through local and global collaborations, the Gallery encourages the appreciation and understanding of art and design and their roles in society. The Gallery stimulates active learning about the creative process through dialogue among communities of students, faculty, artists, scholars and the wider public.
01 02 03 04
Yousef Ahmad in conversation with Dr. Yasser Mongy Opening Night of “Confluence” exhibition Tim Makower starts off the year's exhibition series Flo Orktrass, Random International
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The Gallery opened the year with “100 Thoughts: Chapter 1” an exhibition by Doha-based artist Tim Makower. Makower has created sketchbooks throughout his years in Doha which were exhibited throughout the gallery as a way to share his personal narrative, or “100 Thoughts” of Doha. The second exhibition for Fall 2014 was “Confluence: Photographic based works from the Contemporary Middle East” which brought together the work of Arab artists Atfal Ahdath, Ali Cherri and VCUQatar faculty member George Awde. This exhibition of contemporary photography and video installation from across the Middle East demonstrated the thematic diversity of photography while also exploring the medium itself. In Spring 2015 the Gallery, in partnership with the British Council, exhibited the work of well-known UK artist David Batchelor in “Flatlands Remix.” The exhibition brought together his vibrant and intricate drawings as well as his more recent paintings and sculptures. The year closed with the annual BFA & MFA Exhibition, a celebration of the creative achievements of our graduating students.
“Crossing Boundaries,” VCUQatar’s lecture series, features globally recognized artists, designers and scholars, and intends to highlight the cross-disciplinary nature of art and design practice and research. Fall 2014 began with a presentation of Qatari artist Yousef Ahmad in conversation with Dr. Yasser Mongy entitled “Art in Qatar: An Artist’s Perspective.” Ahmad talked about his experience of creating and exhibition artwork in Qatar since the 1970s. The lecture was presented in association with Qatar Museums to coincide with Ahmad's solo exhibition at the Qatar Museums Gallery in Katara. The second lecture in the series was Dr. Guido Gryseels presenting ”Museums, Shared Heritage and Identity.” Gryseels is the Director of the Royal Museum for Central Africa and he spoke on the role of postcolonial museums in a multicultural society; the challenges and possibilities of shared heritage; the challenges of defining national identity; and the development of partnerships with source communities. 04
Spring 2015 began with a Crossing Boundaries lecture by Random International, a collaborative studio for experimental practice within contemporary art, founded by Stuart Wood, Flo Ortkrass and Hannes Hoch. This was followed in February by Adelia Borges, a Brazilian designer who spoke on “Craft, design and social change in Latin America.“ The lecture series finished with a visit by American entrepreneur and designer Greg Rosborough who talked about his experiences in advancing entrepreneurship through online platforms.
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01 David Batchelor's “Flatlands Remix” exhibition 02 “Flatlands Remix” exhibition 03 Greg Rosborough talks about his menswear line, Abasi Rosborough 03
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Photos courtesy of Zach Stensen
A D E ST I N AT I O N F O R D I A LO G U E
Fanoon Visiting Artist Series It has been another successful year for Fanoon: Center for Printmedia Research, part of VCUQatar's Printmaking & Painting Department. The Center was inaugurated in January 2013 as a space devoted to artistic research in the field of printmedia. Leading figures in the world of contemporary art visit the publishing program during each academic year to discuss their work, conduct workshops, meet with 06
students and work with VCUQatar’s master printmaker Zachary Stenson. With the program’s facilities in both digital and analog technologies, artists are able to investigate print's possibilities across a wide range of media in order to create works that further the cause of print as one of the most significant social and cultural media of the 21st century. During the 2014–2015 program, each visiting artist worked with students and provided a lecture to the wider VCUQatar community. The year began with Diyan Achjadi visiting Fall 2014. Achjadi is an Indonesian artist, currently based in Canada, who worked with the students on a print project. Using printmaking, drawing, and animation, Achjadi’s work seeks to investigate the ways that the circulation
and dissemination of mass-media images in popular culture contribute to the formation of knowledge. In January 2015, American printmaker Mary Laube worked on a small series of silkscreens with the students. Laube’s work examines how painting is connected to the ways we memorialize our experiences, and how this re-imagining of the past results in romanticized abstractions of the truth. Experimental American photographer Bryan Graf worked with the students in February 2015, creating a series of works using alternative materials and photographic processes. April 2015 saw Sonya Clark coming to work on a series of papermaking and bookrelated projects involving student and faculty participation. Clark is
04 05 06 07
Fanoon artist Mary Laube Fanoon artist Sonya Clark Fanoon artist Diyan Achjadi Fanoon artist Bryan Graf
the chair of the Department of Craft /Material Studies at the VCU home campus.
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FOSTERING Co m m u n i t y In v o l v e m e n t
Photos courtesy of Hadeer Omar
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FO ST E R I N G C O M M U N I T Y I N VO LV E M E N T
ROTA and VCUQatar Join Forces, Again For the sixth year in a row, students and faculty volunteers from Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar travelled to Indonesia in May for a servicelearning trip to the SMK N1 Rota Bayat School in the Klaten District of Jogjakarta in Java. ROTA and its local partner Titian Foundation rebuilt the school in 2009 after the java earthquake. During the trip, VCUQatar faculty and students provided instruction in art, design and crafts to the students of Bayat, enabling them to use their new skills to launch a sustainable career. The service-learning trip partially funded by the VCUQatar fashion show, and led by Sandra Wilkins, chair of the Fashion Department, offered VCUQatar and ROTA Bayat students an opportunity to learn with and from each other. Speaking to both the long relationship between VCUQatar and the ROTA Bayat School, and the reciprocal learning that takes place in this type of cultural and educational exchange, Wilkins notes that, "over the years, we've seen the positive impact that this trip has had on both local students in the Bayat community, as well as our own students in Qatar. The experience brings students from Qatar and Indonesia together to learn from each other and broaden their respective horizons through artistically creative means." VCUQatar student Wanoon Yaqoob echoes Sandy’s sentiment when she observes that she not only “conveyed knowledge to these students but also learned from them.” Yaqoob was “highly impressed by the student’s positive, kind and humble attitude towards life and everyone around them,” and was motivated “to be more compassionate and optimistic towards myself and to the community.” She adds that she learned that “sharing knowl-
Photo courtesy of Patty Paine
edge is a valuable asset and the most precious gift one can offer to others.”
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FO ST E R I N G C O M M U N I T Y I N VO LV E M E N T
The Young Writers’ Program In the fall of 2014, Sadia Mir, assistant professor of English in the Liberal Arts & Sciences Program at VCUQatar, was given a unique opportunity to foster English language acquisition amongst Qatari youth through creative writing. Initiated by a partnership between the American Embassy in Qatar, VCUQatar and the Supreme Council of Education, Professor Mir and Julia Kirby, the Embassy’s English Language Advisor, worked together to develop the Young Writers’ Program (YWP). The aims of the program are far-reaching: to promote writing culture in Qatar; to contribute to the nation’s goals of educational development; to engage with and support Qatari and regional communities; and to further build relationships between various partners. In service of fulfilling these goals, Professor Mir assumed a number of roles. Beginning in the fall of 2014, she directed two teacher-training seminars on creative writing for local teachers of grades 5, 9 and 10. The seminars focused on the instruction of conventional essay writing and creative writing (poetry, short stories), while also providing guidance in regards to grading, fostering a creative writing culture in the classroom and dealing with plagiarism. Having taught English in Qatar for over six years, Professor Mir pos-
Eighteen winners, selected by a jury in March 2015, met in a workshop
sesses an in-depth view of language instruction in the country—both in
designed to help them prepare their work for publication. The result was
terms of its progress and its potential for growth. Of the YWP’s place in
the “Young Writers’ Journal”—a print anthology of the winning entries
this conversation, she says, “I see a need to support both written and
accompanied by student artwork and released in June 2015. The journal
spoken language education and to provide concrete avenues where
was edited by Professor Mir and designed by VCUQatar GDES alumna
students can use their language skills in real-life contexts. In regards to
Leila Natsheh, who was awarded a contract for the project.
this particular program, teaching writing as a creative form of expression has the potential of strengthening language education in Qatar […] It takes it away from sometimes disconnected study of grammar and sentence structures in the classroom, for example, to understanding language holistically, and to using language in specific contexts for specific purposes.” Teachers brought the YWP seminar training back to their classrooms
For the 2015–2016 edition of the YWP, Professor Mir and Ms. Kirby plan to expand the program’s scope. They hope to present additional teacher-training seminars,a writing workshop series for at-need schools and to further bolster competition and publication components. Professor Mir intends to strengthen the direct connection between VCUQatar and the YWP by continuing to make the graphic design contract for the journal available to VCUQatar alumni and by opening
and in November 2014, the inaugural Young Writers’ Writing Competi-
the next writing competition to VCUQatar’s student body. Plans for a
tion was announced. Held over the following three months, the com-
celebratory event at VCUQatar for YWP participants are underway as
petition’s success was indicated by its high level of participation: over
well. It is hoped that through these initiatives, a generation of young
250 students representing 104 schools across Qatar submitted entries.
writers will be exposed to the rich intersect of language and arts educa-
Success wasn’t just in the numbers alone, but also in the experience,
tion and the creative opportunities available at VCUQatar.
as one participant said, “Writing is important way to communicate. It puts pieces together to become one picture. The writing competition helped me in my skills, whether they were in grammar or style. A writer's mind is full of thoughts […] the competition helped me pour them out, and learn from others. I got the honor of participating in this wonderful opportunity, to inspire or be inspired.”
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FO ST E R I N G C O M M U N I T Y I N VO LV E M E N T
Zwara: Second Annual Open House VCUQatar held its second annual open house “Zwara” [the Khaleeji word for a home visit or get together] in the fall of 2014. The event was designed to encourage the community to learn more about VCUQatar and its programs, events and new developments. The afternoon event was filled with activities for children, families, community members, and prospective students and included workshops, games, demonstrations, exhibitions and campus tours. VCUQatar faculty, staff and students assisted in coordinating the event and helping the community understand what it is we do at VCUQatar. In 2014, Zwara welcomed over 400 visitors from the community to campus.
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FO ST E R I N G C O M M U N I T Y I N VO LV E M E N T
Community Classes The Community Education Program at VCUQatar offers a wide range of art, craft and design courses during the fall, spring and late spring. Once again, more than a thousand community members participated in the program this past year. In addition, VCUQatar partnered with IAID, Academy for Dance Music and Art, to engage a new audience and offer art and design classes at a new venue within the IAID’s premises.
Portfolio Development VCUQatar offered five portfolio development courses during Fall 2014 to about 80 high school students. Classes were taught by VCUQatar faculty and focused on skill development and the creative process. The portfolio development classes are an important step towards art and design college admission. They provide high school students with the opportunity to strengthen their portfolios and further develop basic art and design skills.
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FO ST E R I N G C O M M U N I T Y I N VO LV E M E N T
Youth Programs in Art and Design Over 110 students participated in VCUQatar’s 2015 Summer Program, which offered eight different programs throughout June and July to children and high school students. The classes allow children and young people to explore a wide range of materials and techniques as they develop an appreciation for art and design. Classes were taught by seasoned art educators from the US and UK, VCUQatar alumni and were assisted by VCUQatar students. Programs included Art Fun and Art Exploration offered to younger students who explore a variety of techniques in fun and playful settings; Creative Discovery, a two-week art and design introduction for high school students; Fashion Design Portfolio for ages 15 and above; and the three -week Design Intensive Program designed for students aged 16 and above who are serious about attending an art school. The summer programs for the older age groups include a museum or gallery visit and all programs culminate in an exhibition of the students' work, which is open to the parents and families of the young participants. “The students in my class explored a wide range of media including computer graphics, fashion design and printmaking," explained the lecturer of the Creative Discovery Class, Dr. Melanie Buffington. “We participated in several special events including a trip to Mathaf museum, a screening by Doha Film Institute, and a showcase of work by students and recent graduates of VCUQatar. All of these events help students to see the wide range of careers available to them in the arts.” Zeed, a participant in the Creative Discovery class enthused: “VCUQatar is a wonderful place where you can expand your imagination and it makes you more creative.”
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CLASS OF 2 015
01 02 03
VCU Provost and VP for Academic Affairs Gail Hackett Commencement speaker Diana Al-Hadid Valedictorian Dylon Adonis
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Commencement 2015 Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar held its 14th Commencement Ceremony on May 4, 2015 at the Hamad Bin Khalifa Student Center, conferring Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in fashion, graphic, interior design and Painting & Printmaking, and Master of Fine Arts degrees in design. “As critical artists, designers and scholars, you confront existing expectations and create new paths; you seek out unknown opportunities and build bridges of understanding across people and cultures. You have the knowledge, skills and abilities to approach any challenge with experimentation, collaboration and commitment,” said VCUQatar Dean Allyson Vanstone in her last message to the class of graduating students. Vanstone left VCUQatar in June 2015 after a successful eight-year tenure. Dr. Gail Hackett, Virginia Commonwealth University’s newly appointed provost and vice president for academic affairs also addressed the graduating students during the ceremony. “Today, you graduate into a world that is depending on you to be its newest leaders, innovators, and creators. And your remarkable ability to create may help solve problems that will change this world forever,” said Dr. Hackett. Sculptor and VCUarts alumna Diana Al-Hadid delivered the commencement address. Born in Aleppo, Syria, she currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. After graduating from Kent State University with a BA in Art History, she went on to study at Virginia Commonwealth University and received an MFA in sculpture in 2005. Ms. Al-Hadid reflected on her own
post-graduate years in her Brooklyn studio, emphasizing the importance of self-motivation and encouraging the young artists and designers to trust the direction of their work. “I realized it’s okay not to know what’s happening. In fact, much of the pleasure of making is in the discovering. If I knew what was happening at every step of the way, or if I knew what something was going to be about, I would be less interested in making the effort. It would seem I had already solved the problem before it had begun,” said Ms. Al-Hadid. Fashion design graduate and Valedictorian Dylon Adonis highlighted the unique brand of tenacity and camaraderie that characterized the Class of 2015, citing it as key to the graduates’ success—both in the past and for the future. “We, as designers and artists, have a duty to improve the visual world, the buildings we enter, the clothes we wear, and the political and social causes we wish to address. Here at VCUQatar, the professors have guided us and, at times, allowed us to guide ourselves to find our identity as a designer and artist to advance. We look past gender, race, and religion. We do not box individuals to provided the ‘us vs. them’ movement seen too frequently throughout history. We congregated underneath VCUQatar’s umbrella to constantly improve others and ourselves. Our diverse community repetitively adhered to our desire to progress,” he said.
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C L A SS O F 2015
Honors Graduate Noha Fahmy Recipient of the Hamad Bin Khalifa University President's Award 2015 Interior Design graduate Noha Fahmy was recognized by Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU) with the 2015 President’s Award. Fahmy was one of five award winners who were noted for their academic excellence and outstanding service within Education City and beyond. This year, a total of 19 students with a grade point average of 3.6 and above were nominated for the HBKU President’s Award by the deans of their respective universities. Potential finalists then completed an evaluation process during which they had an opportunity to explain to the selection committee how they created a positive impact on the community through their extracurricular involvements, and what they gained from those experiences. Fahmy graduated from VCUQatar in May 2015 with University Honors. The VCUQatar Honors Program, which is a part of the VCU Honors College in Richmond, Virginia aims to instill a lifelong commitment to education and intellectual development. Throughout their studies, honors students are presented with numerous opportunities to grow personally and intellectually through enhanced coursework and a variety of other activities in which students engage with faculty members and fellow students in lively discussions that allow for varying perspectives and increased depth. To earn the distinction of graduating with University Honors—the highest academic distinction bestowed by VCU on undergraduate students—all honors students are required to compose a lengthy essay that reflects on their education at VCUQatar with a particular focus on the academic and extracurricular opportunities the student has chosen to pursue. To be an honors student is to pursue an education that surpasses simply doing what is required, to discover opportunities for personal and intellectual growth beyond the classroom, to demonstrate a hunger for knowledge, involvement in undergraduate research, creative scholarship, international and multicultural engagement, and a keen interest in contributing to the growth of local communities. The essay is presented to, and evaluated by, the dean of the Honors College and the Honors Council during the penultimate semester of the student’s education. Below is a brief excerpt from Noha’s essay, which provides some insight into how successful honors students approach opportunities and challenges: “At the dawn of my senior year, I can proudly say that I have learned that success comes from embracing valuable opportunities and executing them to the best of our abilities. This reminds me of a quote from my favorite comedian, Jim Carrey, who shared a similar attitude to life during a graduation speech. He believed that ‘life opens up opportunities to you, and you either take them or you stay afraid of taking them.’ I believe that the use of the word, afraid, emphasizes the real meaning of leadership. A true leader does not necessarily know everything but dares to take risks, dares to not be afraid of learning new things by engaging the people they are leading.”
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C L A SS O F 2015
BFA & MFA Exhibition & Fashion Show The annual BFA & MFA exhibition of VCUQatar’s graduating artists and designers opened with a reception on May 3, 2015. The exhibition continues to be an important event for our graduating students as it provides an opportunity to bring together students across all disciplines and showcase their creative talents. The exhibition invited visitors to discover the departmental exhibition zones for the BFA exhibition, while the MFA exhibition was held in the VCUQatar Gallery. For most students, this is the first time they have formally exhibited, providing an opportunity for family, friends and the general public to see their work, as well as a chance for industry representatives to see the work of emerging talent in Qatar. VCUQatar’s sixteenth annual fashion show, “Thread,” was hosted by Salam at The Gate Mall from the April 14–16, 2015. The fashion show showcased the work of eight graduating seniors whose thesis collections consisted of an eclectic mix of day-to-evening looks that reinforced the individual vision, creativity and styles of the young designers. “Thread” also featured the work of our sophomore and junior students, three student guest designers from the Richmond VCU campus and guest designer Stephane Rolland who showcased several of his couture gowns on the runway.
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C L A SS O F 2015
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C L A SS O F 2015
C L A SS O F 2015
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THANK YOU VCUQatar’s remarkable achievements would not have been possible without the generosity of donors who contribute their time, talents and gifts to make the University the success it is today. It is this thoughtfulness that will allow VCUQatar to continue on its journey of creativity and innovation.
S C H O L A R S H I P S & G I F T S 2014 –201 5 A R A B E N G I N E E R I N G B U R E AU Q ATA R M U S EU M S SA R A H A B D U LG H A N I SA L A M S TU D I O & S TO R E S
M E M B E RS OF T H E JOI N T A DV I S ORY BOA R D CO - CH A I R D R. GA I L H ACK E T T PROVO S T A N D VI CE PR E S I D E NT FO R AC A D E M I C A FFA I R S, VCU CO - CH A I R D R. A H M A D H A S N A H PR E S I D E NT, H A M A D B I N K H A LI FA U N IVE R S IT Y
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ÂŠVirginia Commonwealth University in Qatar The VCUQatar Magazine is published annually by the Office of Communications & External Relations. We welcome your comments (email@example.com).
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Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar's annual magazine