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ISSUE N o.

05

VCUQ ATAR MAGA ZINE 2015–2016


TA B L E of contents

2

DE AN’S MESSAGE

4 STRE AM

6

D OMESTIC AFFAIRS

14

RESE ARCH IN CONTEXT

18

CULTIVATING CRE ATIVE THINKING

22

GLOBAL EXPERIENCE

28

VCUARTS RICHMOND

32

THE YE AR IN NUMBERS

34

ALUMNI PROFILES

46

ALUMNI NEWS

50

FACULT Y & STAFF ACHIEVEMENTS

52

A DESTINATION FOR DIALO GUE

58

FOSTERING COMMUNIT Y INVOLVEMENT

64

CL A SS OF 2016

72

THANK YOU


DEAN’S Message DR. AKEL I. K AHER A

‫كلمة عميد الجامعة‬

‫الدكتور عاقل قاهرة‬

Dear Friends and Colleagues: Welcome to our fifth edition of Context Magazine, where VCU School of the Arts in Qatar shares its many success stories. This issue will highlight the importance of the arts in creating a sustainable economy. Our goal is to provide examples of how an arts and design education can create a pathway to enable our students to produce valuable products that preserve culture while laying the ground work for innovation that will drive Qatar towards its goals. I would like to thank our faculty and staff for their collective passion, partnership building and loyal service to our students. This year, we are proud to welcome our two new Qatari Assistant Professors, Maryam Al-Homaid in the Department of Graphic

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،‫أهيا األصدقاء والزمالء‬ ‫ حيث نقوم يف هذا العدد بعرض‬،”Context“ ‫مرحبا بكم يف العدد اخلامس من‬ ‫وماشركة العديد من قصص جناح جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث كلية فنون التصميم‬ ‫ تقديم أمثلة‬،‫ هدفنا‬.‫ سنسلط الضوء عىل أهمية الفنون يف خلق اقتصاد مستدام‬.‫يف قطر‬ ‫عن كيف يدفع تعليم الفنون طالبنا البتكار ماسر ميكهنم من إنتاج منتجات قيمة حتافظ‬ .‫عىل الثقافة إىل جانب خلق قاعدة لالبتكار من أشهنا أن تدفع قطر حنو أهدافها‬ ‫أود أن أتوجه بالشكر ألعضاء هيئة التدريس والموظفني عىل محاهسم المشرتك وسعهيم‬ .‫الدائم إىل بناء رشاكة وتقديم خدمة خملصة لطالبنا‬ ،‫كما يسعدين أن أرحب بانضمام أستاذتني قطريتني إىل أعضاء هيئة التدريس يف جامعتنا‬ ‫األستاذ الماسعد مريم احلميد يف قسم تصميم الغرافيك واألستاذ الماسعد نيلة المال‬ .‫يف قسم تصميم األزياء‬


Design (MFA in Design '14 / BFA Graphic Design '10) and Nayla Al-Mulla in the Department of Fashion Design (BFA Fashion Design '10). I optimistically look ahead as we embark upon a celebratory journey filled with ingenuity, diverse perspectives and academic efficacy. I am deeply grateful to each of you for your valued contributions to the ongoing success of VCUQatar. I am honored to be a part of such an amazing pool of talent. This year we have much to be proud of, with a number of significant research contributions, alumni success stories and an increased emphasis on strategic engagement. Our achievements resonate on the themes of holistic Science, Technology, Research, Engineering, Arts, and Math education (STREAM), which holds an economic advantage over the traditionally publicized and funded STEM education. There is no lack of evidence of the importance of STREAM in developing capital assets, capable leaders, and maintaining and transmitting culture. An example of an outcome of this model is Nesma Khodier, 2016 graduate of the interdisciplinary MFA in Design program. Her thesis project “Oud/Kanun” artfully builds on her prior educational background to blend the understanding and respect for traditional Arabic music with a series of carefully crafted digital technologies, to produce a novel device designed to make complex traditional music more accessible, intuitive, and widely appreciated. Khodier’s work investigates behaviors and functions to analyze the relation between music, art, design and engineering and produce a product that can be reproduced and sold. The outcome is the Kanud, an instrument for new music that pays homage to tradition while creating a distinctive path to the future. As VCUQatar’s faculty and staff, we must also act as instruments that help our students find a harmony between their heritage and their future. It is our duty to remain forward thinking in our approach to forging connections with students. They are indeed our treasured investments, and their voices must be heard and appreciated. As educators, we should not just give students the tools they need to succeed, but encourage them to forge new tools and build something new and extraordinary.

‫ ووجهات‬،‫أتطلع إىل المستقبل بتفاؤل وحنن مقبلون عىل مرحلة احتفالية مليئة باإلبداع‬ ‫ أشعر باالمتنان لكل منكم عىل ماسهماته القيمة‬.‫ والفعالية األ كادميية‬،‫النظر المتنوعة‬ ‫ يرشفين ويسعدين أن أكون جزءا‬.‫يف النجاح المستمر جلامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر‬ .‫من هذا التجمع المذهل للمواهب‬ ‫ هناك العديد من الماسهمات البحثية الهامة وقصص‬،‫نفخر هذا العام بالكثري‬ ‫ يتجىل صدى‬.‫اخلرجيني اليت تكللت بالنجاح مع زيادة تركزينا عىل الماشركة االسرتاتيجية‬ ‫ والهندسة والفنون‬،‫إجنازاتنا يف مجيع المجاالت ليشمل العلوم والتكنولوجيا والبحوث‬ ‫ والذي يتفوق اقتصاديا عىل التعليم التقليدي‬،)STREAM( ‫والرياضيات‬ .STEM ‫المعلن والممول‬ ‫ والقيادات‬،‫ يف تطوير األصول الرأسمالية‬STREAM ‫ليس هناك شك يف أهمية‬ ‫ وكمثال عىل النتاجئ المهبرة لهذا‬.‫ والمحافظة عىل الثقافة وصيانهتا ونرشها‬،‫المؤهلة‬ .‫ احلاصلة عىل ماجستري الفنون يف التصميم‬،‫ طالبتنا الاسبقة نسمة خضري‬:‫النموذج‬ ‫فمرشوعها للتخرج "العود والقانون" والمبين برباعة عىل خلفيهتا التعليمية الاسبقة يف‬ ‫المزج بني التفاهم واالحرتام للموسيقى العربية التقليدية مع سلسلة من التكنولوجيا‬ ‫ إلنتاج آلة موسيقية مبتكرة صممت جلعل الموسيقى‬،‫الرقمية اليت صيغت بعناية‬ ‫عملت نسمة خضري عىل التحقيق‬.‫التقليدية المعقدة بدهيية وأكرث هسولة وأوسع نطاقا‬ ‫يف السلوكيات والوظائف لتحليل العالقة بني الموسيقى والفن والتصميم والهندسة‬ ‫ أداة لموسيقى جديدة‬،Kanud ‫ والنتيجة هي القانود‬.‫وابتكار سلع ميكن إنتاجها وبيعها‬ .‫حتىي الموسيقى التقليدية كما تعمل عىل خلق ماسر ممزي للمستقبل‬ ‫ أن نكرس أنفسنا كأدوات‬،‫البد لنا كموظفني وأاستذة يف جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر‬ ‫ من واجبنا أن يبقى تفكرينا‬.‫لماسعدة طالبنا عىل اجياد االنسجام بني تراهثم ومستقبلهم‬ ،‫ هم يف الواقع أغىل استثماراتنا‬.‫دامئا بعيد المدى يف صياغة هنج للتواصل مع الطالب‬ ‫ ال ينبغي أن نقوم بإعطاء‬،‫ ومن خالل دورنا كمربني‬.‫وال بد من االستماع ألصواهتم وتقديرها‬ ‫ بل ال بد من تشجيعهم عىل‬،‫الطالب األدوات اليت حيتاجوهنا لتحقيق النجاح فحسب‬ .‫ابتكار أدوات جديدة وبناء يشء جديد وغري عادي‬ ‫ من أجل حتقيق هدف مشرتك كما هو‬،‫ لتحديد االجتاه‬،‫حنن هنا لبناء جمتمع من العلماء‬ ‫ أستطيع أن أهشد بأن‬،‫ بعد سنة كاملة من الماشركة والمراقبة‬.‫حمدد يف راسلتنا ورؤيتنا‬ .‫ غريبة ومبتكرة‬،‫ ديناميكية‬،‫ حاسمة‬،‫ خالقة‬،‫جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر أصيلة‬ ‫ ونتعهد بأن نبقى رعاة صاحلني السم جامعة‬،‫سنستمر بالتمسك يف ماشركة اإلدارة‬ ‫ وتعليم طالبنا‬،‫ وأن نكشف عن طرق جديدة لتعزيز مهمتنا‬.‫فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر‬ .‫والتقدم يف عملنا حمليا وإقليميا ودوليا‬

We are here to build a community of scholars, to set direction, and to achieve a common purpose as defined in our mission and vision. After a full year of participation and observation, I can attest that VCUQatar is creative, critical, dynamic, curious and original. May we continue to adhere to shared governance, and be good stewards of our VCUQatar brand; uncovering new ways to advance our mission, educate our students and progress our work locally, regionally and internationally.

Issue 5 — 5


STRE AM Science, Technology, Research, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics

What is STREAM? An uninterrupted flow of arts and research through science, technology, engineering and math that creates a pool of creative and flexible talent leading to business innovation. Science / Technology / Research / Engineering / Arts / Mathematics We are living in a world where a high level of preparedness in reading, writing, speaking, mathematics, science, history, and the arts will be a crucial foundation for everything that comes after for most members of the workforce. The 21st century business environment is global and knowledge-based. Business leaders increasingly acknowledge critical thinking, creativity, and innovation as among the top characteristics for successful workers at all levels across all industries. In this increasingly globalized world that values specialization and production, it may seem counterintuitive that a liberal arts education can be a key economic driver. Many view the arts as essentially leisure activities, lacking the rigor found in math and science curricula. The creative effort needed to transform an abstract insight into a product in the physical world is inevitably a painful process of trial-and-error and self-discovery. Whether it is an engineer’s design and construction of bridges and factories, or an artist’s sculpture, each product retains a fragment of the individual who created it and is a testament to the manifestation of that creator’s inner world. Providing opportunities to internalize the creative process and to develop facility in creative production, builds the vital competencies needed to succeed in the global marketplace. The business community is a natural ally to the cause of creativity, and consequently, the arts.

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‫ ؟‬STREAM ‫ما هو‬ ‫هو تدفق متواصل للفنون والبحوث من خالل العلوم والتكنولوجيا والهندسة‬ ‫ جمموعة من المواهب اإلبداعية والمرنة تؤدي إىل‬STEM ‫والرياضيات وحيث يبتكر‬ .‫االبتكار يف األعمال‬ ‫ الرياضيات‬/ ‫ الفنون‬/ ‫ الهندسة‬/ ‫ البحوث‬/ ‫ التكنولوجيا‬/ ‫العلوم‬ ‫حنن نعيش يف عالم ذي مستوى عال من االستعداد للقراءة والكتابة والرياضيات والعلوم‬ ‫والتارخي وسيكون الفن هو األاسس احلاسم لكل ما يأيت بعد ذلك لمعظم أعضاء القوى‬ ‫ يتحىل فهيا قادة األعمال‬.‫ بيئة عالمية قامئة عىل المعرفة‬21‫ فبيئة أعمال القرن ال‬.‫العاملة‬ ‫وبشكل مزتايد بالتفكري النقدي واإلبداع واالبتكار واليت تعد من بني أهم اخلصائص لعمالة‬ .‫ناجحة عىل مجيع المستويات ويف كافة القطاعات‬ ‫قد ال نتوقع أن يكون تعليم الفن دافعا اقتصاديا رئيسيا ومهما يف هذا العالم الذي‬ .‫يزداد عولمة‬ ‫يعتقد العديد أن الفن من األنشطة الرتفهيية اليت تفتقر إىل الدقة الموجودة يف مناهج‬ ‫ فاجلهد اخلالق الالزم لتحويل فكرة جمردة إىل منتج مادي هو حتما‬.‫الرياضيات والعلوم‬ ‫ سواء كان تصميم لمهندس أو بناء‬.‫عملية مرهقة من التجربة واخلطأ واكتاشف الذات‬ ‫ فكل منتج حيتفظ جبزء من شخصية هذا المبتكر وهو‬،‫جرس أو مصنع أو منحوتة لفنان‬ ‫ توفري الفرص الستيعاب هذه‬.‫دليل عىل مظهر من مظاهر العالم الداخيل لهذا المبدع‬ ‫ وتطوير المرافق يف مباين اإلنتاج اإلبداعي يعمل عىل بناء الكفاءات‬،‫العملية اإلبداعية‬ ‫ فمجتمع األعمال هو احلليف الطبيعي‬.‫احليوية الالزمة لتحقيق النجاح يف السوق العالمية‬ .‫ للفن‬،‫ وبالتايل‬،‫لقضية اإلبداع‬ ‫ فإن الرتكزي عىل الرياضيات والعلوم ينفي القيمة احلقيقية الموجودة‬،‫عىل العكس من ذلك‬ ‫ توفر الفنون‬.‫يف الذكاء العاطفي واليت تعمل عىل صقل هشادات متعددة التخصصات‬ ‫العامة للطالب فرصة عرض القضايا من وجهات نظر متعددة ووضع وجهة نظر بديلة‬ ‫ يقوم الفن بوضع إطار للقيم والمعتقدات الموجودة يف‬.‫يف اختاذ القرارات يوما بعد يوم‬ ‫ فكما يستكشف العلماء ويسعون إىل فهم‬.‫ هو عملية اكتاشف‬،‫ مثل العلم‬،‫ الفن‬.‫الثقافة‬ ‫ باختصار‬.‫ فالعمليات الفنية تسمح لألفراد استكاشف قدراهتم اإلبداعية‬،‫العالم المادي‬ .‫يعلم الفن الكفاءة يف االبتكار واإلبداع‬


Conversely, the emphasis on math and science negates the real value found in emotional intelligence that interdisciplinary degrees cultivate. Liberal arts allow students the opportunity to view issues from multiple perspectives and bring an alternative point of view in dayto-day decision-making. Arts frame the values and beliefs that exist in culture. Art, like science, is a discovery process. Just as scientists explore and seek understanding of the physical world, the artistic process allows individuals to explore their own creative potential. In short, art teaches the competencies of creativity. Creative skills cross over to the workplace—especially for those industries, such as manufacturing and services, who must continually introduce creativity and innovation into their processes, in order to remain competitive. Creativity, as we know, is possible in every area of human activity. Some of our most creative people are scientists and mathematicians. This is a clear example of how the processes of creativity have common features in every field. Some of the most creative ideas come from dynamic interactions between different ways of thinking. There is a lot of art in science and lot of science in art. STREAM answers the call to learning about the arts as a way to understand our own and other people’s cultural values and sensibilities, and to understand the true nature of diversity. The arts are fundamental forms of human expression and communication. The forms they take are as diverse as human imagination. The popular arts of one generation may become the high arts of another. We recognize that a vibrant, innovative economy most definitely need great scientists, engineers, and mathematicians to be adaptable to change, and cutting edge in creating new opportunities for employment and sustainable growth. However, a strong economy requires much more: writers, artists, and designers of every sort, who will energize the culture and breathe inspiration into daily life. We challenge you to broaden the debate and make a common cause with other advocates, moving in similar directions and have common interest in change. It’s all about changing the climate in education and in the workplace to make better use of the human resources on which economic and cultural development depends.

‫ مثل الصناعات‬،‫ خاصة الصناعية مهنا‬،‫تعب المهارات اإلبداعية أكرث إىل مكان العمل‬ ُ ‫ باستعراض اإلبداع واالبتكار يف‬،‫ وباستمرار‬،‫ واليت جيب أن تقوم‬،‫التحويلية واخلدمات‬ .‫عملياهتا من أجل البقاء يف دائرة المنافسة‬ ‫ فاألشخاص األ كرث‬.‫ ممكن يف كل جمال من جماالت الناشط البرشي‬،‫ وكما نعلم‬،‫اإلبداع‬ ‫ وهذا مثال واضح كيف تشكل العمليات‬.‫إبداعا يف عالمنا هم العلماء وعلماء الرياضيات‬ ‫ بعض األفكار اإلبداعية تأيت من‬.‫اإلبداعية سمات مشرتكة بني المجاالت المختلفة‬ ‫ هناك الكثري من الفن يف العلوم‬.‫التفاعالت الديناميكية بني طرق التفكري المختلفة‬ .‫والكثري من العلوم يف الفن‬ ‫ الدعوة إىل التعرف عىل الفن باعتباره وسيلة لفهم القيم واحلاسسيات‬STREAM ‫يليب‬ ‫ الفن هو شكل‬.‫ وفهم الطبيعة احلقيقية للتنوع‬،‫الثقافية اخلاصة بنا وبغرينا من أبناء شعبنا‬ .‫ فاألشكال اليت يأخذها متنوعة مثل اخليال البرشي‬.‫أاسيس من حقوق التعبري والتواصل‬ .‫قد تصبح الفنون الشعبية ألحد األجيال واحدة من الفنون الراقية جليل آخر‬ ‫حنن ندرك بأن االقتصاد احليوي والمبتكر يتطلب بالتأكيد علماء ومهندسني وعلماء‬ ‫رياضيات عظماء قابلني للتكيف مع التغيري واالبتكار يف خلق فرص جديدة للعمل والنمو‬ ‫ يتطلب كتَ ابا‬:‫ فاالقتصاد القوي يتطلب أكرث من ذلك بكثري‬،‫ ومع ذلك‬.‫المستدام‬ ‫ يعملون عىل تنشيط الثقافة وجعل اإللهام متنفهسم‬،‫وفنانني ومصممني من مجيع األنواع‬ .‫يف احلياة اليومية‬ ‫ يتحركون يف‬،‫وحنن نطالبكم هنا بتوسيع النقاش وجعله قضية مشرتكة مع دعاة آخرين‬ ‫ فقبل كل يشء حنن نتحدث عن تغيري‬.‫اجتاهات مماثلة ولهم مصلحة مشرتكة يف التغيري‬ ‫المناخ يف التعليم ويف مكان العمل لتحسني االستفادة من الموارد البرشية اليت تعتمد‬ .‫علهيا التنمية االقتصادية والثقافية‬

Issue 5 — 7


D O M E S T I C A F FA I R S The house is a home to a paradox

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‫  ‪  D O M E ST I C A F FA I R S‬‬

‫‪VCU Q ATA R S E T S U P T E M P O R A RY A B O D E FO R‬‬ ‫‪I N T E R N AT I O N A L T R AV E L L I N G E X H I B I T I O N ,‬‬ ‫‪A D D S O W N I N T E R P R E TAT I O N O F H O M E‬‬

‫جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث في قطر تستضيف معرض السفر الدولي‪،‬‬ ‫والذي يضيف تفسيرا خاصا عن ماهية المنزل‪.‬‬ ‫تاشرك عدد من المصممني العالميني والمقيمني يف حمادثة غري مزتامنة من خالل الفن‬ ‫حول ماهية المزنل بالنسبة لهم‪ ،‬وذلك يف معرض "شؤون مزنلية" الذي أقيم يف كراج‬ ‫جالريي يف مطاىفء مقر الفنانني يف الدوحة‪ .‬ظهرت التناقضات منذ البداية‪ ،‬جتول هذا‬ ‫المعرض يف أحناء العالم من كولونيا‪ ،‬ألمانيا اىل شنتشن‪ ،‬الصني قبل أن هيبط يف الدوحة‪.‬‬ ‫بدأ يف األصل من قبل ‪ Bureau Europa‬وبرعاية جيوفاين إنيال وأجاتا جاوورسكا‪ .‬يف‬ ‫كل مكان جديد حيط به "شؤون مزنلية" كان يقوم بتشجيع التفسريات المحلية ويرشك‬ ‫الماشهدين والفنانني يف حوار حول اخلطوط الفاصلة بني اخلصوصية والعامية والثقة‬ ‫وعدم الثقة والماشركة واالنعزال‪.‬‬ ‫عندما أراد مدير برناجم الفن التأسييس يف جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر سيموين‬ ‫موسكولينو إحضار "شؤون مزنلية" إىل الدوحة‪ ،‬كانت مطاىفء الدوحة خيارا طبيعيا‪ .‬يف‬ ‫يوم ما‪ ،‬كانت المحطة الفعلية لمطاىفء الدوحة‪ ،‬وتم جتديد المبىن وحتويله إىل استوديو‬ ‫للفنانني ومعرض يوجه راسلة لدعم حيوية المهشد الفين المحيل‪ ،‬ومنح الشباب‬ ‫والمبدعني الناشئني جتارب حتهثم عىل االبتكار والنمو واالزدهار‪.‬‬ ‫تقوم مطاىفء مقر الفنانني باستضافة ‪ 25‬فنانا كل عام‪ ،‬حيث تقدم لكل مهنم مقرا‬ ‫يستطيعون من خالله استكاشف أفكارهم وهويهتم من خالل الفن‪ .‬العديد مهنم من‬ ‫فناين جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر‪ ،‬من موظفهيا‪ ،‬أاستذهتا وخرجيهيا‪ .‬ويف هذا العام‬ ‫تم اختيار مخس من خرجيي اجلامعة وثالث من أعضاء هيئة التدريس باإلضافة إىل فنان‬ ‫يقوم بتدريس عدد من دورات المجتمع اليت تقدمها جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر‪.‬‬ ‫اشركت عائشة السويدي ‪( -‬حاصلة عىل درجة الماجستري يف التصميم عام ‪ ٢٠١٣‬من‬ ‫جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر وخرجية قسم تصميم الغرافيك عام ‪ )٢٠٠٥‬واليت تشغل‬ ‫منصب ماسعد أمني معارض يف مطاىفء مقر الفنانني ‪ -‬يف إقامة وتنسيق المكون المحيل‬ ‫لمعرض "شؤون مزنلية" مع سيموين موسكولينو‪ .‬من جتربهتا وخربهتا يف االبتكار والتنسيق‬ ‫واإلرشاف عىل الموقع‪ ،‬كتبت بأن مبىن مطاىفء المدين والمراد استخدامه ألغراض أخرى‬ ‫"مينحك إحاسس المزنل‪ ،‬وذكرى من المايض ‪ ...‬عندما نصبح أكرث ألفة مع األماكن‬ ‫العامة‪ ،‬وأقل ألفة يف بيوتنا بسبب التغيري المستمر‪ ،‬يصبح المزنل بالنسبة لنا هو المكان‬ ‫األ كرث ألفة"‪.‬‬ ‫متيض عائشة السويدي وتربط تعريف هذا المعرض للمزنل كواجهة حلياتنا االجتماعية‬ ‫واالقتصادية والسياسية وما له من صدى خاص يف قطر‪ .‬وبكلماهتا ‪" :‬المرور هبذه‬ ‫التجربة واالنتقال من القديم إىل اجلديد بوترية رسيعة مثري ومذهل"‪ .‬تم تقسيم المعرض‬ ‫إىل أقاسم‪ :‬المزنل الذكي ويستكشف التكنولوجيا المثالية ‪ /‬المريرة‪ .‬االقتصاد المزنيل‬ ‫ويستكشف المزنل كمكان لإلنتاج‪ ،‬مكان لعدم اإلزعاج‪ ،‬التمتع باخلصوصية‪ ،‬والبحث‬

‫‪Issue 5 — 9‬‬

‫‪In the shelter of the Garage Gallery at the Doha Fire Station,‬‬ ‫‪international and resident designers engaged in an asynchronous‬‬ ‫‪conversation through art about what home means to them in the‬‬ ‫‪exhibition “Domestic Affairs.” Paradoxical in its inception, this exhi‬‬‫‪bition traveled the world from Cologne, Germany to Shenzhen, China‬‬ ‫‪before landing in Doha. Originally initiated by Bureau Europa and‬‬ ‫‪curated by Giovanni Innella and Agata Jaworska, in each new home‬‬ ‫‪it visits, “Domestic Affairs” encourages local interpretation and‬‬ ‫‪engages viewers and artists in a dialogue about the lines between‬‬ ‫‪privacy and popularity, trust and distrust, engagement and retreat.‬‬ ‫‪When VCUQatar director of art foundation, Simone Muscolino‬‬ ‫‪wanted to bring “Domestic Affairs” to Doha, the Fire Station was a‬‬ ‫‪natural choice. Once Doha’s actual fire station, the building has been‬‬ ‫‪renovated into artist studios and gallery space with the mission of‬‬ ‫‪supporting a vibrant local art scene and giving young and emerging‬‬ ‫‪creative experiences that inspire them to create, grow and flourish.‬‬ ‫‪The Fire Station hosts 25 artists in residence each year, and is a‬‬ ‫‪home of sorts to the artists who use it for their explorations of ideas‬‬ ‫‪and identity through art. Some of these artists have invariably been‬‬ ‫‪VCUQatar Faculty, Staff and Alumni. At the time of the exhibit the‬‬ ‫‪station housed 5 VCUQatar alumni, 3 faculty members, and one com‬‬‫‪munity classes instructor.‬‬ ‫)‪Aisha Al-Sowaidi (MFA in Design '13, BFA in Graphic Design '05‬‬ ‫‪who is the Doha Fire Station's Assistant Curator, co-curated the local‬‬ ‫‪component of the Domestic Affairs exhibit with Simone Muscolino.‬‬ ‫‪From her experience creating and curating on site, she writes that‬‬ ‫‪the Fire Station as a repurposed civil building “has a sense of home,‬‬ ‫‪a remembrance of past…when we become more familiar with public‬‬ ‫‪spaces, and less familiar with our own houses due to constant change,‬‬ ‫”‪home becomes the place we are most familiar with.‬‬


Al-Sowaidi goes on to relate that the exhibit’s exploration of the house as an interface to our social, economic and political lives has particular resonance in Qatar. In her words, “living in this experience of transition from old to new at such a fast pace is amazingly overwhelming.” The exhibition is organized into sections on the Smart Home which explores techno-utopia/dystopia; Domestic Economy regarding the house as a place of production; Do Not Disturb dealing with privacy; and Seeking Home addressing identity, migration and feeling at home. For the exhibition’s Doha iteration, which included work from VCUQatar students and alumni, the discussion turned to live-in help, handling the heat, prayer as a way of life, and the bleeding together of private and public behavior. Education was a big part of the exhibition, with extensive classroom preparation preceding the event, and a debate between curators and students on the role of critical design shortly before the exhibition’s opening. As Muscolino writes in the exhibit newspaper, “we are glad to host this exhibition and to contribute with student work from the Art Foundation and the MFA programs. These two distinctive programs represent the beginning and the end of the creative journey we offer at VCUQatar.” As for the students themselves, he writes, “they represent the tradition, they embody the present and propose the future. As such, they are called to produce unique translations that define the evolution of the local domestic identity.”

10 — Issue 5

‫ والذي‬،‫ الدوحة‬،‫ يف معرض شؤون مزنلية‬.‫عن الهوية والهجرة والشعور كأنك يف المزنل‬ ‫ تركز النقاش‬،‫تضمن أعماال فنية لكل من طلبة جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر وخرجيهيا‬ ‫ وقضية مواجهة‬،‫ والصالة كوسيلة للحياة‬،‫ وحتمل احلرارة‬،‫حول العيش بوجود ماسعدة‬ .‫السلوكيات اخلاصة والعامة‬ ‫ مع إعدادات واسعة النطاق والعديد من‬،‫ احتل التعليم جزءا كبريا‬،‫وقبل افتتاح المعرض‬ ‫المناقاشت بني القامئني عىل المعرض والطالب يف الفصول الدراسية حول دور التصميم‬ ‫ "حنن سعداء باستضافة هذا‬:‫ وقد ذكر سيموين موسكولينو يف صحيفة المعرض‬.‫احلرج‬ ‫المعرض والماسهمة فيه باألعمال الفنية لكل من طلبة برناجم الفن التأسييس وبرناجم‬ ‫ هذان الربناجمان الممزيان هما بداية وهناية الرحلة اإلبداعية اليت‬.‫الماجستري يف التصميم‬ ‫ وجيسدون احلارض‬،‫ "هم ميثلون التقليد‬:‫ أما عن الطلبة فكتب‬."‫نقدمها للطلبة يف اجلامعة‬ ‫ لقد متت دعوهتم إلنتاج ترمجة فريدة توضح تطور الهوية المزنلية‬.‫ويقرتحون المستقبل‬ ."‫المحلية‬ ‫حظي معرض "شؤون مزنلية" بدعم من أعضاء الهيئة التدريسية يف كل من برناجم‬ ‫ راشيل‬،‫ ماركو برونو‬،‫ ريان براوننج‬:‫الماجستري وبرناجم الفن التأسييس يف اجلامعة وهم‬ ‫ قام ألربتو ياكوفوين‬.‫ توماس مودين وألربتو ياكوفوين‬،‫ جييس بني‬،‫ ناينث ديفيس‬،‫كوهني‬ ‫ببحوث واسعة النطاق من خالل المنحة المقدمة له من جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر‬ ‫ مستوحى من ثقافة اخليمة البدوية يف قطر ومستخدما طاولة‬،‫إلناشء تصميم للمعرض‬ .‫ المستخدمة عالميا‬Lack ‫إيكيا‬ ‫مثال آخر عىل التحضريات الالزمة الستضافة معرض هبذا احلجم والماشركة فيه متثل يف‬ ‫ حيث قام الطالب‬.‫أعمال طلبة برناجم الفن التأسييس يف جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر‬ ،"‫ باستكاشف موضوع "المزنل حيث حيل القلب‬،‫وقبل ستة أهشر من افتتاح المعرض‬


“Domestic Affairs” received support from the MFA and Art Foundation faculty including Ryan Browning, Marco Bruno, Rachel Cohn, Nathan Davis, Jesse Payne, Thomas Modeen and Alberto Iacovoni. Iacovoni performed extensive research through a grant from VCUQatar to establish the exhibit design, a play on Qatar’s bedouin tent culture juxtaposed with IKEA’s globalized Lack table. Another example of the type of preparation required to host and participate in an exhibition of this scale is exemplified by the work of VCUQatar Art Foundation students. Six months before the exhibition arrived, students explored the topic of “home is where the heart is,” the results of which were exhibited at the HBKU Student Center Art Gallery. Jesse Payne, assistant professor in the Department of Art Foundation, directed the first-year students in the drawing studio to pursue inquiries around personal objects and experiment with various mark-making techniques in order to translate domestic experiences into their work. Payne asked the students whether “home is a place, a physical space, a mental space or something that exists where family is?” Some students looked at it from a very physical point of view, in choosing an object they feel gives them a sense of home while others thought about it in terms of a mental space and a sentimental type of object that they felt reminds them of home.” While many came up with objects that are very much related to local culture, others showcased works that were more open to interpretation.

‫وتم عرض نتاجئ هذا االستكاشف يف معرض أقيم يف معرض الفنون يف مركز الطالب يف‬ ‫ األستاذ الماسعد يف برناجم الفن التأسييس بتوجيه‬،‫ قام جييس بني‬.‫جامعة محد بن خليفة‬ ‫طلبة السنة األوىل يف استوديوهات الرسم لمتابعة التحقيقات حول أشياء شخصية وجتربهتا‬ ‫ أسل‬.‫مع التقنيات المختلفة لصنع عالمة من أجل ترمجة اخلربات المحلية يف أعمالهم‬ ‫ أم مكان عقيل أو مكان يوجد‬،‫ أم مكان مادي‬،‫جييس الطالب إن كان "المزنل هو مكان‬ ‫حيث تتواجد األرسة؟ نظر بعض الطالب للمزنل من وجهة نظر مادية حبتة باختيارهم لكائن‬ ‫ يف حني نظر البعض اآلخر للمزنل نظرة عقلية أما البقية فأظهروا‬،‫يشعرهم بأهنم يف المزنل‬ ‫ جاء كثري مهنم بأشياء ترتبط‬."‫نوعا عاطفيا الرتباطهم باليشء الذي يشعرهم بأهنم يف المزنل‬ .‫ بينما عرض اآلخرون أعماال كانت عرضة أكرث للتأويل‬،‫إىل حد كبري بالثقافة المحلية‬ ‫أسفرت فصول برناجم الفن التأسييس عن أعمال فنية لثمانية طالب تم اختيارها للعرض يف‬ ‫ منبه مسلح‬،"‫ اسعة منبه "الصالة خري من النوم‬:‫ من هذه األعمال‬،"‫معرض "شؤون مزنلية‬ ‫ أما يف فئة "البحث عن مزنل" فتم‬.‫بعصا وقد تم تصنيفه من ضمن فئة المزنل الذكي‬ ‫” أو "اضطراب منط المادة" تصور مالبس مستوحاة‬DPM“ ‫عرض صور لمالبس سميت‬ ‫ كما تم اختيار عمل آخر يصور‬.‫ وتلبس يف كل من المناسبات العامة واخلاصة‬،‫من موقع‬ ،‫بذكاء الزواج من أجنيب عىل سطح القمر كناية عن صعوبة زواج القطريني من أجنبيات‬ ."‫بعنوان "زفاف عىل سطح القمر‬ ‫كما تضمن معرض شؤون مزنلية أيضا تسعة قطع فنية من تقديم طلبة وخرجيي برناجم‬ ‫ آلة لتكرار الزبدة البدوية "زبدة‬:‫ من القطع اليت تم إنتاجها‬.‫الماجستري يف التصميم‬ ‫ وتم عرض ماشركات عامة عىل االنستغرام تم إنتاجها خالل جتمع خاص بالناسء‬،"‫البدو‬ ‫ كما تم ابتكار عمل فين حول ظاهرة‬.”#ghabga“ ‫يف هشر رمضان يف الغبقة الرمضانية‬ ‫اجليل اجلديد من األطفال القطريني الذين ال يعرفون آداب ضيافة القهوة العربية واسمته‬

Issue 5 — 11


D O M E ST I C A F FA I R S  

“Home is a place, a physical space, a mental space or something that exists where family is.”

12 — Issue 5


D O M E ST I C A F FA I R S  

Eight of the student works produced across all the Art Foundation classes were also selected to be displayed in the “Domestic Affairs” exhibition, such works included an alarm clock called “Prayer is Better than Sleep” which comes armed with a cane that was entered into the Smart Home category. From the Seeking Home category, there were displayed photos of garments called “DPM or Disruptive Pattern Material” which depicts garments inspired by a site, worn both in public and in private. Another piece cleverly depicts a marriage to an alien on the moon as a metaphor for the difficulty of Qataris marrying foreigners, called “Wedding on the Moon.” Domestic Affairs also included nine art artifacts by MFA in Design students and alumni. Some of the artifacs which were created were, a machine to replicate the Bedouin butter making methods called “Bedu Butter,” and displayed public Instagram posts produced during women only private gatherings during Ramadan in “#ghabga;” another creation of an artwork about the phenomena of a new generation of Qatari children who do not know the Arabic coffee serving etiquette, called “El-Emgahwi” and a handknotted carpet that serves as a data visualization of the demographics of Qatar, called “Occupation.” Other projects included a fancy smart shoe that tweets about itself, a thobe that hides a tent and an inflatable falcon, spice pills that make you smell like home, local rock shaped soap, and a prayer powered device that produces prayer beads.

‫"وابتكار سجادة معقودة تصور بيانات الرتكيبة السكانية لدولة‬Emgahwi ‫"المقهوي‬ ‫ وشملت الماشريع األخرى حذاء فاخر‬."Occupation ‫ وأطلق علهيا "االحتالل‬،‫قطر‬ ‫ وثوب خيفي خيمة وصقر قابل‬،‫ذكي يصدر أصواتا تشبه زقزقة العصافري معلنا عن مكانه‬ ‫ والصابون الصخري المحيل وجهاز‬.‫ وحبوب التوابل وراحئهتا اليت تشبه راحئة المزنل‬.‫للنفخ‬ .‫الصالة الذي يعمل بالطاقة وينتج تاسبيح الصالة‬

Issue 5 — 13


In all, “Domestic Affairs” featured more than 70 exhibits, including pieces of art, video and objects from local and internationally renowned artists and institutions including Atelier NL, Auger-Loizeau, Laura Cornet, Edith Dekyndt, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, DUS architects, Ward Goes, Ina Hollmann, Jesse Howard, International Academy of Arts Palestine (Mamon Ashreteh) & Disarming Design Team, Elisa van Joolen, Chris Kabel, Noortje de Keijzer, Heleen Klopper, Karel Martens for Maharam, Christien Meindertsma for t.e., Metahaven, Miso Soup Design, Ahmad Nassar for Disarming Design from Palestine, Simone C. Niquille, Ruben Pater, Martina Petrelli, Katja Petterson, Pinar & Viola, Liane Polinder, Helmut Smits, Philippe Starck for Alessi, Studio Droog, Studio Swine, TD, Thomas Vailly and Stefania Vulpi. Through the range of age, experience, culture and perspective captured in this exhibition, a detailed account of the changing nature of the home emerged. As the exhibition travels on to a new home, it will take a little bit of Doha with it, assured with the knowledge that in Doha too, artists find commonality in the struggle to define the self in relation to others; a self that is being simultaneously reinforced and challenged through contact with the modern world.

14 — Issue 5

‫ معرضا يتضمن قطعا فنية وفيديوهات‬70 ‫ قدم "شؤون مزنلية" أكرث من‬،‫وبالمجمل‬ ،NL ‫وقطع من مؤساست وفنانني دوليني وحمليني مهشورين عالميا مبا يف ذلك أتيليه‬ ،‫ هيذر ديوي هاغبورغ‬،Edith Dekyndt ،‫ لورا كورنيت‬،Auger-Loizeau ‫ األ كادميية‬،‫ جييس هوارد‬،‫ إينا هولمان‬،DUS, Ward Goes ‫المهندسني المعماريني‬ ،‫ إلياس فان جولني‬،‫الدولية للفن الفلسطيين (مأمون عشريته) وفريق تصميم نزع السالح‬ ،Maharam ‫ كاريل مارتزن ل ـ‬،‫ هيلني كلوبر‬،Noortje de Keijzer ،‫كريس كابل‬ ‫ أمحد نصار لزنع السالح‬،Miso Soup ‫ تصميم‬،‫ ميتاهافن‬،t.e ‫كريستني مينديرتسما عن‬ ‫ بينار‬،‫ كاتيا بيرتسون‬،‫ ومارتينا بيرتييل‬،‫ روبن باتر‬،‫ سيمون نيقوال‬،‫تصميم من فلسطني‬ ،DROOG ‫ ستوديو‬،‫ فيليب ستارك عن ألييس‬،‫ هيلموت سميتس‬،‫ ليان بولندر‬،‫وفيوال‬ .‫ توماس فييل وستيفانيا فوليب‬،TD ،Swine ‫ستوديو‬ ‫ برز‬،‫ واخلربات والثقافات ووجهات النظر‬،‫من خالل جمموعة متنوعة من األعمار المختلفة‬ ‫ وحيث ياسفر هذا المعرض إىل‬.‫يف هذا المعرض وصفا تفصيليا للطبيعة المتغرية للمزنل‬ ‫ مؤكدا بأن يف الدوحة أيضا فنانني‬،‫ سيأخذ قليال من الدوحة معه أينما ذهب‬،‫مزنل جديد‬ ‫ النفس اليت يتم‬.‫يناضلون يف البحث عن القواسم المشرتكة من أجل حتديد مصري اآلخرين‬ .‫تعزيزها وحتدهيا من خالل االتصال مع العالم احلديث‬


Issue 5 — 15


R E S E A RC H I N C O N T E X T Dr. Jörg Matthias

H I STO RY P RO F E SS O R L AU N C H E S P RO B E I N TO A R A B S PAC E E X P LO R AT I O N R E V I VA L

In anticipation of the 2020 launch of the Emirates Mars Mission, which uses a space probe built in Dubai; Jörg Matthias Determann, Department of Liberal Arts & Sciences faculty member is steadily building towards his third book - “Arab Space Science: Cosmopolitanism and Nationalism.” The thrust of his work is to understand what is enabling Arabs to succeed in Astronomy today. So far, he has found that Arab success is due to a unique combination of nostalgia for Arab heritage in the field, institutional support, international collaboration, and individual vision. As for the importance of this research, Determann says, “I find that this work is interesting because it tells a positive story about the Arab world and dispels the notion that it has fallen into a dark age…my research says look at these important developments in the field; Arab astronomical achievements are going on to this day.” This year, he gave an invited lecture on Modern Arab Space Scientists at Charles University in Prague and spoke to science historians about Transnational Astronomy and Modern Egypt at the eighth Three Societies Meeting at the University of Alberta, Canada. In July, he presented his paper on Transnational Networks and Modern Astronomy at the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, UK, and in September,

16 — Issue 5

‫أستاذ التاريخ يطلق بحثا إلحياء استكشاف‬ ‫الفضاء العربي‬

.‫ واليت تستخدم مسبارا فضائيا بين يف ديب‬،2020 ‫حتسبا إلطالق بعثة المرخي اإلمارات‬ ‫ عضو الهيئة التدريسية يف قسم اآلداب والعلوم العامة‬،‫ يورغ ماتياس ديتريمان‬.‫يسعى د‬ ‫ حمتوى عمله هو فهم ما ميكن‬.‫ الكونية والقومية‬:‫ علوم الفضاء العريب‬- ‫إلهناء كتابه الثالث‬ ‫ وقد وجد حىت اآلن أن جناح العرب يرجع‬.‫العرب من حتقيق النجاح يف علم الفلك اليوم‬ ‫إىل مزجي فريد من احلنني إىل الرتاث العريب يف هذا المجال والدعم المؤسيس والتعاون‬ ‫ "أجد‬،‫ ماتياس ديرتمان‬.‫ يقول د‬،‫ أما بالنسبة ألهمية هذا البحث‬.‫الدويل والرؤية الفردية‬ ‫ فهو حيكي قصة إجيابية عن العالم العريب ويبدد فكرة سقوطه‬،‫هذا العمل مثريا لالهتمام‬ ‫ يقول حبيث بأن ننظر إىل التطورات الهامة يف هذا المجال؛ فاإلجنازات‬... ‫يف عرص مظلم‬ ."‫الفلكية العربية يف طريقها إىل هذا اليوم‬ ‫ ماتياس هذا العام بإلقاء حمارضة عن علوم الفضاء العريب احلديث يف جامعة تاشرلز‬.‫قام د‬ ‫ وحتدث إىل مؤرخي العلوم عن علم الفلك عرب احلدود الوطنية ومرص احلديثة يف‬،‫يف براغ‬ ‫ قدم ورقته عن‬،‫ يف يوليو‬.‫ كندا‬،‫ يف جامعة ألربتا‬Three Societies ‫االجتماع الثامن لـ‬ ‫الشبكات العابرة للحدود وعلم الفلك احلديث يف اجلمعية الربيطانية لدرااست الرشق‬ ‫ماتياس يف‬.‫ حارض د‬،‫ ويف سبتمرب‬.‫ جامعة ويلز اسنت ديفيد يف المملكة المتحدة‬،‫األوسط‬ ،‫ وحيث أن حبثه يتعلق بدرااست العلوم والتكنولوجيا‬.‫كلية الدرااست اإلسالمية يف قطر‬ ‫ فتقديم عمله إىل مجاهري خمتلفة سمح له بتحقيق‬،‫ والتارخي اإلسالمي‬،‫والرشق األوسط‬ ‫ واالخنراط يف نظريات ومناقاشت جديدة‬،‫ واالستماع إىل المخاوف‬،‫وجهات نظر جديدة‬ .‫تتعلق بعمله‬


he presented at the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies. Because his research exists at the intersection of science and technology studies, and Middle East and Islamic history, presenting his work to different audiences allows him to gain new perspectives, hear concerns, and engage in new theories and debates related to his work. Meanwhile, Determann’s previous book, “Researching Biology and Evolution in the Gulf States: Networks of Science in the Middle East ”(I.B.Tauris, 2015), continues to receive positive reviews and media coverage in the Gulf and beyond. His book was reviewed in the spring issue of the Middle East Journal, with the author stating that Determann’s work “elucidates a previously unknown corner in the history of science, and is thus a valuable contribution to the literature.” It was reviewed again for the Middle East Media and Book Reviews Online, and covered by Al-Fanar Media. Much of Determann’s research has important applications in the classroom. He tries to engage students in some of the central questions his research tackles, while guiding students to an understanding of the connection between science and art. Ultimately, as Determann points out, “art sells science.” Some of the greatest scientific achievements are memorable because of their superb visualized aesthetic qualities, such as DNA and pictures of planets extrapolated from light analysis graphs.

"Researching Biology and Evolution in the Gulf States ‫يستمر‬ ‭‫للدكتور‬‭ ‬‫الاسبق‬‭ ‬‫ ‬الكتاب‬،"Networks of Science in the Middle East ‫ وقد‬.‫ بتلقي استعراضات إجيابية وتغطية إعالمية يف منطقة اخلليج وخارجها‬،‫‬ماتياس‬ ‫ حيث أاشر المؤلف إىل أن‬،‫عدد الربيع‬/‫استعراض كتابه يف جملة الرشق األوسط‬ ‫جرى‬ ‫ وبالتايل‬،‫ماتياس "تلقي الضوء عىل زاوية غري معروفة من قبل يف تارخي العلم‬.‫أعمال د‬ ‫ كما تم استعراضها مرة أخرى لصحافة الرشق األوسط‬."‫فهي ماسهمة قيمة يف األدب‬ .‫ وقامت واسئل إعالم الفنار بتغطيهتا‬،Book Reviews Online ‫و‬ ‫ فهو حياول إرشاك‬.‫ ماتياس لدهيا تطبيقات هامة يف الفصول الدراسية‬.‫الكثري من حبوث د‬ ‫ يف حني يوجه الطالب لفهم العالقة‬،‫الطلبة يف بعض األسئلة المركزية اليت تتناولها حبوثه‬ ‫ بعض من‬."‫"الفن يروج العلوم‬:‫ ماتياس‬.‫ وكما يشري د‬،‫ يف هناية المطاف‬.‫بني العلم والفن‬ ،‫أعظم اإلجنازات العلمية الميكن نسياهنا الستخدام الصفات اجلمالية الرائعة يف تصويرها‬ .‫ وصور استقراء الكواكب من حتليل الرسوم البيانية للضوء‬DNA ‫مثل احلمض النووي‬

Presidential Research Quest Fund Grant award supports faculty

Nanotechnology patent filed by Liberal Arts and Science

research on art and architecture of U.S. Capitol

faculty member

In the summer of 2016, Department of Art History faculty member

Dr. Khaled Saoud filed a patent with Qatar Foundation Intellectual

Dr. Debra Hanson was awarded the prestigious Presidential Research

Property and Technology Transfer (IPTT) office titled “Instantaneous

Quest Fund (PeRQ), and matching funds from VCUQatar for her book

gelation of polymer cross-linked aerogels using cheap low power

project on the art and architecture of the U.S. Capitol (funded amount

visible Laser source” in June 2016. This process drastically cuts the

$31,354). This is the second grant awarded to a VCUQatar faculty

hardening time of silica gel, and increases its strength. The result is a

member. Her topic was on “Looking Westward: Visual Narratives of the

light weight material that can be used in 3D printing. Saoud also pub-

American West in the U.S. Capitol.” In February 2016, she chaired a ses-

lished a paper on the same topic in the highly ranked Journal of Lasers,

sion on "Public Art and Historical Memory in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda"

Optics & Photonics this year.

at the annual conference of the College Art Association.

Neuroscience-based design paper in top 10 at Annual

Dean finds social solutions in the urban landscape in new

Research Conference

book chapter

Chair of the Department of Interior Design, Dr. Cherif Amor and his

Dean Akel Kahera wrote a book chapter on “Cairo’s urban parks:

collaborator Dr. Ahmad Elsotouhy, a neuroscientist at Hamad Medical

space, place and meaning” for the book “Contemporary Urban

Corporation, were selected as being amongst the best 10 research

Landscapes of the Middle East,” where he tackles the question of how

presentations from more than 1,300 research applications submitted

the past overlaps the present and how can it be referenced today in a

to the recent Qatar Foundation Annual Research Conference 2016

meaningful way. He finds that by looking at the overlay of new spaces

(ARC’16), for their project entitled, “Neuroscience and Interior

on old symbolism and meaning can be derived, which bridges physical,

Architecture: Impact on Autistic Population.”

mental and social spaces. Public spaces such as parks can be a means to solve real social problems that arise in urban environments beyond the obvious access to green space. As the book editor Mohammed Gharipour points out, Kahera’s analysis “opens up a radical new possibility for the reading of urban spaces.”

Issue 5 — 17


A RT M AT T E R S Dr. Khaled Saoud

VCU Q ATA R S C I E N T I ST O N H O W A RT I ST S I N C R E A S E T H E I M PAC T O F S C I E N C E T H RO U G H A RT

Why do I love teaching science to art students? His face illuminated by passion, VCUQatar Liberal Arts and Science professor, Dr. Khaled Saoud repeats the question and answers, “because they are exciting. Artists are visual learners and look at things differently, and produce unexpected results. Their new ideas can help orient research toward new products and applications.” Dr. Saoud, whose research lies in nanotechnology and materials science, teaches VCUQatar students about the interaction between light and materials in his introductory physics class. “My research has applications in the classroom” says Saoud, “students need to hear about the cutting edge of materials science. We are producing new materials and we can reinvent the periodic table by altering the physical properties of materials.” For artists who are using materials to create art, this opens up a whole new way of seeing the world and communicating this vision through art. If gold can be made a different color, or the material from a pencil can be made into something 10x stronger and lighter than steel, then what we know about the world can be challenged and expanded in new and interesting ways. The students are fascinated and they use what they learn to be better artists. “Just look to their artwork, much of it explores concepts from my class.” According to Saoud, it takes an artist’s eye to see the potential in these materials and use them to design products to meet the needs of a changing world.

18 — Issue 5

‫أهمية الفن‬

‫ كيف يعمل الفنانون على زيادة‬: ‫عالم من جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث في قطر‬ ‫تأثير العلوم من خالل الفن‬

‫خالد‬.‫ أعاد د‬،‫لماذا أحب تدريس العلوم لطلبة الفن؟ غطت العاطفة تعابري وجهه‬ ‫ وأجاب‬،‫ أستاذ العلوم والفنون العامة يف جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث السؤال‬،‫سعود‬ ‫ ويبتكرون‬،‫ يتعلمون بالنظر‬،‫ يتطلع الفنانون إىل األمور بطريقة خمتلفة‬.‫"ألهنم مثريون‬ ‫ قد تاسعد أفكارهم اجلديدة عىل توجيه البحوث حنو إنتاج منتجات‬.‫نتاجئ غري متوقعة‬ ." ‫وتطبيقات جديدة‬ ‫ ويقوم بتدريس طلبة جامعة‬،‫خالد عىل تكنولوجيا النانو وعلوم المواد‬.‫تركز حبوث د‬ .‫فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر التفاعل بني الضوء والمواد من خالل مقرر مقدمة يف الفزيياء‬ ‫ البد للطالب من معرفة أحدث‬،"‫ خالد "لبحيث تطبيقات يف الفصول الدراسية‬.‫يقول د‬ ‫ فنحن نقوم بإنتاج مواد جديدة وميكننا إعادة اخرتاع اجلدول الدوري عن‬.‫علوم المواد‬ ،‫ الفنانون الذين يستخدمون المواد يف ابتكار الفن‬."‫طريق تغيري اخلواص الفزييائية للمواد‬ ‫ إذا‬.‫سيفتح لهم هذا طريقة جديدة كاملة لرؤية العالم وتوصيل هذه الرؤية من خالل الفن‬ ‫ أو استخدام مواد قلم رصاص يف صنع مواد أقوى‬،‫متكنا من جعل الذهب بلون خمتلف‬ ‫ سنتمكن من حتدي ما نعرفه عن العالم وتوسعته‬،‫بعرش مرات وأخف وزنا من الفوالذ‬ ‫ واآلن يقوم‬،‫ أثار ذلك اهتمام الطالب وأرسهم‬.‫ليشمل طرقا جديدة ومثرية لالهتمام‬ ‫ الكثري‬،‫ "فقط انظروا إىل أعمالهم‬.‫الطالب باستخدام ما تعلموه ليصبحوا فنانني أفضل‬ ‫ فإنه ينظر إىل المواد بعني الفنان‬،‫مهنم يستنبط المفاهيم من حمارضايت" ووفقا لدكتور خالد‬ .‫لمعرفة إمكانياهتا ويستخدمها لتصميم منتجات تليب احتياجات العالم المتغري‬


R E S E A RC H  

Saoud is extremely prolific, recently filing a patent with Qatar Foundation Intellectual Property & Technology Transfer (IPTT) office titled “Instantaneous gelation of polymer cross-linked aerogels using cheap low power visible Laser source” in June 2016. This process drastically cuts the hardening time of silica gel, and increases its strength. The result is a lightweight material that can be used in 3D printing. Saoud also published a paper on the same topic in the highly ranked Journal of Lasers, Optics & Photonics this year, and another paper on inhibition of oxidation in a highly ranked journal. In addition, Saoud has presented at seven conferences across the globe, and published a paper he wrote with his former VCUQatar students under a Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) Undergraduate Research Experience Program grant. The grant-funded research explores a nanomaterial that can extend the shelf life of old books an additional 500 to 1,000 years. Not surprisingly, Saoud’s work is gaining notice in Qatar. He was featured as a “Forward Thinker” in the May 2016 issue of the Foundation, with his work described as “innovative” and “developing a number of solutions for Qatar and the wider world.” “I learn a great deal from my art students,” Saoud notes, “Many great scientists were artists, and I look to artists to help turn my nanotechnology into something that can impact the world.” The book project with the students can help preserve the cultural heritage of Qatar. The silica gel can help develop 3D printing in the future. These are two applications that it took a creative eye to see. “Art and Science are integral to each other” concludes Saoud, “and this is what I try to teach my students.”

‫ بتقديم براءة اخرتاع مع‬،2016 ‫ يف يونيو‬،‫ فقد قام مؤخرا‬،‫تستمر أعمال الدكتور خالد‬ ‫ بعنوان "الصق فوري من البوليمر عرب ربطه مبادة االيروجيل‬IPTT ‫مكتب مؤسسة قطر‬ ‫ عملت هذه العملية عىل ختفيض‬."‫باستخدام مصدر لزير مريئ رخيص ومنخفض الطاقة‬ ‫ والنتيجة مواد‬.‫ وزادت من قوته‬،‫الوقت المطلوب لتصلب جل السيليكا بشكل كبري‬ ‫خالد هذا العام‬.‫ كما قام د‬.‫خفيفة الوزن ميكن استخدامها يف الطباعة ثالثية األبعاد‬ ،Lasers, Optics & Photonics ‫بنرش ورقة عمل حول نفس الموضوع يف جملة‬ ‫ وهما من المجالت المتخصصة‬،‫وورقة عمل أخرى عن تثبيط األ كسدة يف جملة أخرى‬ ‫خالد بالتقديم يف سبعة مؤمترات يف مجيع‬.‫ قام د‬،‫ وباإلضافة إىل ذلك‬.‫والمصنفة عالميا‬ ‫أحناء العالم ونرش ورقة عمل كان قد كتهبا بنفسه مع أحد طالبه الاسبقني يف جامعة‬ ‫فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر من ضمن منحة الصندوق القطري لرعاية البحث العلمي برناجم‬ ‫ تكشف الدراسة اليت متولها المنحة عن مواد متناهية‬.‫خربة األحباث للطلبة اجلامعيني‬ .‫ عاما إضافيا‬1000 ‫ إىل‬500 ‫الصغر ميكن أن تزيد مدة صالحية الكتب القدمية أل كرث من‬ ‫ وقد تم استعراضه يف جملة‬.‫خالد اهتمام دولة قطر‬.‫ بأن يكسب د‬،‫وليس من المستغرب‬ ‫ وتم وصف أعماله‬،”Forward Thinker“ ‫ عىل أنه‬2016 ‫ عدد مايو‬Foundation ."‫بـ "مبتكرة" و تعمل عىل "تطوير عدد من احللول لقطر والعالم بأرسه‬

‫ "الكثري من أعظم العلماء من‬،"‫خالد بقوله "أتعلم الكثري من طلبة الفن‬.‫وقد علق د‬ ‫ وأنا أتطلع ألن ياسعدين الفنانون يف حتويل تكنولوجيا النانو إىل يشء ميكن أن‬،‫الفنانني‬ ‫ ميكن لمرشوع الكتاب مع الطالب أن ياسعد يف احلفاظ عىل الرتاث‬."‫يؤثر عىل العالم‬ ‫ كما ميكن جلل السيليكا أن ياسعد يف تطوير الطباعة ثالثية األبعاد يف‬.‫الثقايف لدولة قطر‬ :‫خالد حديثه‬.‫ وخيتتم د‬.‫ تطبيقان تم ابتكارهما من النظر إلهيما بعيون فنان‬.‫المستقبل‬ ."‫ "وهذا هو ما أحاول أن أعلمه لطاليب‬،"‫"الفن والعلم جزء ال يتجزأ من بعضها البعض‬

Art Historian Uncovers Knowledge of Ancient Economics in Archaelogical Dig Spending fall semester in Western Turkey conducting research on

Today, companies know they are using materials that will need to be

ancient marble quarries is par for the course for Department of Art

repaired or replaced, but the Romans built structures that were meant

History faculty member Leah Long. She is a team member in the

to last. Cultural aspirations meant they defied economic logic by

research project “Marmora Asiatica: Towards Archaeopetrology in

extracting stone at great cost and in extraordinarily, logistically

Poland.” This project is an international collaboration between classi-

difficult locations. By using a material like marble, they overspent

cal archaeologists, geologists, and material scientists headed by the

and overbuilt monuments that, luckily for us, are still standing two

Institute of Archaeology at the University of Warsaw. This five-year

thousand years later.”

program of fieldwork will systematically document the major Greco-Roman marble quarries of Western Turkey, one of the richest sources for building and sculptural materials in the Roman Empire.

Long also hopes that her fieldwork will convey to students that “their packaged textbook is not necessarily as complete as it appears to be. I was drawn to archaeology because it adds new information to the

Long was selected for the project due to her Ph.D. work on Aphrodisias,

historical record, and I show students through specific examples how

one of the project’s locations. For Long, examining the archeological

systematic investigation can help reinterpret or add nuance to existing

evidence at the quarry sites means understanding more about the

ideas.” Long’s work has most recently resulted in the article "Extracting

economics of the site, but also some in addition to the ingenuity and

economics from Roman quarries" in the journal, Economic History

lifestyle of the workers and the employers. In Long’s words, “I think the

Review, among others, and she presented on the same topic at the

main takeaway from my research is that the Romans spent an enor-

Annual Meeting of the 2016 Archaeological Institute of America in

mous amount of effort obtaining high quality building stone.

San Francisco.

Issue 5 — 19


C U LT I VAT I N G Creative Thinking

“Ghost Ship Float” creates mirage in New York Department of Art Foundation faculty member Rachel Cohn was invited to create a new work, Ghost Ship Float, specifically for the Stephen and George Laundry Line in Ridgewood, NY. This alternative gallery space, curated by Jessica Langley since 2015, invites participants to develop new projects to be displayed outdoors on a literal laundry line, highlighting the voyeuristic aspect of living in the city. The program has so far included over twelve international artists and has been featured on NY1 News, Temporary Art Review, and the Bushwick Daily. Rachel's installation included a large painting on Mylar as well as an edition of 30 printed balloons. The piece attempts to simulate a "Fata Morgana" mirage of a floating ship, in which the balloons act as pixels that distort and obscure the image that appears in reflection below.

20 — Issue 5


Graphic Design faculty member’s project published as a “Brilliant Idea to Inspire the World” Department of Graphic Design faculty member, Basma Hamdy’s project “Walls of Freedom” was one of 31 projects published in the book “What Africa Can Do for Europe: 31 Brilliant Ideas to Inspire the World” by What Design Can Do, The Netherlands, July, 2016. Launched during WDCD Live Amsterdam 2016, ‘What Africa Can Do for Europe’ celebrates 31 design projects from Africa that have the power to inspire Europe and the world. Walls of Freedom is featured as project number 11 under the title “A revolution told in spray paint.”

Issue 5 — 21


CU LT I VAT I N G C R E AT I V E T H I N K I N G  

Curated exhibit “Geo Necro” showcases art from science fiction Over the course of 15 months, Department of Art Foundation faculty member Ryan Browning worked with collaborator/artist Casey Jex Smith and the ADA Gallery in Richmond, VA to curate a massive conceptual exhibition of artwork. They presented a challenge to the 88 curated contemporary artists: to participate, they would provide an artwork they imagined would exist in a fantasy dungeon, that is an object or character or place from a dangerous and fantastic imagined world. The exhibition featured paintings, drawings, collage, photography, digital media, video, and performance, and represented a comprehensive collection of artmaking approaches and theories, including, but not limited to: gender studies, abstraction, material studies, formal representation, gonzo illustration, magical realism, and institutional critique. Ryan designed and created a hand-made and editioned catalogue to accompany the exhibition as a box set including several books, a set of cards, a vacuum-formed card tray insert, and a silk-screened box.

22 — Issue 5


CU LT I VAT I N G C R E AT I V E T H I N K I N G  

“Fake in Italy” Exhibition shown in New York A collaboration between the Department of Art Foundation’s director, Simone Muscolino, and associate professor Paolo Cardini at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), “Fake in Italy” is a project about cultural exchange and objects’ identity. Italian products are among the most copied and counterfeit worldwide, which creates a vast secondary “fake” market that merges global and local markets. “Fakes” can be copies, reproductions, or inspirations. Objects faked through inspiration involve a certain grade of creativity and, because they’re not limited to aesthetic and functional constraints, they reveal the full potential of new hybrid products. “Fake in Italy” displays objects that play with the triptych of ideas, material and process, inviting marble and leather to open a dialogue with discursive design. What does it mean that Carrara marble is now being sculpted with robots, and the florid Florentine leather industry is supplied by imported leather? “Fake in Italy” wants to reverse the parameters of the equation, questioning value and meaning of the “made in” system, comparing local manufacturing with global stereotypes; it wants to reflect on the hybrid nature of today’s products and to analyze what belonging means from the objects’ perspective. A video narrative translates the concept, the process, and the speculations that surround the project into an audiovisual scenario staging the original object, the new form, and actions of cultural appropriation. The project, supported by a Faculty Research Grant (FRG), was displayed at Wanted Design NYC 2016.

Presentation on creative writing pedagogy involves from universities around the world The Department of Liberal Arts and Sciences, interim chair, Patty

The panel was one of 522 selected from 1,465 submissions to present

Paine collaborated with Raphael Dagold, Jane Lewty, Xu Xi and Collier

at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Conference

Nogues to develop a panel presentation on writing in an international

and Book Fair in Washington, DC in February. This event is the largest

context. Called “The International Writer-Teacher,” this panel of writ-

literary conference in North America for writers, teachers, students,

ers teaching in English-language universities in Hong Kong, Singapore,

editors, and publishers. Each year more than 12,000 attendees attend

Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, and Amsterdam shared insights about a range of

for four days of insightful dialogue, networking, and unrivaled access

issues raised by teaching abroad. Topics discussed included how an

to the organizations and opinion-makers that matter most in

international setting affects creative writing pedagogy, and the insti-

contemporary literature.

tutional and cultural differences in teaching writing outside the U.S. The presentation also explored how globalization—economic, political, and societal—requires and invites internationalization of pedagogical, intellectual, and creative pursuits. Issue 5 — 23


GLOBAL Experience

International learning and service trips for students

24 — Issue 5

VCUQatar offers student trips to help broaden student understanding of their field, make global connections, and perform research. This year, in addition to the departmental trips offered every year, there were two funded interdisciplinary fieldtrips that encouraged students and faculty to question the changing needs of global enterprise in the twenty-first century. The Departments of Art History and Painting and Printmaking will be going to Kyoto, Japan to do a collaborative workshop with the Kyoto University of Art and Design (Department of Manga and Anime), geared at fostering meaningful knowledge exchange and transcultural dialogue. Interior Design faculty and students will attend professional International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) Enlighten Europe symposiums and exhibitions in Prague, Czech Republic and then the World Architecture Festival held this year in Berlin, Germany. While in Berlin, they will also engage in dialogue with the University of the Arts in Berlin and ART-COM studios. These trips engage with local arts education institutions to help foster research collaboration and allow student participation in international conferences and exhibitions that put our students on a global stage. Some of the study abroad trips from 2015–2016 are detailed in the following section.


  G LO B A L E X P E R I E N C E  

Field study in Venice: students present at Venice Bienniale, visit heritage sites The focus of the October 2015 Art History and Painting and Printmaking field study trip to Venice was two-fold: to give students the opportunity to engage with the wide range of contemporary global art on view at the Venice Biennale, and to introduce them to the wealth of historical art, architecture, and cultural traditions that abound throughout the city. The students were responsible for on-site presentations at the Biennale and other locations, and for additional written and visual documentation of their learning experience and the many insights they gained from it. In addition to the Biennale, highlights of the trip included visits to the glass furnaces of Murano, the Basilica of San Marco, the Palladian church of San Giorgio Maggiore, and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.

Issue 5 — 25


G LO B A L E X P E R I E N C E  

Connecting and Tailoring in India The Fashion Design department trip to India in November 2015 exposed the students to India’s fashion industry including traditional techniques and processes. The students were able to not only meet designers and visit their ateliers to see how they work, but were also able to visit larger facilities of embroidery, dyeing, printing, and production of apparel to understand the processes. They engaged in the traditional craft of hand block printing in Jaipur and learned about natural dyes from master craftsmen.

26 — Issue 5


Graphic Design takes on Toronto Each year the Graphic Design department organizes a field study for students to extend their learning beyond the classroom and experience how a place, society, and history can be strengthened or weakened by design's relationship to its context. Toronto was selected as a destination where extensive and diverse populations of migrants have settled and become active in creating communities and contextualizing their identities, while innovating new processes and environments of everyday living. For eight days in May 2016, students engaged in an array of activities that included touring the studios of Bruce Mau Design branding agency and The Moment innovation consultancy, engaging with their peers at York University, farming on an urban rooftop, learning the city’s history, while touring downtown on bicycles, visiting museum, enjoying a cat café, rafting a river to listen to Canadian aboriginals, walking about a family operated organic farm, exploring neighborhoods, navigating public transport systems, wandering around a flea market, meeting with a local entrepreneur, and visiting nearby Niagara Falls. Each day the group met to reflect on the experiences of the day. These discussions Student attends Arabic type design workshop in Lebanon, assists in teaching VCUQatar class Graphic Design BFA student, Maha Akl (’17), with support from both the VCUQatar Graphic Design

revealed that the students were able to observe how living, and the designing of it, occurs within a different context; be exposed to the perspectives and practices of other designers and design students; develop a self-awareness and experience of being a global citizen; as well as getting to know and enjoy each other as people outside the classroom.

Department and the Supreme Council for Delivery and

Four participants conducted a set of planned ethnographic observations in

Legacy, attended a highly competitive and prestigious

Toronto and joined two other students doing the same observations in Doha

six-week Arabic type design workshop in Lebanon

to take a Summer Elective, Topics Studio: Interpreting Context, taught by interim

(Summer 2016). Akl was selected to be one of only ten

chair of graphic design Peter Martin. This elective has been formed to leverage the

participants in this workshop by renowned type designers

annual field study beyond being a learning experience into becoming more of a

and workshop directors Kristyan Sarkis and Lara Captan.

student research platform to observe and study the nature and impact of design

Akl is currently serving as a teaching assistant within the

and designing in a different city.

graphic design department’s elective course, Arabic Type Design taught by faculty member, Basma Hamdy.

Issue 5 — 27


G LO B A L E X P E R I E N C E  

Interior Design trips explore Rome, Milan and Sweden The Interior Design department organizes international travel study trips. These travel study programs focus on providing international learning opportunities and professional growth experiences in the field of art, interior design, and architecture. Ancient cities of Rome and Milan The spring travel study included Rome and Milan. In Rome, the students benefitted from historic pedagogic promenades to Classical Rome (Coliseum, Forum, Mamertine Prison, Trajan's Forum, Capitol Hill, and Pantheon), Renaissance Rome (Vatican City including St. Peter's Basilica, dome climb, and Vatican Museum) and Baroque Rome (Bernini’s St. Peter’s Piazza, Tivoli fountain, Campo de’Fiori district, and Borromini’s San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane). In Milan, the students benefitted from tours to Milan Cathedral, Trinnale of Milan, New Fondazione Prada, and Museum of 900. This study travel concluded with a visit to Associati Design Studio whose directors are members of the Interior Design program advisory board.

28 — Issue 5


G LO B A L E X P E R I E N C E  

European Innovation Academy’s summer program teaches students how to start a business In collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, Texas A&M University at Qatar and Qatar Foundation, three VCUQatar students attended a three-week program in Turin, Italy that offered students the chance to chart the course from idea to tech start-up in 15 days. Two graduate students, Hala Gabr (’17) and Mona Makhlouf (’17), and one undergraduate student Rebeya Khatoon (‘17) participated. Two of the students were funded through the Sheikh Faisal Foundation and one received funding from the Student Affairs department.

Issue 5 — 29


VCUA RT S Richmond

01

02

A Bespoke Designer Crafts a Tailor-Made Course

Prps luxury jean brand founder Donwan Harrell (’92) rolled an aluminum luggage cart filled with suitcases into the Jeanology classroom, a month long summer course on designing and making jeans. “I felt the energy in Donwan's love for denim the first day and was inspired by his passion,” says Josh Bigelow (BFA ’16), a fashion design major. The jeans had creases, holes in the knees, single pockets and various washes. Each pair contained a piece of American history. “All of us were scared to touch his private collection. He had pairs from the 1800s,” says Lydia Critchfield (BFA ’17), another designer in the class. The Jeanology course, a brand new offering at VCUarts, provides a unique opportunity for young designers to gain firsthand experience in the blue jean industry. As part of the inaugural class, students traveled to Prps headquarters in New York. Harrell divided the students into two groups and had them go to stores in the city to study the competition. Their assignment was to review the competition and forecast future trends.

designs. Fashion Merchandising student Amanda Brown (’18) said, “We were really given the opportunity to experience what it’s like working in the field. It was amazing.” The journey from VCUarts graduate to denim guru involved hard work and tenacity. After graduation, Harrell moved to New York where he secured a position as an associate menswear designer for Donna Karan. Soon after, he was hired by Nike and quickly emerged as one of their top 10 designers in Asia. For the 2002 World Cup, Harrell designed the uniforms for teams that signed with Nike, including the U.S., Italy, Brazil and Japan. He also started Painting and Printmaking that same year. Harrell believes strongly that his undergraduate study at VCUarts changed his life. His mentors, professor Sandra Wilkins and associate professor Henry Swartz, were an integral part of his early fashion education. “VCU played a huge part in my confidence,” he says. “There was a point when I had given up and planned to change my path and become a religious historian. Mr. Swartz took me outside and told me

The final week of the course involved a trip to Europe, to visit thePrps

I couldn’t quit. His confidence in me made a difference. Look where I

factory. In the factory, students were asked to select two pairs of Prps

am today.” Harrell's most recent career development: being named

jeans as their inspiration. They were then able to create their own

affiliate Professor of Fashion Design at VCUarts, which will continue to connect him — and his knowledge base — with Fashion students.

30 — Issue 5


VCUA RT S R I C H M O N D  

03

DoDream: Art Brings Hope to at Risk Children

Artwork with a purpose, that is what united VCUarts students Woojin

by Han, a graphic design major, who says, “My goal as a graphic

Ahn (’15), Song Han (’16), and Jane Lee (’16) when they began

designer is to help others in need, especially children in physical and

their charity project DoDream. Drawn together by a demanding art

spiritual poverty. What we do for the DoDream project, especially the

class, the idea of developing specialty products to raise money and

children’s distribution project, is exactly what I wish to do as a designer

awareness for at-risk youth started as a simple idea and “grew into

and artist.”

our passion” as Ahn says. They illustrated a line of greeting cards, calendars, framed art and clocks that are currently sold on the DoDream website at dodream4.org. VCUarts has given Ahn, a communication design major, many oppor-

Last July, the group decided to sponsor Adolof, a ten-year old boy who lives in Indonesia, through the program Compassion International using money raised by DoDream. They write to each other regularly and send birthday gifts. Adolof fondly refers to the girls as his ‘sponsor

tunities to exhibit her work. In May 2015, these products were shown at

DoDream sisters,’ and sends wishes for good health and success. This

Anne’s Visual Art Studio and again in August 2015 at the Hippodrome

positive relationship fuels their creativity.

Theatre. She says, “I have put myself out there and like the idea of using my art to give back to the community.” This sentiment is echoed

This year, the students are creating storybooks for children in schools, hospitals and shelters. “We found a purpose behind our art,” says Ahn.

01 images courtesy of Henry Swartz and Donwan Harrell 02 images courtesy of Henry Swartz and Donwan Harrell 03 Image courtesy of Woojin Ahn, Song Han, and Jane Lee

Issue 5 — 31


VCUQatar Day October 6, 2015 VCUQatar Day is a yearly event that brings VCUQatar to the home

While VCUQatar seems worlds apart from the VCUarts in Richmond,

campus in Richmond. This year hundreds of students, faculty and staff

they actually share a great deal in common. Each campus is an im-

attended the event, which featured free Arabic food (courtesy of local

portant center of government, business, technology and culture in its

restaurant Aladdin Express), henna tattoos, Arabic calligraphy, camel

region — a place where leadership, opportunity and innovation meld

rides, and Arabian perfumes. “Judging from the response, attendance and the list of activities, it

together and are advanced by a diverse community of people who dream big and work tirelessly to redefine the human experience.

really speaks a lot about how valuable the Qatar campus is,” said

International and global engagement are key assets in a progressively,

Dr. Akel I. Kahera, VCUQatar’s Dean. “But also, how important global

more integrated world. Qatar Day is much more than a jovial event,

education is to this millennial group of students.” “Being in Qatar, Richmond seems so far away. They know it exists, they know it’s real. But once they are here and they’re able to experience it and they’re able to see it, walk on the campus and talk with people, it makes it even more a concrete reality in their minds. And they really feel connected. Being here is very beneficial to all of us. Even me as an administrator.”

32 — Issue 5

it also serves as a pathway for students to further recognize how to collaborate and operate successfully in international frameworks. Henceforth, students actually appreciate when their educational institutions push beyond the boundaries of the traditional lecture to look outward and produce a range of relevant educational engagement and delivery models, which truly embrace a global perspective on both sides of the Atlantic.


E XC H A N G E  

Photo Courtesy of Megan McSweeney

VCUQatar/ VCU Richmond leadership exchange program Our annual campus exchange leadership program takes place in October. Leadership training is a core component of this program and takes place prior to the travel period. This year there were 14 VCUQatar student participants, including four Qatari students selected to travel to the United States. Part of their experience includes helping to plan the Qatar Day celebration, but also other activities to help them make connections and understand how students can help improve their campuses. Weekly leadership training has included training as cultural ambassadors with Embrace Doha. In exchange, six VCU Richmond students and seven VCU Richmond Medical Campus students were selected to travel to Qatar with three faculty advisors. Upon their return, the exchange students led follow-up events about their trip, help select the following year’s students, and create leadership events both in Richmond and Qatar.

Issue 5 — 33


THE YEAR In Numbers

2015–2016 4

18T H AC A D E M I C Y E A R 2 5 5 B FA / 4 3 B A / 14 M FA S T U D E N T S E N R O L L E D

12

I N T H E I N C O M I N G FA L L C L A S S E S

C ANADA

4

51

* B A S E D O N M O S T R E C E N T C A LC U L AT I O N S

STUDENTS ENROLLED 32 3 S T U D E N T S

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO

I N M AY 2 016 6 03 A L U M N I *

VENEZUEL A

UNITED STATES

1 5 T H G R A D UAT I N G C L A S S 4 3 B FA / 6 B A / 7 M FA S T U D E N T S G R A D UAT E D

1

1

BREAKDOWN BY MAJOR BR A ZIL

1

B FA A RT F O U N DAT I O N 87 FA S H I O N 3 5 G R A P H I C 51 INTERIOR 56

S T U D E N T P O P U L AT I O N

PA I N T I N G & P R I N T M A K I N G 26

BA A RT H I S T O RY 4 3

M FA

Q ATA R I

N O N - Q ATA R I

57.9 %

42 .1%

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 5 E D U C AT I O N C I T Y U N I V E R S I T I E S: 9 AC A D E M I C B R I D G E P R O G R A M: 2

A LU M N I 2002–2016 6 03 G R A D UAT E S 3 5 6 Q ATA R I , 2 47 N O N - Q ATA R I 5 6 3 F E M A L E , 4 0 M A L E (S TA RT I N G 2 011)

S P R I NG S E M E ST E R 2016 E D U C AT I O N C I T Y U N I V E R S I T I E S: 2 8 AC A D E M I C B R I D G E P R O G R A M: 2

BY MAJOR FA S H I O N 74 G R A P H I C 2 57 INTERIO R 221

RECRUITMENT FA L L 2 0 1 5

G R A P H I C / FA S H I O N 4

2 3 6 C O M P L E T E D A P P L I C AT I O N S

PA I N T I N G & P R I N T M A K I N G 19

131 AC C E P T E D S T U D E N T S

A RT H I S T O RY 6

104 ENROLLED STUDENTS

M FA 26

I N T E R I O R / FA S H I O N 13


BA 32 3

1

AUSTR ALIA

1

2

1 SOUTH KORE A

1

1 1

1

T O TA L E N R O L L M E N T

A RT F O U N DAT I O N

26.9 %

A RT H I S T O RY

1 0.8%

PHILIPPINES

MAL AYSIA

2

5

1 NEW ZE AL AND

9

THAIL AND

4

NEPAL

11

BANGL ADESH

IR AN

2

IND ONESIA

SINGAP ORE

SRI L ANK A

10

INDIA

PAKISTAN

9

2 016

B FA

314

187

2 01 5

M FA 1

UAE

1

292

3

2 014

2

Q ATAR

BAHR AIN

4

278

IR AQ 1

2 013

12 KUWAIT

1

2 59

4

YEMEN

SYRIA 2

2 012

244

LEBANON

TURKE Y

1

2 011

4 JORDAN

2

2 31

29 PALESTINE

1

2 01 0

EGYP T

1

SUDAN SUDAN

2

2 19

1

2009

HUNGARY

RUSSIA

FINL AND

SWEDEN

DENMARK

2

208

ITALY

GERMANY

SWITZERL AND

3

2008

SOUTH AFRIC A

TUNISIA

IREL AND

UNITED KINGD OM

1

193

19 2

181

BELGIUM

FR ANCE 2 3

2 0 07

1 59

141 1 1

2006

12 2

117

1

2005

2004

2 0 03

2 0 02

2 0 01

6 1

1

4

5

4 9

4 1

1

3

FACULT Y / STAFF STUDENTS

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

4.4%

PA I N T I N G & P R I N T M A K I N G

7.1%

INTERIOR DESIGN

13. 3%

17. 3%

FA S H I O N D E S I G N

GR APHIC DESIGN

1 5.7 %


A LU M N I P RO F I L E S

Nesma Khodier

M FA I N D E S I G N ' 16, VCU Q ATA R / B FA G R A P H I C D E S I G N ' 07, A L E X A N D R I A U N I V E R S I T Y

36 — Issue 5


‫  ‪  A LU M N I P RO F I L E S‬‬

‫‪F RO M D E S I G N E R TO I N V E N TO R : E X P LO R I N G‬‬ ‫‪M U LT I P L E D I S C I P L I N E S O F C R E AT I V I T Y‬‬

‫نسمة خضير‬

‫دفعة ‪ – ٢٠١٦‬درجة الماجستر في التصميم‪ ،‬جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث في قطر‪،‬‬ ‫دفعة ‪ – ٢٠٠٧‬تصميم الغرافيك‪ ،‬جامعة اإلسكندرية‬

‫من مصمم إلى مخترع‪ :‬استكشاف تخصصات متعددة لإلبداع‬

‫العمل يف الفن والتصميم يبدو كاختيار مثايل لمهنة رائعة ومرحية‪ ،‬ولكن اآلن تهشد نسمة‬ ‫خضري‪ ،‬بأن هذه المهنة تتطلب يف الواقع الكثري من العمل الاشق‪ .‬باحث ومصمم متعدد‬ ‫التخصصات‪ ،‬حصلت عىل درجة الماجستري يف التصميم من جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف‬ ‫قطر عام ‪ ،2016‬وتعمل حاليا جاهدة عىل تصميم العديد من المنتجات المفيدة‪.‬‬

‫قد نتاسءل ما الفرق بني الفن والتصميم‪ ،‬و ما نعنيه أن نسمة مصمم وليست فنان؟‬ ‫الفرق خط رفيع جدا‪ .‬تم إناشء الفن تقليديا حبتا جلاذبيته اجلمالية‪ ،‬بينما مييل التصميم‬ ‫إىل الدوران حول المنتج‪ .‬نستطيع القول أيضا أن التصميم هو فن مع وظيفة‪ .‬قد تبدو‬ ‫المنطقتان من عالمني متباعدين يف الغرض‪ ،‬ولكن مييل مجيع الناس الذين يعملون يف‬ ‫الفن والتصميم إىل توفري مزجي أاسيس من المهارات العملية والموهبة يف استخدام اللون‬ ‫والماسحة والشكل والنموذج‪ .‬ال بد أن يتلقى الفنانون والمصممون التدريب الالزم من‬ ‫خالل براجم اآلداب الفنون العامة مثل تلك الموجودة يف جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر‬ ‫لتحقيق النجاح‪ .‬إنه طريق ذو اجتاهني‪ ،‬يستطيع الفنانون والمصممون تعلم كيفية حتقيق‬ ‫النجاح يف األعمال التجارية‪ ،‬ويستطيع ذوو المهارات التقليدية تعلم االزدهار يف بيئة من‬ ‫الذاتية والغموض‪ ،‬واليت هي سمة من سمات سوق العمل اليوم‪.‬‬ ‫بدأت نسمة رحلهتا مع جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر عام ‪ 2011‬عندما قامت‬ ‫بالماشركة يف تدريس بعض من دورات المجتمع اليت تطرحها اجلامعة‪ .‬يف مايو ‪2007‬‬ ‫وقبل التحاقها جبامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر‪ ،‬حصلت نسمة عىل بكالوريوس مع‬ ‫مرتبة الرشف يف تصميم الغرافيك ‪/‬االتصاالت البرصية من جامعة اإلسكندرية يف مرص‪.‬‬ ‫من خالل عملها يف دورات المجتمع وتفاعلها مع‬ ‪‭‬األاستذة‪ ،‬بدأت نسمة تشعر بقيمة‬ ‫مواصلة التدريب يف جمال ختصصها‪ .‬التحقت نسمة بربناجم الماجستري يف التصميم يف‬ ‫جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر وخترجت يف مايو ‪ .2016‬شحذ الربناجم مهاراهتا واسعدها‬ ‫أكرث يف الوصول إىل العديد من المعارض اجلديدة‪ .‬عرضت نسمة أعمالها يف كل من مرص‬ ‫واإلمارات وقطر‪ .‬‬ ‫تم اختيار مرشوع نسمة احلايل "الكانود ‪ "KANUD‬للعرض يف معرض ‪Global Grad‬‬ ‫‪ Show‬العالمي والمعروف بأجوائه التنافسية العالية‪ ،‬والذي أقيم عىل هامش أسبوع‬ ‫ديب للتصميم‪ ،‬برعاية بريندان ماكجرتك‪ .‬ويعد ‪ Global Grad Show‬منصة فريدة من‬ ‫نوعها‪ ،‬متنح الطالب فرصة عرض وتبادل األفكار مع طالب ومعلمني من أفضل الرباجم يف‬ ‫مجيع أحناء العالم‪ .‬ويعد حاضنة حقيقية ألفضل أألعمال اجلديدة والمثرية يف التعليم‪،‬‬ ‫وكان مرشوع نسمة واحدا من بني ‪ 145‬تم اختيارهم لتمثيل ‪ 50‬جامعة رائدة من ‪ 30‬دولة‪.‬‬ ‫بدأت نسمة بالتحقيق يف سلوكيات ووظائف اآلالت الموسيقية‪ ،‬وربطت الموسيقى والفن‬ ‫والتصميم والهندسة يف عملية الستكمال منوذج ثاليث األبعاد‪ ،‬وبرجمة اجلهاز‪ ،‬وجتميعه‪،‬‬ ‫وتشطيبه الهنايئ‪ .‬للقيام بذلك‪ ،‬قامت نسمة ببناء مرشوعها وبذكاء عىل خلفيهتا التعليمية‬ ‫الاسبقة يف المزج بني التفاهم واالحرتام للموسيقى العربية التقليدية مع سلسلة من‬ ‫التكنولوجيا الرقمية وضعت بعناية‪ .‬يف الهناية قامت نسمة بإنتاج جهاز موسيقي صمم‬ ‫جلعل الموسيقى التقليدية المعقدة بدهيية وأكرث هسولة وأوسع نطاقا‪ .‬ونستعرض هنا‬ ‫نسمة ورحلهتا يف جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر‪ ،‬وكيف اسعدهتا عىل التنقل بني‬ ‫األسواق الصناعية‪.‬‬

‫‪Issue 5 — 37‬‬

‫‪Working in art and design seems like a wonderfully idyllic and re‬‬‫‪laxed career choice, but as Nesma Khodier can attest, this career‬‬ ‫‪path is actually a lot of hard work. A researcher and multidisciplinary‬‬ ‫‪designer who received her MFA in Design at VCUQatar in 2016,‬‬ ‫‪Khodier works hard at designing useful objects.‬‬ ‫‪Maybe you are wondering about the difference between art and‬‬ ‫‪design, and what it means that Khodier is a Designer and not an‬‬ ‫‪artist? Really it’s a very fine line. Art is traditionally created purely for‬‬ ‫‪its aesthetic appeal, while design tends to revolve around a product.‬‬ ‫‪You might even say that design is art with a function. The two differ‬‬‫‪ent areas may seem worlds apart in their purpose, but the people who‬‬ ‫‪work in art and design all tend to have an essential mix of practical‬‬ ‫‪skills and a talent for using color, space, shape and form. Yet for both‬‬ ‫‪Artists and Designers, training through Liberal Arts programs at‬‬ ‫‪VCUQatar is essential to their success. It is a two–way street, where‬‬ ‫‪artists and designers can learn to succeed in business and those with‬‬ ‫‪more conventional skills can learn to thrive in an environment of‬‬ ‫‪subjectivity and ambiguity, characteristic of the job market today.‬‬ ‫‪Khodier’s journey with VCUQatar began in 2011 when she started‬‬ ‫‪teaching classes in the community education program. Prior to com‬‬‫‪ing to VCUQatar, she received a BFA with honors in Graphic Design/‬‬ ‫‪Visual Communications from Alexandria University in Egypt in May‬‬ ‫‪2007. From interacting with the teachers and professors through her‬‬ ‫‪work with the community classes, she began to see the value in fur‬‬‫‪ther training in her field. The program honed her skills and allowed‬‬ ‫‪her greater access to new exhibition venues and more collaborators.‬‬ ‫‪She has now exhibited her work in Egypt, UAE and Qatar.‬‬ ‫‪Her recent project KANUD, was selected for exhibition in the highly‬‬ ‫‪competitive Global Grad Show, part of Dubai Design Week, curated‬‬ ‫‪by Brendan McGetrick. The Global Grad Show is a unique platform,‬‬ ‫‪giving students a chance to showcase and exchange ideas with‬‬ ‫‪students and educators from top programs around the world. It is‬‬ ‫‪a true incubator for the best new and exciting work in education,‬‬ ‫‪and Khodier’s work was one of 145 chosen to represent 50 leading‬‬ ‫‪universities from 30 countries.‬‬


Beginning with investigation on the behavior and function of instruments, Khodier spanned music, art, design and engineering in the process of completing 3D modeling, machine programming, assembly, and hand finishing. In doing so, her project artfully builds on her prior educational background to blend the understanding and respect for traditional Arabic music with a series of carefully crafted digital technologies. In the end, she produced a novel device designed to make the complex traditional music more accessible, intuitive, and widely appreciated. We interviewed Khodier on her journey with VCUQatar and how it has helped her to navigate through the industry marketplace. Why did you choose VCUQatar?

I learned about the MFA program after teaching with VCUQatar’s community education program. The MFA program was appealing. It led me towards a design discipline path, which was exactly where I wanted to be. After receiving extensive experience in advertising and communication, I needed to extend my visual design skills to blend it with what is known as “human-centered” design. It’s a process that starts with the people you’re designing for and ends with new solutions that are tailor-made to suit their needs. The program offers amazing courses such as digital fabrication, robotics and materials, all which enabled me to discover the latest technology available to build my multidisciplinary projects in the studio classes. What were some highlights of your VCUQatar years?

I had access to fantastic facilities, from the library to all the manufacturing labs, all within the same campus. As an MFA alumni, I found the design events hosted by VCUQatar have extended my skills outside the classroom, enabling me to gain further industry experience, and connect with other experts. I would add to that list, having the opportunity to engage with lecturers. Their insight and diverse levels of expertise were extremely helpful. They are also extremely personable and willing to serve as mentors and advisors. Lastly, I would say life on campus was like a pre-cursor to future networking opportunities. Developing and nurturing relationships with fellow students and future designers was sort of like a sneak peak into the possibilities of working collaboratively for a corporation or on major projects. What are you currently doing in your career, and how has VCUQatar helped you navigate through your industry space?

I was accepted in the Artist in Residence program of 2016 in the Doha Fire Station. I recently have launched my own design studio, Arabesque, to start declaring/communicating my designs and products to the world. I guess you can say this was sort of the onset of my entrepreneurial journey. In September of 2015 as part of my master thesis research, I chose to focus on the future of Arabic music. I collaborated

38 — Issue 5

‫لماذا قمت باختيار جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث في قطر؟‬

‫علمت عن برناجم الماجستري بعد أن قمت بالتدريس يف دورات المجتمع اليت تطرحها‬ ‫ وقادين حنو ماسر للتخصص يف‬،‫ جذبين الربناجم‬.‫جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر‬ ‫ بعد تلقي خربة واسعة يف جمال اإلعالن‬.‫ والذي شكل بالضبط أين أريد أن أكون‬،‫التصميم‬ ‫ كنت حباجة إىل تطوير مهارايت يف التصميم المريئ ومزجها مبا يعرف بتصميم‬،‫واالتصاالت‬ ‫ اهنا عملية تبدأ بالناس الذي تصمم لهم وتنهتي حبلول جديدة صممت‬."‫"حموره اإلناسن‬ ‫ يقدم برناجم الماجستري يف اجلامعة مقررات مذهلة مثل‬.‫خصيصا لتناسب احتياجاهتم‬ ‫ وغريها من المقررات اليت مكنتين من اكتاشف‬،‫ والروبوت والمواد‬،‫التصنيع الرقمي‬ .‫أحدث التقنيات المتاحة لبناء مرشوع متعدد التخصصات يف االستوديوهات الدراسية‬ ‫حدثينا عن بعض المالمح الرئيسية لدراستك في جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث‬ ‫في قطر؟‬

‫ من المكتبة إىل معامل‬،‫كان لدي صالحية الوصول للعديد من المرافق الرائعة‬ ‫ كخرجية من برناجم الماجستري يف جامعة‬.‫ ومجيعها ضمن حدود احلرم اجلامعي‬،‫التصنيع‬ ‫ وجدت أن الفعاليات اليت استضافهتا اجلامعة عملت عىل‬،‫فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر‬ ‫ مما أتاح يل احلصول عىل مزيد من اخلربة يف جمال‬،‫نرش مهارايت إىل خارج الفصول الدراسية‬ ‫ منحي فرصة التواصل مع العديد‬،‫ وأود أن أضيف‬.‫ والتواصل مع خرباء آخرين‬،‫الصناعة‬ ‫ وعىل‬،‫ بل هم فاتنني‬،‫ أفادتين بصريهتم ومستوياهتم المختلفة من اخلربة‬،‫من المحارضين‬ .‫استعداد لتقديم خدماهتم كمرشدين ومستاشرين‬ ‫ كانت احلياة يف احلرم اجلامعي مقدمة إىل فرص أكرب للتواصل يف‬،‫ أود أن أقول‬،‫وأخريا‬ ‫ تطوير ورعاية عالقايت مع زماليئ من الطالب ومصممي المستقبل كان كنظرة‬.‫المستقبل‬ .‫خاطفة عىل إمكانية العمل اجلماعي كمؤسسة أو ماشريع كربى‬ ‫ وكيف ساعدتك جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث‬،‫ماذا تفعلين حاليا في حياتك المهنية‬

‫في قطر على التنقل في مجال الصناعة؟‬

‫ أطلقت مؤخرا استوديو التصميم‬.‫ يف مطاىفء مقر الفنانني‬2016 ‫تم قبويل بربناجم اإلقامة‬ .‫اخلاص يب "أرابيسك" للبدء يف اإلعالن عن تصاميمي ومنتجايت وتوصيلها إىل العالم‬ 2015 ‫ يف سبتمرب‬.‫ هذا كان نوعا ما بداية رحليت يف األعمال احلرة‬،‫ تستطيع القول‬،‫اعتقد‬ .‫ اخرتت الرتكزي عىل مستقبل الموسيقى العربية‬،‫وكجزء من حبيث لراسلة الماجستري‬ .‫ مرص وأكادميية قطر للموسيقى يف الدوحة‬،‫تعاونت مع كلية الرتبية الموسيقية يف القاهرة‬ ‫دفعين حبيث متعدد التخصصات داخل ختصص الموسيقى الستكاشف اآلالت الوترية‬ ‫ ويف الهناية دجم العود والقانون يف أداة رقمية هجينة جديدة "الكانود‬،‫للفرق العربية‬ ‫ مما يسمح بتغيري العزف من‬،‫ يتمزي المنتج بآلية لالنفصال‬.‫ أول منتج يل‬،"KANUD ‫ هتدف هذه اآللة إىل الربط بني مجهور الموسيقى العربية‬.‫العود إىل القانون وبالعكس‬ ‫التقليدية والمعارصة كما تعرض مقدمة لتوليد عمليات موسيقية وحتويلها إىل مماراست‬ ‫ تعدد‬: ‫ وتقديم تقنيات توافقية إضافية لتأليف الموسيقى (مثال‬،‫يف الموسيقى العربية‬ .)... ‫األصوات‬


with the School of Music Education in Cairo, Egypt and Qatar Music Academy in Doha. My interdisciplinary research within the discipline of music led me to explore the stringed instruments of Arabic ensembles, and ultimately to merge the Oud and Kanun into a hybrid digital instrument, the KANUD, my very first product. It has a detachable mechanism, which allows for changing the playing position from oud to kanun and back. This instrument aims to bridge traditional and contemporary Arabic music audiences as well as offers an introduction of generative music processes into Arabic music practice, offering additional harmonic techniques, [i.e., polyphony, fugal...] of music composition. The KANUD runs using its own application which is produced in MaxMSP. Based on the principles and aesthetics of Arabic music theories, this application enables users to select one music scale out of 8 and to record their performance in a very simple and userfriendly interface. This accessible instrument enables musicians and non-musicians to compose and improvise music on the Arabic music scales, which can possibly lead to new music; paying homage to tradition while creating a distinctive path to the future. My ultimate goal is to secure a manufacturer in the music industry to distribute my invention throughout the Arab world, and abroad to other regions within Europe, Asia and the U.S. What advise would you give current and future students of VCUQatar?

There are multiple aspects of creativity in each discipline. Endless possibilities open up if you think beyond those disciplines and expand your reach. It is imperative that you do so as you move onward in your journey to cater to the needs of humanity!

“There are multiple aspects of creativity in each discipline. Endless possibilities open up if you think beyond those disciplines and expand your reach.”

‫" باستخدام التطبيق اخلاص به والذي يتم إنتاجه باستخدام‬KANUD ‫يعمل "الكانود‬ ‫ يتيح هذا‬،‫ واستنادا إىل مبادئ ومجاليات نظريات الموسيقى العربية‬.MaxMSP ‫التطبيق للمستخدمني حتديد نطاق واحد للموسيقى من أصل مثانية وتسجيل أداهئم يف‬ ‫ الموسيقيني‬،‫ هسلة االستخدام‬،‫ متكن هذه اآللة‬.‫واجهة بسيطة جدا وهسلة االستخدام‬ ،‫وغري الموسيقيني من تأليف وارجتال الموسيقى باستخدام مدرج الموسيقى العربية‬ ‫والذي سيؤدي يف األغلب إىل ابتكار موسيقى جديدة؛ مما يسمح بتكريم التقاليد وخلق‬ ‫ ضمان رشكة مصنعة يف صناعة الموسيقى لتوزيع‬،‫ غاية أهدايف اآلن‬.‫ماسر ممزي للمستقبل‬ ‫ واخلارج وإىل مناطق أخرى يف أوروبا وآسيا والواليات‬،‫اخرتاعي يف مجيع أحناء العالم العريب‬ .‫المتحدة االمريكية‬ ‫ما النصيحة التي ترغبين في توجيهها للطلبة الحاليين والمستقبليين في جامعة‬

‫فرجينيا كومنولث في قطر؟‬

‫ التفكري إىل ما وراء هذه التخصصات‬.‫يف كل ختصص هناك جوانب متعددة لإلبداع‬ .‫سيفتح لك احتماالت ال هنائية ويعمل عىل توسيع مداركك وما تستطيع الوصول إليه‬ !‫ال بد من أن تفعل ذلك وأنت تتقدم يف رحلتك لتلبية االحتياجات اإلناسنية‬

Issue 5 — 39


A LU M N I P RO F I L E S

Nayla Al-Mulla

M A I N D E S I G N R E S E A RC H ' 15, C E N T R A L S T. M A RT I N S / B FA FA S H I O N D E S I G N ' 0 8, VCU Q ATA R

C O40 AT — - Issue TECH 5 N I C A L I L LU S T R AT I O N D E V E L O P M E N T - Q E L A - Q ATA R LU X U RY G RO U P


‫  ‪  A LU M N I P RO F I L E S‬‬

‫نيلة أحمد المال‬

‫دفعة ‪ – ٢٠٠٨‬تصميم األزياء‬

‫أستاذة قطرية تشق نمط جديد لحياتها‬

‫اختيار تصميم األزياء وإيجاد شغفها‬

‫قادمة من المدرسة الثانوية التقليدية ومن ختصص علمي‪ ،‬كان قرارها يف اختيار األزياء‬ ‫جريئا قليال‪ .‬التحقت نيلة جبامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر وهي صفحة بيضاء‪ ،‬وكان‬ ‫التكيف يف هذا المجال اإلبداعي "كان كل يشء مثريا جدا‪ ،‬جديدا ومتحديا"‪،‬‬ ‫علهيا‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫أاشرت نيلة‪ .‬كطالبة مستجدة‪ ،‬التحقت نيلة بربناجم التصميم الداخيل‪ ،‬تأمل احلصول‬ ‫عىل هشادة ذات عالقة بالهندسة المعمارية‪ ،‬ولكن تغري ذلك برسعة بعد عدة زيارات‬ ‫قصرية لقسم تصميم األزياء‪ .‬قالت نيلة "سحرتين اعمال الطلبة‪ ،‬ورأيت الهندسة‬ ‫المعمارية يف شكل أكرث محيمية‪ ,،‬وقد أرسين ذلك"‪ .‬أدركت حيهنا بأنين أرغب يف أن أصبح‬ ‫‪" .patternmaker‬التصميم متعة‪ ،‬و أستطيع أن أفقد وأجد نفيس وأنا أعمل عىل ثوب‬ ‫من البداية اىل الهناية بيدي"‪.‬‬ ‫النصح والتوجيه وشبكات التواصل‬

‫هناك العديد من الموجهني الذين أثروا يف نيلة خالل سنوات دراسهتا وال يزالون يقومون‬ ‫بذلك حىت يومنا هذا‪ ،‬أبرزهم‪" ،‬اسندرا ويلكزن قدوة مدهشه كأستاذة ومربية قضت‬ ‫حياهتا يف نرش التعليم والموضة يف أماكن مثل قطر وزميبابوي‪ .‬الغالية لوفيل‪ ،‬واليت كان‬ ‫لدهيا الزتام ال يصدق جتاه هذه المهنة وطالهبا‪ ،‬واليت شكلت يل دامئا االلهام والتحدى‪.‬‬ ‫دون إيريل والذي يذكرين باستمرار ما يعنيه العمل الدؤوب وأن تكون شغوفا به كمثال‪،‬‬ ‫وأن تعمل عىل إجراء حمادثات تغري حياتك‪ ،‬أما دون كرو فكان كأبيات من الشعر يف طريقة‬ ‫مشيته وكالمه وتدريسه‪ .‬تعلمت الكثري منه"‪.‬‬ ‫أما من المزنل‪ ،‬فوالدهتا وشقيقها حممد علماها شيئني مهمني جدا‪" .‬أمي فنانة يف التعامل‬ ‫مع الناس‪ ،‬تستطيع أن ترى سلوك األشخاص كانعكاس لما يف داخلهم والتعامل معهم‬ ‫بناء عىل ذلك‪ .‬أما حممد‪ ،‬فمنفتح جدا يف تفكريه‪ ،‬لديه طرقه اخلاصة للخوض يف المعرفة‬ ‫وماشركهتا‪ ،‬وميتلك الشجاعة اليت متكنه من أن حييا لتحقيق ذاته"‪.‬‬ ‫االلتحاق بالقوى العاملة‬

‫بعد التخرج عام ‪ ،2008‬كان من المستحيل العثور عىل وظيفة ذات صلة باألزياء وتعكس‬ ‫ما تريده نيلة حقا‪ .‬عملت نيلة يف مركز البحوث والتصميم والماشريع يف مرشوع تصميم‬ ‫الزي العسكري لوحدة اجليش‪ ،‬ومن ثم يف أيادي اخلري حنو آسيا يف العالقات مع الماشهري‪.‬‬ ‫و بعدها خطت نيلة خطوة كبرية حقا عندما حصلت عىل وظيفة يف صناعة النماذج يف‬ ‫أول عالمة جتارية قطرية يف األزياء ‪( Qela‬واليت أغلقت أبواهبا مؤخرا)‪ .‬عملت نيلة هناك‬ ‫إىل جانب العديد من المحرتفني يف عالم ألزياء من فرناس‪ ،‬وخاصة المصمم ستيفان روالن‬ ‫والفرنيس تيريي توماس‪ ،‬والذي يعد من أهم الموهوبني يف صناعة النماذج وذو سرية ذاتية‬

‫‪Issue 5 — 41‬‬

‫‪Q ATA R I FACU LT Y C U T S A N E W PAT T E R N‬‬ ‫‪FO R H E R L I F E‬‬

‫‪On choosing fashion and finding her passion‬‬

‫‪Coming from a traditional high school with a science major, to‬‬ ‫‪say she wanted to go into fashion was a bit of a shocker. Al-Mulla‬‬ ‫‪entered VCUQatar as a blank slate, and had to adjust to the creative‬‬ ‫‪field. “It was very exciting, everything was new and challenging,” Al‬‬‫‪Mulla recalled. As an entering freshman, Al-Mulla enrolled in Interior‬‬ ‫‪Design, thinking to get an Architecture related degree, but that‬‬ ‫‪quickly changed after a few visit to the Fashion Department. “I‬‬ ‫‪was fascinated observing students work, I saw architecture in‬‬ ‫‪its most intimate form and I was hooked.” She knew then that‬‬ ‫‪she wanted to be a patternmaker. “Designing is fun, but I can both‬‬ ‫‪lose and find myself constructing a garment from start to finish with‬‬ ‫”‪my own hands.‬‬ ‫‪Mentorship and Networks‬‬

‫‪Many mentors influenced her during school years and continue‬‬ ‫‪to do so to this day, prominently, “Sandra Wilkins is an amazing‬‬ ‫‪role model being a woman educator who spent a life time career‬‬ ‫‪spreading Fashion Education in places like Qatar and Zimbabwe.‬‬ ‫‪Precious Lovell has unbelievable commitment to the craft and her‬‬ ‫‪students, her knowledge and work inspire and challenge me. Don Earley‬‬ ‫‪constantly reminds me what it means to be hardworking and pas‬‬‫‪sionate by his example, and he makes for life changing conversations.‬‬ ‫‪Don Crow was poetry from the way he walked, talked and taught, I‬‬ ‫”‪learned so much from him.‬‬ ‫‪Closer to home, her mother and brother Mohammed taught her two‬‬ ‫‪very important things. “My mother is an artist in dealing with people.‬‬ ‫‪It is powerful how she can see a persons behavior as a reflection to‬‬ ‫‪what is inside him/her and act upon that. As for Mohammed, he is‬‬ ‫‪progressive in his thinking, has a way of delving into knowledge and‬‬ ‫‪sharing it, and he lives true to his self, something only those with‬‬ ‫”‪courage can do.‬‬


“Both roles come with great responsibility. I am constantly thinking of the sustainability of what I am teaching and making. It all has to honor the person making it, the person wearing it, and the resources used in the process.”

Entering the Workforce

After graduation in 2008, it was impossible to find a fashion related job that really spoke to her. She worked at the Center for Research, Design & Enterpreneurship on a military project, and then for Reach to Asia as a Celebrity Advocate. But then, she really hit her stride when she landed a sample making job at the first Qatari fashion brand Qela (which recently closed its doors). There Al-Mulla worked aside fashion professionals from France, most closely with designer Stephan Rolland and Thierry Thomas, the latter an extremely gifted pattern maker with an exceptional resume. That was an enriching experience skill wise, after which she felt confident to pursue a postgraduate degree in Creative Pattern Making at Central St. Martins, University of the Arts London. There she was mentored by a young female pattern

42 — Issue 5

‫ كانت جتربة غنية ومليئة بالمهارات أعطهتا الثقة يف اإلقدام واحلصول عىل هشادة‬.‫استثنائية‬ ‫ جامعة لندن‬،‫الدرااست العليا يف تصميم األمناط اإلبداعية من اسنت مارتيزن المركزية‬ ،‫ هناك سنحت لنيلة فرصة االلتقاء بفتاة اشبة تعمل يف صناعة النماذج واألمناط‬.‫للفنون‬ ‫ " كانت‬.‫للعديد من العالمات التجارية البارزة مثل فيكتور ورالف وألكسندر ماكوين‬ ‫ اشبة موهوبة متارس مهنهتا‬،‫ كوهنا سيدة يف عالم هييمن عليه الذكور‬،‫مصدر الهام يل‬ ‫ "رأيت‬.‫ وقد أثر هذا اللقاء يف قرار نيلة يف ممارسة مهنة التدريس‬."‫حبرفية وتاشرك أكادمييا‬ ."‫ وشعرت بواجب دفعه إىل األمام‬،‫قيمة يف دورها المزدوج‬ ‫ تقوم نيلة بتدريس مقررات صناعة األمناط و تقنيات البناء واألقمشة يف جامعة‬،‫واليوم‬ ‫ استوديو أزياء‬،Stitch ‫ باإلضافة أهنا قامت مؤخرا بإطالق‬.‫فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر‬ ‫ "يأيت كال الدوران‬.‫تعمل من خالله عىل تصميم الماشريع اليت ختتارها بعناية يف المزنل‬ ‫ وال بد لكل يشء‬.‫ وأنا أفكر باستمرار باستدامة ما أقوم بتدريسه وصنعه‬.‫مبسؤولية كبرية‬ ."‫من أن يشكل رشفا لصانعه ومرتديه والموارد المستخدمة يف إنتاجه‬


maker freelancing for several prominent brands like Victor and Ralph and Alexander McQueen. “I found her exceptionally inspiring, being female in a male dominated business, young, talented and a practicing professional involved in Academia.” This encounter influenced Al-Mulla's decision to pursue a teaching career، “I saw value in her dual role, and felt an obligation to pay it forward.” Today, Al-Mulla teaches pattern making, construction techniques and draping at VCUQatar. Parallel to that, Nayla recently launched Stitch, a fashion studio working on in-house design projects, as well as carefully selected commissioned work. “Both roles come with great responsibility. I am constantly thinking of the sustainability of what I am teaching and making. It all has to honor the person making it, the person wearing it, and the resources used in the process.”

Issue 5 — 43


A LU M N I P RO F I L E S

Abdulla Al-Kuwari B FA PA I N T I N G A N D P R I N T M A K I N G ' 14

‫عبد الله الكواري‬

‫ – الرسم والطباعة‬٢٠١٤ ‫دفعة‬

Abdulla Al-Kuwari joined VCUQatar in 2010 and majored in Painting and Printmaking (PAPR). He said he chose VCUQatar because he believed the university quite simply “has a really good art program.”

‫دراسات الفن توفر منصة لدور في مجال السياحة‬

‫ وختصص يف قسم‬٢٠١٠ ‫انضم عبد الله الكواري جلامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر عام‬ ‫ وقال إنه اختار جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر ألنه اعتقد‬.)PAPR( ‫الرسم والطباعة‬ ."‫وبكل باسطة "أن هذه اجلامعة تقدم برناجما جيدا حقا يف الفن‬

“I knew that I wanted to study something related to art. Even though I wasn’t sure exactly what it was that I was going for. I have been drawing since I was a child. That’s why I felt that art was the right discipline for me,” he explained.

‫ عىل الرغم من‬.‫وأوضح عبدالله "كنت أعرف أنين أرغب يف دراسة ختصص يتعلق بالفن‬ ‫ ولذلك شعرت بأن الفن‬.‫ أرسم منذ كنت طفال‬.‫أنين لم أكن متأكدا مما أنا مقبل عليه‬ ."‫هو التخصص المناسب يل‬

Being the 2014 “Summa Cum Laude” and “Painting and Printmaking (PAPR) Class Marshal,” after what he admits were four years of pressure and effort, was “quite a rewarding moment!”

‫ بامتياز مع مرتبة‬،‫ وبعد أربع سنوات من الضغط واجلهد‬،2014 ‫خترج عبدالله سنة‬ ‫ كان ذلك‬،‫الرشف وكان قائد مسري دفعة قسم الرسم والطباعة يف حفل التخرج‬ "!‫"إىل حد كبري حلظة جمزية‬

Those years of ‘pressure and effort’ landed him a job at Qatar Tourism Authority in the Tourism Development sector, where he currently works in an administrative role. “It’s very different from what I learned in VCUQatar,” he said, but “the good side is that it expanded my knowledge and allowed me to explore a different discipline.”

‫ حيث‬،‫حصل عبدالله عىل وظيفة يف الهيئة العامة للسياحة يف قطاع التنمية السياحية‬ ‫ واضاف عبدالله "اهنا وظيفة ختتلف متاما عن ما تعلمته يف‬.‫يشغل حاليا منصبا إداريا‬ ‫ ولكن "اجلانب اجليد أن هذه الوظيفة عملت عىل توسيع مداركي وسمحت يل‬،"‫اجلامعة‬ ."‫استكاشف ختصصات خمتلفة‬

44 — Issue 5


A RT ST U D I E S P ROV I D E P L AT FO R M FO R RO L E I N TO U R I S M

“VCUQatar has a wide range of materials and facilities...experiment by trying different things. Don’t stick to one thing.” Looking back, other highlights of Abdulla’s time at VCUQatar include two trips to Italy for the Venice Biennale, which he describes as an amazing experience, and a visit to the home campus in Richmond for a summer course. “My short visit gave me a glimpse to what it means to be a student in the main campus,” he said. Abdulla is ‘trying to grow’ and get more chances to exhibit his work, and the signs of progress are there to see. He had an exhibition with a friend at Katara in January 2016, which was followed by an exhibition in Dubai a few months later. He is looking forward to having another exhibition in Dubai some time in 2017. What advice would you give to current and future students of VCUQatar?

“I don’t think I have exceptional advice to share, but there are few things that are worth keeping in mind, including the following: VCUQatar has a wide range of materials and facilities, and the faculty and staff are willing to help when needed. Therefore, experiment by trying different things. Don’t stick to one thing. One day, you won’t have the privilege of using all the materials and facilities that you got when you are a student. Part-time jobs, internships and other activities give you experience and help in establishing connections at early stages. These can be very beneficial for students who are about to finish their studies and look for jobs. Focus on priorities. Step out of your comfort zone every once in a while.”

،‫وبتسليط الضوء عىل حياة عبدالله خالل دراسته يف جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر‬ ‫ واليت وصفها بأهنا كانت جتربة‬،‫ بينايل البندقية‬،‫فهذا يشمل رحلتني واحدة إىل إيطاليا‬ ‫ وقال عبد الله‬.‫ وزيارة إىل اجلامعة األم يف ريتشموند للدراسة يف الفصل الصيفي‬،‫مدهشة‬ ."‫"زياريت القصرية أعطتين لمحة لما يعنيه أن تكون طالبا يف احلرم اجلامعي األم يف ريتشموند‬ ‫ وسيكون‬،‫"حياول عبدالله أن ينمو" وأن حيصل عىل المزيد من الفرص لعرض أعماله‬ ‫ أقام عبدالله معرضا له وبالرشاكة مع أحد‬.‫هناك عالمات لتقدمه نستطيع أن نراها‬ ‫ يتطلع عبدالله‬.‫ و بعد عدة أهشر أقام معرضا يف ديب‬،2016 ‫أصدقائه يف كتارا يف يناير‬ .2017 ‫للماشركة يف معرض آخر يف ديب يف‬ ‫ما النصيحة التي ترغب في تقديمها للطلبة الحاليين والمستقبليين في جامعة‬

‫فرجينيا كومنولث في قطر؟‬

‫ ولكن هناك قليل من األشياء اليت ال بد‬،‫"ال أعتقد أن لدي نصيحة استثنائية لماشركهتا‬ :‫من أخذها يف االعتبار‬ ‫ وأعضاء‬،‫تتمتع جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر مبجموعة واسعة من المواد والمرافق‬ ‫ قم بتجربة‬،‫ لذلك‬.‫هيئة التدريس والموظفني عىل استعداد تام للماسعدة عند احلاجة‬ ‫ ستفقد امتياز استخدام هذه المواد‬،‫ يف يوم ما‬.‫ ال تلزتم بيشء واحد‬.‫أشياء خمتلفة‬ ‫ والتدريب الداخيل‬،‫ العمل بدوام جزيئ‬.‫والمنآشت اليت حصلت علهيا وأنت طالب‬ .‫وغريها من األنشطة متنحك التجربة واخلربة وتاسعدك يف إقامة عالقات يف مراحل مبكرة‬ .‫وهذا سيكون مفيدا جدا للطالب الذين هم عىل وشك التخرج والبحث عن وظائف‬ ."‫ وال بد من اخلروج عن المألوف كل فرتة‬.‫الرتكزي عىل األولويات‬ ‫ "كان لها تأثريا كبريا‬:‫يلخص عبد الله حياته يف جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر بقوله‬ ."‫ "كانت جتربة جديرة باالهتمام‬:‫ وأضاف‬،"‫عىل حيايت كطالب وكشخص‬

Abdulla summed up his days at VCUQatar by saying that it “had a big impact on me as a student and as a person,” adding “it was an eye-opening experience for me.”

Issue 5 — 45


A LU M N I P RO F I L E S

Amal Almehain B FA I N T E R I O R D E S I G N ' 0 4

It was in Los Angeles, California that Amal Almehain found VCUQatar. As the daughter of artists, she knew her vocation in life very early, her mom Hissa Al Muraikhi was the first painter in Qatar and the manager of the Art Freedom Center, which graduated many artists over the years. “Art was in my blood,” Almehain likes to say. So, when it came time to find a school, she traveled the world with her father looking for a good program, and while in L.A .in 2000, her aunt called with good news. “Amal don’t study abroad” she said, “Qatar Foundation has a new school specialized in art here in Doha.” At that time, admission was closing, so she begged the admissions counselor to take her. “He told me ‘here is the deal, this is the portfolio and you have to submit this within 48 hours and if we like it, consider yourself in.” To his surprise, Almehain came in the next day with a beautiful portfolio with perspective drawings, a collage for graphic design and a fashion design, where her talent shone through. She enrolled the following day.

46 — Issue 5

‫أمل المحين‬

‫ – التصميم الداخلي‬٢٠٠٤ ‫دفعة‬

‫خريجة وسيدة أعمال قامت بتأسيس بوتيك ناجح‬

‫ كاليفورنيا عندما علمت بوجود جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث‬،‫كانت أمل يف لوس اجنلوس‬ ‫ كانت أمها حصة المرخيي‬،‫ أدركت أمل مهنهتا يف احلياة مبكرا جدا‬،‫ كابنة لفنان‬.‫يف قطر‬ ‫ والذي عمل عىل خترجي العديد‬،‫من أول الراسمني يف قطر وعملت كمدير لمركز حرية الفن‬ ،‫ ولذلك‬.‫ حتب أمل أن تكرر ذلك‬،"‫ "كان الفن يف دمي‬.‫من الفنانني عىل مر السنني‬ ‫ اسفرت أمل عرب العالم مع والدها‬،‫ وعندما حان الوقت الجياد جامعة‬،2000 ‫ويف عام‬ ‫ اتصلت هبا خالهتا لتعلن األخبار‬،‫ وبينما هي يف لوس اجنلوس‬،‫للبحث عن برناجم جيد‬ ‫ أنأشت مؤسسة قطر مدرسة جديدة متخصصة‬،‫ قائلة "امل ال تدريس يف اخلارج‬.‫اجليدة‬ ‫ توسلت‬،‫ كان باب التقديم للجامعة قد أغلق‬،‫ يف ذلك الوقت‬."‫يف الفن هنا يف الدوحة‬ ‫ وعندما رأى إرصارها وافق أن تقوم بإجناز‬.‫أمل مستاشر القبول لقبول طلب التحاقها‬ .‫ عىل أن يتم قبولها إذا نال إعجاهبم‬،‫ اسعة‬48 ‫الملف الفين الشخيص وتقدميه خالل‬ ،‫جاءت أمل يف اليوم التايل حتمل ملفا فنيا مدهاش برسومات واعدة تظهر موهبهتا‬ ‫ وتم قبولها‬،‫ مما أدهش مسؤولوا القبول‬،‫الكوالج لتصميم الغرافيك وتصميم األزياء‬ .‫باجلامعة يف اليوم التايل‬


A LU M N I P RO F I L E S  

A LU M N A E N T R E P R E N E U R FO U N D S U C C E SS F U L B O U T I Q U E

On her life at VCUQatar and becoming a professional

As she recalls, “my major was interior design. I loved interior since I was a kid.” But although she came with a wealth of talent, VCUQatar was instrumental in honing her professional skills. “It helped me as a person to be more organized and responsible.” In addition, the student exhibitions, critiques and awards, many of which she won, helped to build her confidence across many different disciplines. “Now I own a triple trend design house so called because we provide three services: interior design, graphic design and fashion design. We provide services from concept to finished work.” La Boutique Blanche comes under the fashion trend. The concept of the boutique is unique, “to put the whole world under one roof.” As Almehain recounts, “For the last two years, I’ve been communicating with, travelling, exploring and discovering new brands from all over the world. Now La Boutique Blanche has 65 brands from all over the world and most of them are exclusively for the boutique. It is a dream come true, Alhamdulilah.” Almehain designed the whole interior of the boutique to be part and parcel of the experience, including lights, sounds and scents. Almehain says “I created the boutique because I love fashion and I think Qatar needs a place like La Boutique Blanche since the boutique has a lot of options, especially dresses and night gowns.” She goes on to explain that the boutique was also a smart business move. It compliments her interior design work where the cash flow is slower, and keeps the whole Triple Trend business moving with reliable cash flow. On being an entrepreneur

When asked about what it’s like to be an entrepreneur, Almehain states that it is a lot of work, and at first she hesitated to take the leap. “In the end, I am really happy with what I’ve accomplished, I learned a lot, got a lot of PR, met a lot of people from all over the world, and became more famous probably in Europe than in Qatar, or GCC. Honestly, I’m so happy and honored. I was very brave to take this step and I do not regret all the money that I invested. La Boutique Blanche earned a good reputation everywhere, and I continue to get positive feedback.” For Almehain, seemingly born with talent, VCUQatar provided the necessary training to apply her talent in the business world. In her words, “I was afraid at first, but now I am happy and satisfied with my career.”

“In the end, I am really happy with what I’ve accomplished, I’ve learned a lot...I was afraid at first, but now I am happy and satisfied with my career.” ‫حياتها في جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث في قطر واحترافها‬

‫ ولكن‬."‫ أحب التصميم الداخيل منذ طفوليت‬،‫ "ختصصت يف التصميم الداخيل‬:‫تتذكر أمل‬ ‫ إال أنه كان جلامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر دور فعال يف‬،‫وعىل الرغم من موهبهتا الفذة‬ ‫ كما اسعدت‬."‫ "اسعدتين اجلامعة أن أكون أكرث تنظيما ومسؤولية‬.‫صقل مهاراهتا المهنية‬ ‫ عىل بناء ثقهتا يف العديد‬،‫ واالنتقادات واجلوائز الكثرية اليت فازت هبا‬،‫المعارض الطالبية‬ ‫ وسمي‬triple trend design house ‫ "أنا اآلن أملك‬.‫من التخصصات المختلفة‬ ‫ التصميم الداخيل وتصميم الغرافيك وتصميم‬:‫كذلك ألننا نقوم بتقديم ثالثة خدمات يف‬ ."‫ حنن نقدم اخلدمة من بدهئا كمفهوم إىل العمل الهنايئ‬.‫األزياء‬

‫ مفهوم هذا البوتيك فريد‬.‫ حتت خدمة تصميم األزياء‬La Boutique Blanche ‫يأيت‬ ،‫ "قمت عىل مدى سنتني‬:‫" تقول أمل‬.‫ "وضع العالم أمجع حتت سقف واحد‬،‫من نوعه‬ ‫ واالستكاشف واكتاشف العديد من العالمات التجارية اجلديدة من‬،‫بالبحث والسفر‬ ‫ ستا ومخسني عالمة جتارية‬La Boutique Blanche ‫ واآلن يتضمن‬.‫مجيع أحناء العالم‬ ."‫ احلمد لله‬،‫ إنه حلم أصبح حقيقة‬.‫ ومعظمهم حرصيا للبوتيك‬،‫من مجيع أحناء العالم‬ ‫ مبا يف‬،‫قامت أمل بتنفيذ التصميم الداخيل للبوتيك لتكون جزءا ال يتجزأ من التجربة‬ ‫ تقول أمل "ابتكرت البوتيك ألنين أحب الموضة وأعتقد‬.‫ذلك األضواء واألصوات والرواحئ‬ ‫ حيث يقدم البوتيك الكثري من‬La Boutique Blanche ‫أن قطر حباجة إىل مكان مثل‬ ‫ وتوضح أمل بأن هذا البوتيك كان خطوة‬."‫ خاصة الفاستني وفاستني الهسرات‬،‫اخليارات‬ ،‫تكمل عملها يف التصميم الداخيل فمع بطء التدفق النقدي‬ ّ ‫ فهي‬.‫ذكية يف عالم األعمال‬ .‫ مع توفر مصدر نقدي موثوق به‬Triple Trend Business ‫حنن حنافظ عىل استمرارية‬ ‫سيدة أعمال‬

‫ ذلك يعين الكثري من‬: ‫ أجابت أمل‬،‫وردا عىل سؤال حول ما يعنيه أن تكون سيدة أعمال‬ ‫ "يف الهناية أنا سعيدة حقا مبا‬.‫ ترددت يف البداية من القيام هبذه اخلطوة‬،‫العمل الاشق‬ ‫ التقي الكثري من الناس‬،‫ وحصلت عىل الكثري من العالقات العامة‬،‫ تعلمت الكثري‬،‫أجنزته‬ ‫ برصاحة‬.‫ رمبا يف أوروبا أكرث من قطر ودول اخلليج‬،‫ وأصبح أكرث هشرة‬،‫من مجيع أحناء العالم‬ ‫ كنت شجاعة جدا يف اإلقدام عىل هذه اخلطوة وأنا لست‬.‫أنا فخورة وسعيدة جدا بذلك‬ ‫ سمعة‬La Boutique Blanche ‫ اكتسب‬.‫نادمة إطالقا عىل ما استثمرته هبا من أموال‬ ‫ واليت‬،‫ بالنسبة ألمل‬."‫ وال زلت أتلقى المزيد من ردود الفعل اإلجيابية‬،‫طيبة يف كل مكان‬ ‫ قدمت جامعة فرجينيا كومنولث يف قطر‬،‫جاءت إىل احلياة حاملة للعديد من المواهب‬ ،‫ "كنت خائفة يف البداية‬،‫ وبكلماهتا‬.‫التدريب الالزم لها إلطالق موهبهتا يف عالم األعمال‬ ."‫ولكن أنا اآلن سعيدة وراضية عن مسرييت‬

Issue 5 — 47


A LU M N I N E W S  

Alumni Trip to Japan 2016 VCUQatar strongly believes in promoting a social and cultural global

One of the most profound moments of the trip came during their

understanding, and a sense of teamwork. ‘The team that plays

visit to Hiroshima, the site of the first atomic bomb explosion. The

together stays together, even after they have graduated. Alumni

alumni met with Bobby McWilliams, a survivor of the blast, who with

group travel incentivizes and increases the kinds of creative cultural

hisanti-war group, which also included other survivors, told the alumni

experiences that can provide a much-needed break from the everyday

of their experiences.

routine of life after graduation. This year, the alumni chose to visit Japan, where they visited locations in Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, and Naoshima Art Island. On their return to Doha, the alumni gave a 30-minute presentation, an abstract visual documentary to VCUQatar’s Academic Advisory Council on the trip’s outcomes. The participants included both recently graduated and graduates from some of VCUQatar’s early graduating class.

48 — Issue 5

Following the great success of the first alumni trip to the UK in 2015, and the second to Japan in 2016, VCUQatar’s Alumni Relations Office is now committed to continuing this program which will become an annual event offering alumni the opportunity to come together to propose an art and design and culture-related destination of their choice.


A LU M N I N E W S  

VCUQatar Day Alumni Involvement The Alumni Relations Office at VCUQatar, for the very first year, and in

The Tobacco Company restaurant with VCU School of the Arts Senior

collaboration with the Student Affairs office and the Student

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, John Guthmiller, VCUQatar’s

Government Association, invited two alumni to participate in the

Dean, Dr. Akel Kahera, VCU Associate Vice President for University

annual VCUQatar Day SGA Leadership trip to the main campus in

Alumni Relations, Gordon A. McDougall, VCU Interim Senior Director of

Richmond, VA. The two fully funded alumni seats were very competitive and required

Outreach and Engagement, Amy Gray, and VCUQatar Alumni Alumni Relations Coordinator, Ahmad Oustwani.

a personal statement and two recommendations from VCUQatar

Upon the return to Doha, the selected alumni continued their involve-

faculty and staff. The alumni were expected to act as ambassadors,

ment in their hometown by welcoming the visiting SGA team from

mingling with students and helping to guide them in their

VCU Richmond to their homes for a traditional Qatari meal with

many activities.

their families.

The two alumni were met and greeted by the Alumni House team in Richmond. They also had the opportunity to enjoy an exclusive meal at

Exclusive Alumni Reception and Dinner with President Rao and Dean Kahera An exclusive alumni reception and dinner was held at the Paper Moon

One VCU alumnus, Shakir Alsharari, who graduated with a Ph.D in

Doha restaurant during VCU President Dr. Michael Rao’s annual visit

Pharmacology and Toxicology from the home campus in 2012, drove

to VCUQatar on January 7, 2016.

all the way from Riyadh to attend the event. Dr. Alsharari is now an

Twenty-five alumni representing all of the different majors, years, nationalities, and professions attended the dinner and talked to President Rao and Dean Kahera about their postgraduate achievements, successes and plans.

assistant professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at King Saud University in Riyadh. A huge thanks goes out to all who attended, and in particular to Dr. Alsharari for making such an exceptional effort to attend this amazing event.

Issue 5 — 49


A LU M N I N E W S  

Ramadan Iftars at Kempinski Marsa Malaz

VCUQatar and Faculty Among New Intake as Artists in Residence at Doha Fire Station

Approximately 50 alumni attended two special Iftars that were held at the Kempinski Marsa Malaz during the holy month of Ramadan.

Faculty and alumni from VCUQatar are among the 20 artists who

Dean Akel Kahera was on hand with faculty and staff to meet and

have been selected by Qatar Museums to become Artists in Residence

greet the alumni and enjoy a very special meal during what is a very

at Doha Fire Station for the 2016–17 year.

special month.

The group of artists, which includes 10 Qataris, consists of artists from a range of different disciplines including art, photography, video, design, painting, poetry and drawing.

50 — Issue 5


A LU M N I N E W S  

VCUQatar Alumni Homecoming April is reunion month at VCUQatar and 2016 was no exception. This year was extra special because the reunion was held for the first time at VCUQatar’s Atrium, in effect a homecoming for our incredible alumni. Dean Kahera was on hand with faculty and staff to welcome the alumni ambassadors back to their second home and alma mater, to where they shared so many happy memories. The event allowed alumni, faculty and staff to reconnect in an informal gathering and remember fun times, exchange contacts, and talk about future plans.

The Fire Station ‘Artist in Residence’ program is hosted at the Doha

The alumni relations office is committed to providing alumni with

Fire Station building, and aims to create a space that offers an

ongoing learning, professional development and networking opportu-

indigenous, local approach to creativity and artistic production. The

nities. They are in constant communication with alumni to learn

residency program, which is open to local Qatari artists and residents

about their needs, and are eager to assist them in excelling in the

of Qatar, runs in nine-month cycles.

professional world.

The Fire Station hosts 25 artists in residence each year, and is a home of sorts to the artists who use it for their explorations of ideas and identity through art. Some of these artists have invariably been VCUQatar faculty, staff and alumni. At the time of the exhibit the station housed 5 VCUQatar alumni, 3 faculty members, and one community classes instructor.

Issue 4 — 51


FAC U LT Y & S TA F F Achievements

institutions on the process of

Michael Hersrud was featured in the

student recruiters.

VCUQatar 2016 Faculty Exhibition with his

Department of Painting and Printmaking faculty member Michael Perrone participated in the T.A.K.T. artist residency this summer Throughout the year, faculty and staff

in Berlin, Germany. As part of the residency,

publish in professional journals and public

he participated in the group exhibition ‘Total

magazines, and participate in conferences

View,’ at the Tapir Gallery located in the

and exhibitions as guest speakers and

Friedrichshain (in former East Berlin). While

artists /designers. A few examples of these

participating in the residency, Perrone

endeavors are listed below. Position titles

created works for his Faculty Research Grant

and achievements reflect the academic

‘Qatari Mirror,’ as well as for two group

year 2015–16.

Department of Graphic Design faculty

Associate Professor of Graphic Design

recruiter certification and the value of

shows at Muhlenberg College in Allentown,

‘Uncharted Territories,’ and received a Faculty Research Grant to continue his exploration on this topic. During the summer, Hersrud participated in a letterpress typographic workshop outside of Zürich, Switzerland with Dafi Kühne, an esteemed Swiss poster designer. During this time he was able to visit Museum Gestaltung Zürich, Museum Haus Konstruktiv Zürich, and Kunstmuseum Luzern where he conducted research for upcoming projects.

Pennsylvania, and at The Bridgette Mayer

The American Council of Learned Societies

Gallery in Philadelphia.

(ACLS) aims to advance scholarship in the

members Basma Hamdy and Denielle

Assistant Professor of Art History Dr. Radha

Emans were both recognized for excellence

Dalal, presented “A Pedagogical Turn: Shift-

in the Communication Design Educators

ing Center/Periphery in Qatar’s Art History

Awards by Design Incubation. Hamdy was

Curriculum,” at the College Art Associa-

selected as runner up in the category of

tion Annual Conference in Washington, DC

scholarship for her project “Walls of Freedom:

in February 2016. She also presented “The

Street Art of the Egyptian Revolution.” This

Aesthetics of Distance: Constantinople in

award acknowledges contributions to com-

Illustrated Travelogues” at the conference on

Humanities and supports a number of fellowships and dissertation awards. VCUQatar dean, Dr. Dean Kahera acts as a Research Scholar for ACLS, reviewing 30 Ph.D. dissertations a year which are competing for various dissertation Awards. Most recently, he reviewed 15 Ph.D. dissertations for the 2016 ACLS Dissertation Award.

munication design’s theoretical, critical,

Reconsidering Cultural Ideologies and

Denielle Emans was selected as a board

historical and/or visionary foundations.

Identities in India and Beyondat Delhi

member of the local chapter of IXDA

Emans was recognized for excellence in

University, New Delhi. For summer 2016,

(Interaction Design Association) alongside

teaching and selected as runner up for her

Dalal received a Faculty Research Grant to

Education City leaders Alexander Wilcox

project “Intercultural Design Collaborations

pursue field study on the topic “The study

Cheek at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)

in Sustainability” with Kelly Murdoch-Kitt.

of urban form through photography in 19th-

and Jan-Marie Petersen at Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q).

Emans’ award acknowledges contributions

century Istanbul” in Turkey. During the past

to visionary curricular development, out-

year, she has continued research for a QNRF

standing instructional quality, novel teaching

National Priorities Research Fund grant on

methods, successful assignments and

“Museums in the 21st Century and Global Art

projects, and impact on student and alumni

History: Building Knowledge Base through

success. Emans’ research advocates not

Online Resources in Qatar.”

only for cross-cultural literacy within the design education curriculum, but also for sustainability’s complex sociocultural and environmental issues to be addressed using design thinking.

In November 2015, Assistant Professor of English, Robin Fetherston, presented her paper “Chains & Release through Memory in Alice Munro’s ‘Dimensions’” at LitCri ’15 in Istanbul, Turkey. She presented another paper,

Assistant Professor of Graphic Design

one analyzing her own fiction, entitled “Aggie

Maryam Al-Homaid participated with her

and Birch Revisited: From Character Portraits

project "In Memory of the Roundabouts" at

to Story” in June 2016 at Great Writing: The

the DMY International Design Symposium

International Creative Writing Conference at

this summer in Berlin, Germany. As part of

Imperial College in London. Both abstracts

Assistant Dean of Enrollment and

the festival, she has exhibited her installation

were published in conference proceedings.

Registration Greet Provoost, was elected

using augmented reality medium where the

As an MFA candidate for writing fiction, she

as vice-chair of the American International

visitors got the chance to interact with the

participated in a writer’s residency in May

Recruitment Council (AIRC) Certification

demolished iconic roundabouts that onceex-

2016 at Queens University of Charlotte in

Commission. AIRC is the pre-eminent organi-

isted in Doha, Qatar. In addition, Al-Homaid

North Carolina. While there, she presented

zation that certifies and regulates university

gave a 30-minute presentation explaining

new versions of her short fiction stories

student recruiters and has been a primary

her overall research topic "Personified

driver in the ethical regulation of the industry.

Objects with Personalities that Illustrate

“Looking for Linen” and “Exit Interview” to workshops led by Jonathan Dee, whose fifth

In her role as Vice Chair, she aims to

Applied Empathy as a Mechanism to

novel, “The Privileges,“ was a Pulitzer Prize

focus expanding efforts towards educating

Document Qatar's Changing Phenomenon."

finalist. She also acted as a peer reviewer for the workshop led by Myla Goldberg, author of Bee Season.

52 — Issue 5


FACU LT Y & STA F F  AC H I E V E M E N T S

Beginning in September 2016, Fetherston

The U.S. ambassador, who honored this year’s

Department of Liberal Arts and Sciences

has continued to create a collection of short

winners at an awards ceremony at VCUQatar

faculty member Patty Paine’s fourth book

fiction under Jonathan Dee’s mentorship

in April, commended all the students who

of poems, ”Grief & Other Animals“ (Accents

and serve as a monthly peer reviewer for

participated in the competition.

his workshop. Liberal Arts & Sciences Department, assistant

The second volume of the Young Writers Journal was distributed to all of Qatar’s inde-

professor of English Sadia Mir, in the present-

pendent schools by the Ministry of Education

ed papers at several conferences throughout

and Higher Education.

the academic year, including “Women’s Symbolic Annihilation and Documentary Media: A Qatari Case Study” at the International Institute of Social and Economic Studies Art and Humanities Conference in Venice, Italy (April 2016), and “Navigating Qatar’s Cultural Memory through Documentary Film” at the International Association for Media and Communication Research Annual Conference in Leicester, UK (July 2016). Mir also presented, “Experiences Learned from Fostering a Writing Culture Among Youth in Qatar” at the Annual Writers’ Conference in Chiang Mai, Thailand (December 2015). The Young Writers Competition is part of an ongoing partnership between the U.S. Embassy in Qatar and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education of Qatar, with significant support from Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar.

and winners that represent the best books of the year.

from UT-Arlington, Liz Hannabas, presented "Director's perspectives: A Comparison of strategies for prioritizing responsibilities and managing Change" at the NACADA Annual Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada in October, 2015. She also presented, along with Jose Hernandez from Zayed University, a paper session entitled, "What is it that you do again? Bridging the gap between academic advisors and the campus community" at the NACADA International Conference in Dubai, UAE in February, 2016.

ber Rachel Cohn, was invited as a visiting artist to the VCU Study Abroad course, Berlin: City and the Studio. This interdisciplinary summer course was designed to give students from the main campus a chance to live and work abroad, as well as to interact with international artists and curators. Cohen presented on her work as well as on developing an international arts practice based on her residencies, international exhibitions and experiences at VCUQatar. She also

Chair of the Department of Interior

organized a studio tour in Kreuzberg with several new media and performance artists

Environmental Design Research Association

from the U.S. and Europe. She participated

(EDRA) Service Award that is given in recog-

in the final critique for the course, which also

nition of a specific contribution of service to

resulted in an exhibition "RAD backwards" at

the field or the organization that advances

GlogauAIR Project Space in Kreuzberg.

His paper written with Interior Design

topics in education, culture and society.

colleague Kevin Woolley is entitled “Lighting

collection of student essays, short stories and

Department of Art Foundation faculty mem-

Design, Cherif Amor was the recipient of the

write and think critically about important

Writers Journal. The journal comprises a

ians and booksellers take part in the judging, and narrowing down to a group of finalists

Missy Hernandez along with her colleague

the field of environmental design research.

launch of the second volume of the Young

the poetry category. Over 50,000 books are entered each year, and a panel of 120 librar-

Senior Director of Academic & Career Advising,

The competition encourages students to read,

The U.S. embassy in Doha has announced the

Publishing, 2015), was one of 12 finalists for the 2015 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award in

Considerations in Healthcare Applications: An Extrapolation from Evidence-Based Design Accreditation and Certification (EDAC) Guidelines.”

Assistant Professor of Painting and Printmaking, Fleming Jeffries’ work was accepted in the “New Prints Program Autumn 2015” at the International Print Center New York, as well as the following shows in 2016: “Pull of the Print, ” Verita Ultimum Gallery, Portland OR; “Second

poems from the second annual Young Writers

Director of the Department of Art History

Competition for Qatari independent schools,

Dina Bangdel, was nominated to serve on

which was held during the 2015/2016

the Board of Directors (2016-18) for the

school year.

College Art Association (CAA). CAA is

Hangzhou, China, where she also presented

the preeminent international leadership

the paper “Material Empathy” at the Impact

organization in the visual arts, and promotes

9 International Printmaking Conference.

The release of the journal was timed to coincide with the start of the new school year and the announcement of this academic year’s Young Writers Competition, which began with a workshop for teachers on September 29th. More than 230 students from 122 independent schools participated in the 2015/2016 competition, writing on themes of global citizenship and education. The top five writing pieces from each participating grade were featured in this year’s journal, alongside art work contributed by students

these arts and their understanding through advocacy, intellectual engagement, and a commitment to the diversity of practices and practitioners. Department of Art History, assistant professor, Sean Roberts, serves as executive vice president of the Italian Art Society, a non-profit organization of over 500

Nature,” North Dakota Museum of Art; “VCUQatar Faculty Show,” Doha; and “Impact 9 Artist Book Exhibition,” Henglu Gallery,

She received a Faculty Exploratory Grant “Open Air” to build a garden lab for dye and papermaking plants and a Faculty Research Grant “makan” to develop an online portal of Environmental Arts in the Menasa Region. In June 2016 Jeffries studied stray animal culture while at Halka Artist Residency in Kadikoy, Turkey.

members dedicated to the study of Italian art from pre-history to the present.

from VCUQatar. Issue 5 — 53


A D E S T I N AT I O N For Dialogue

01

Each year, VCUQatar hosts a variety of public lectures and exhibitions at the Gallery. These exhibitions bring an estimated 1000 visitors a year to the campus, foster public dialog on contemporary art and design practice, and serve as a link between internationally acclaimed visiting artists and lecturers, and the region. In addition, they display their work across Qatar in collaboration with local museums. Some of the 2015-2016 lectures and exhibits included:

Exhibitions: VCUQatar Gallery

02

01 Opening night of “Papercuts” exhibition 02 Opening night of “Faculty Exhibition” 03 Artist-in-Residence, Natassja E. Swift exhibition 04 Khalid Albaih at his “@las” exhibition

54 — Issue 5

“Papercuts” finale brings serenity to VCUQatar Culminating a four year, 12 venue tour, the VCUQatar exhibition “Papercuts” features exquisite hand cut paper works by an international roster of artists including Jaq Belcher, Béatrice Coron, Michelle Forsyth, Reni Gower, Lenka Konopasek, Lauren Scanlon, and Daniella Woolf. With great effect, light and shadow transform the ancient Chinese technique of paper cutting into dynamic contemporary installations filled with delicate illusions. Reni Gower curated Papercuts, re-envisioning the exhibition for its final showing in the VCUQatar Art Gallery. This project has been sponsored in part by VCUQatar and Virginia Commonwealth University / VCUarts, Richmond, VA. Political cartoons set the stage for a discussion on technology and activism Khalid Albaih's cartoons were on display in the exhibition “@las” at the VCUQatar Gallery, curated by assistant professor Holliday Powers. Ranging from pointed political commentary to broader comments on free speech, this exhibit focused on the ways in which technology is activated to provide a platform for activism. Doha-based cartoonist @khalidalbaih first became well-known during the Arab Spring when one of his images of Hosni Mubarak went viral. A conversation between Albaih and Jonathan Guyer, contributing editor at the Cairo Review of Global Affairs, accompanied the exhibit at VCUQatar Gallery.


03

04

Artists in Residence at VCUQatar tackle identity, acceptance and vision in exhibitions VCUQatar Artists in residence Natassja E. Swift and Gina Hunt displayed their work at the VCUQatar gallery, giving students an insider’s look at how art moves from concept to reality. Alluding to feelings of doubt and anxiety, Nastassja E. Swift’s “I Keep Repeating it Over and Over in My Head” features work that illustrates both the reaction to experiencing racism and, subsequently, the desire to construct the right identity in order to achieve acceptance. Consisting of needle-felted faces and woven hair, the exhibition combines conventional and unconventional uses of fiber processes and materials. Gina Hunt’s practice focuses intently on the complexities of vision through the physical materials of painting. Her solo exhibition Liquid Crystal + Polymer, features a body of work that involves screens as a conceptual platform for investigation. The exhibition featured a new body of work initiated and completed while in residence at VCUQatar, including large-scale paintings and installation. Student Exhibition: Swedish embassy annex designed for “House of Sweden” Interior Design Exhibition Hosted at the HBKU Student Center, the House of Sweden Interior Design Exhibition celebrates the collaboration between students at VCUQatar and the Swedish Embassy. Students worked in teams to produce the design for an annex to the embassy cultural complex under the guidance of Dr. Erik Johan Granberg, Dr. Kevin H. Woolley and Richard Blackwell. Swedish Ambassador to Qatars' Ewa Polano, met with the senior students at the beginning of the project and attended their presentations, expressing her satisfaction with the student work.

Issue 5 — 55


Lecture Series Program “Shine” Lecture with Jeff Koons VCUQatar, in association with Qatar Museums brought Jeff Koons to talk about his recent work. Jeff Koons earned renown for his iconic sculptures Rabbit and Balloon Dog as well as his monumental floral works Puppy and Split-Rocker. Working in the tradition of the readymade while exploring art historical themes, his work seeks to open paths to selfacceptance and transcendence. Koons has received numerous awards and honors in recognition of these cultural achievements. Notably, Koons received the Governor's Awards for the Arts, the Distinguished Arts Award from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; President Jacques Chirac promoted Koons to Officier de la Legion d'Honneur; and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton honored Koons with the U.S Department of State Medal of Arts for his commitment to Art in Embassies and international cultural exchange.

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Luc Tuymans Conversation with Philippe Pirotte VCUQatar, in association with Qatar Museums, was pleased to host Luc Tuymans in conversation with curator Philippe Pirotte. Belgian artist Luc Tuymans is often referred to as one of Europe's most influential painters. He is widely credited with having contributed to the revival of the painting in the 1990s. His use of photographic source material is a basis for his signature figurative paintings, which transform mediated film, television, and print sources into examinations of history and memory. Tuymans work has been presented as the focus of several retrospectives, including at the Tate Modern, 2004, the Wexner Center for the Arts, 2009, and BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels in 2011 and Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga, Spain (2011). The lecture coincided with an exhibition of his works at Qatar Museums Gallery ALRIWAQ. Crossing Boundaries Lecture: Jennifer Kabat In a talk exploring “longing and belonging,” essayist and writer Jennifer Kabat explored how language, history and art – even the birds in her backyard, inform her work on contemporary art and culture. Moving from the rural landscape of upstate New York to drones, technology and social media through to Greek mythology and the steel plates covering holes in New York City streets; Kabat searches for the meaning in the present by opening up the gaps in history. Her essays and criticism pull from the contemporary art-world to the small-town community to ask questions about how we look at both. Jennifer Kabat was recently awarded a Creative Capital/ Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for her criticism and contributions to The Believer, BOMB, Frie3ze and

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A D E ST I N AT I O N F O R D I A LO G U E  

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Jeff Koons, “Shine” lecture Jeff Koons, “Shine” lecture Crossing Boundaries lecture: Kristina Spirk “Rethinking Design: A luxury metadesign brand” Jennifer Kabat, “Longing and Belonging” Luc Tuymans in conversation with Philippe Pirotte

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Metropolis, among other publications. For the Arnoilfini contemporary art museum in Bristol, she created an essay-as-ghost story, “The Place of the Bridge,” which was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. A recent finalist for Notting Hill Edition’s biennial essay prize. She teaches at NYU, SVA and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Crossing Boundaries Lecture: Kristina Spirk Milan-based fashion designer Kristina Spirk, who specializes in luxury womenswear, talked about design reinvention and conservation, asking “Should we continue to function as designers of the past or should we find a way to reinvent the process of design?” Designers are trained and given special skills to invent and create new products to increase consumption. She combines her vision with metadesign principles to spearhead her second fashion label, Decontoured. 05

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Michael Rossato-Bennett and Alix Madigan- Yorkin in conversation with Jesse Ulmer Fanoon Artist John Freyer Fanoon Artist Ranjani Shettar Fanoon Artist Trenton Doyle Hancock

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Discover America FILM: A Conversation between Michael Rossato-Bennett & Alix Madigan-Yorkin Hosted by VCUQatar in partnership with the U.S. Embassy, award winning documentary filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett and acclaimed film producer Alix Madigan-Yorkin talked about their passion, achievements, inspirations and journey thus far. Moderated by VCUQatar assistant professor Jesse Ulmer, the event was presented as part of Discover America Week in conjunction with the screening of Rossato-Bennets film “Alive Inside” and the Award winning film by Madigan-Yorkin “Winter’s Bone” starring Jennifer Lawrence.


A D E ST I N AT I O N F O R D I A LO G U E  

Fanoon Artists in collaboration with Crossing Boundaries

My Practice in a Nutshell: Ranjani Shettar Indian artist Ranjani Shettar discussed how her sculpture was a concrete version of her experiences, those transient feelings and environments that exist purely because of perceptions. She views these environments as being constructed to be experienced, rather than seen. Shettar is best known for her large-scale sculptural installations, using modern and traditional crafts to sculpt natural and industrial materials to create multidimensional works. The journey from mind to a completed material work is an active combination of idea, medium and philosophy. The destination is not always obvious at the beginning, and that uncertainty sets her on a path of searching that can lead to unexpected places. Familiarity with the medium helped in the exploration of the piece she presented, but as she constantly shifts her choice of material, challenges are created. As she chose a path to tread, she became more comfortable with the work itself. At that point, she stayed longer,

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diving more deeply into the artwork. Shettar shared “An advantage of the drawn out process of creating sculpture is this ability to immerse yourself into the work and its creation. That complex understanding of a sculpture built over time, where technicalities and tolls are no longer in the way, is the most comfortable position.”

Artist Talk: Trenton Doyle Hancock American artist Trenton Doyle Hancock has been influenced equally by the history of painting as well as by the pulp imagery of pop-culture through comics, graphic, novels, cartoons, music and film. Hancock transforms traditionally formal decisions into opportunities to build narrative, develop sub-plots and convey symbolic meaning. Storytelling has been a central part of Hancock’s artistic practice and for almost two decades, he’s developed an epic narrative surrounding the “Mounds” and a cast of colorful characters who populate a wildly, fantastic, invented landscape. Hancock has been the recipient of numerous awards and his work can be found in many prestigious museums such as, in New York, the Brooklyn Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art; and in California, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

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FOSTERING Community Involvement

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Reflecting on self and understanding others: Faculty initiated intercultural communication training improves HBKU campus environment As a faculty member new to Qatar some years ago, assistant dean for student affairs Valerie Jeremijenko encountered culture shock and challenges she had never faced before. She searched for something that would help her understand her students and herself, in order to facilitate communication among students, faculty and administrators, and she discovered the Intercultural Development Inventory. After getting training and completing the inventory herself, Jeremijenko found that there was a great need for intercultural communication training for staff and students in Qatar. She encouraged Qatari Student Affairs staff member Hissa Al-Garni (now Director of Strategic Engagement & Business Development) to attend the Intercultural Communications Institute training, from which she brought back contacts and a plan for bringing ICI training to Qatar. Together with other institutes within Qatar Foundation who had also realized the need for intercultural communications training, Jeremijenko and Al-Garni spearheaded the development of a pooled fund to bring ICI trainers to Qatar. This became the Qatar Institute for Intercultural Training. In its first and second year, the training reached 240 faculty and staff members across Qatar, and the training is scheduled again for this summer. The training topics range from personal leadership to conflict management, from social justice to healthcare communications. Jeremijenko notes that the biggest impact this training has had on Qatar is to jumpstart a conversation about cultural difference and to encourage self-reflection among the educational community.

At VCUQatar, the faculty and staff have been engaging in more cross checking of events and activities to ensure cultural sensitivities are being addressed. Lessons learned in the training have been integrated in all student interactions from orientation and leadership training, to one-on-one coaching and team building events. Yet, even though the conversation has started about intercultural communication, one of the greatest challenges is helping the community understand that effective intercultural communication requires ongoing self-reflection and growth, and cannot be addressed with a simple training. To that end, the ongoing classes have to not just engage new trainees, but also offer further training for those who have already been trained. In addition, the lessons learned have to be constantly reinforced and implemented in everyday life. When asked what she personally learned through this process, Jeremijenko stated, “now I know what I don’t know… I have made many mistakes, and I have learned to take responsibility for those mistakes…I am more self aware of my actions and my culture, and how those are perceived, and am therefore more careful of what I say and do.” Through self-accountability and reflection five years ago, Jeremijenko sowed the seed of a conversation that has taken root across Qatar’s educational community, improving the landscape as it grows.

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Zwara 2015 VCUQatar hosted an institution-wide open house, Zwara on November 21, 2015. Zwara, the Arabic word (Khaleeji) means home visit and get-together, was designed to encourage the community to get familiarized with VCUQatar, the university programs, events and new developments through an afternoon filled with activities for children, families, community members and prospective students. The event was geared towards offering prospective undergraduate students from high schools and universities from across the region the opportunity to meet current students and faculty, and learn about the integrative experiences unique to the university’s programs. The VCUQatar faculty and staff were on hand to provide information on curriculum schedules, course requirements and admission to the university.

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Fashion Design students teach in Indonesia for fifth year Student Affairs and the Department of Fashion Design have an ongoing partnership with Reach Out to Asia (ROTA) to offer co-curricular classes to the ROTA-funded SMK ROTA School in Java, Indonesia. This year 14 students and four faculty advisors participated. The SMK ROTA School offers a high school level education with training in the local art of batik and ceramics. The VCUQatar students taught daily peer-to-peer workshops to support design entrepreneurship.

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Community Classes The Community Education Program at VCUQatar continues to offer a wide range of arts, design and crafts courses during the fall, spring and late spring to the general public in Doha. Classes are taught by accomplished artists and instructors and are open to the general public interested in expanding their knowledge in these areas. Once again, more than a thousand community members participated in the programs this past year.

Portfolio Development The Portfolio Development Classes are designed to help high schools seniors and graduates build the skills, and learn the concepts required to prepare a competitive portfolio for art university admission, and are offered alongside the community classes in fall of each year. Last year again, VCUQatar’s portfolio development classes found an enthusiastic and ever growing audience. Six courses were taught to 95 high school seniors and graduates during Fall 2015. Classes were delivered by VCUQatar faculty and alumni and focused on skill development and the creative process.

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Youth Programs in Art and Design VCUQatar offered a two-week holiday program to Arabic speaking girls in spring 2016. The program included four courses in painting, illustration, sculpting and paper pop up. Twelve different programs were offered in summer 2016 to children and high school students. 158 participants aged 4 – 18, explored a wide range of materials and techniques while developing an appreciation for art and design. Classes were taught by seasoned art educators from the U.S., UK, and VCUQatar alumni instructors, and were assisted by VCUQatar students. Programs included art fun, art exploration, expressive drawing and illustrated ideas, offered to younger students who could explore a variety of techniques in fun and playful settings; the one week Experimental Print and Collage Workshop followed by the two-week Creative Discovery course, which serve as an art and design introduction for high school students; the one week Arts Intensive class, followed by the two weeks Design Intensive course, for students aged 16 and above, who are serious about attending an art school; and Fashion Design Portfolio for ages 14 and above, introducing high school students to the world of fashion design. Some of the older students were taken to a museum, they saw a film screening with short movies followed by a Q&A session with the Doha Film Institute and were presented with work of VCUQatar graduates. Like every year, all programs culminated in an exhibition of the students' work, open to the parents and families of the young participants. “The mythical monster party” from the 2016 Art Exploration summer course at VCUQatar is a stop animation movie of the student’s creations, which was created for the final show by student assistants.

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CLASS OF 2 016

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Valedictorian Mario M. Bermejo & Salutatorian Wurood Ismael Azzam Commencement speaker Arnold Wasserman VCUQatar Class 2016 VCUQatar Class 2016

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VCUQatar’s Graduates step into the future at 2016 Commencement Inspiring and touching speeches given by faculty, graduates, and the keynote speaker made this year’s graduation memorable. In its 15th year, the event brought together families, friends, faculty and staff to celebrate the accomplishments of VCUQatar’s graduates with more than 700 people attending. Dr. Gail Hackett, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University began the ceremony by urging the graduates to “Keep going; keep creating; keep transforming, and look in unexpected places. Imagine what can be, then work hard to ‘make it real,’ she said, referring to the university’s motto. The university conferred 55 Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degrees in Fashion Design, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Painting and Printmaking, and Art History, and seven Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees in Design. This year, the Commencement brought the number of VCUQatar alumni to 566. Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the chairperson of Qatar Museums, Doha Film Institute and Reach Out to Asia, honored the students with her presence at the ceremony. The keynote speaker was Arnold Wasserman, the chairman of Idea Factory, an innovation consultancy based in Singapore

and San Francisco, who asked the graduates: “Is the future simply whatever happens to us next? Or is it something we deliberately create?” “What that means is that everything is happening faster and at an accelerating rate. For example, human knowledge is doubling every 12 months. And that curve is accelerating. An IBM researcher foresees that within a few years, knowledge will be doubling every 12 hours as we build out the Internet of things globally.” This Wasserman explained, means innovation and design have to grow accordingly. The Class of 2016 Valedictorian and Salutatorian gave a wellreceived and humorus speech in which they thanked their “mentors and tormentors” and cracked jokes about friends, family, colleagues, working in fast food chains (and not to be confused) Star Wars and faculty. Valedictorian Mark Bermejo, eloquently urged his classmates to make the world better, saying “today we graduate as designers and join the artists that made the world more beautiful, lovelier and more meaningful to live in. Let us create and innovate new designs and not just cut and paste, unless we cut out the limitations and paste our designs to improve current issues,” Bermejo has a long VCUQatar family history. Two of his sisters studied at VCUQatar - one in graphic design and another in fashion design.

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C L A SS O F 2016 

Honors & Awards The Arab Engineering Bureau Award The Arab Engineering Bureau Award for Creative Achievement and Potential was presented to graphic design junior Alisha Saiyed and interior design junior Majdulin Nasrallah. These awards aim to help the junior students recognize their true potential, create leadership and encourage them to continue developing their skills through their senior year. Mario Bermejo (’16) was recognized as the recipient of the Arab Engineering Bureau Award for Design Excellence in Interior Design. This award was instituted eight years ago by AEB’s CEO and Chief Architect, Mr. Ibrahim M. Jaidah. The Arab Engineering Bureau Award for Design Excellence is awarded to graduating seniors who have exhibited consistent achievement in professionalism, leadership, the ability to exert a positive influence on students, work ethic, conceptual ability, realization, innovation, and presentation. Dana Chua (’16) was the recipient of the Arab Engineering Bureau Award for Design Excellence in Graphic Design.

Latin Honors Our students have also shown remarkable academic achievement; from the students graduating in May 2016, 11 graduated Cum Laude; 12 graduated Magna Cum Laude; and two graduated Summa Cum Laude, which amounts to nearly 40% of the class graduating with honors.

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Fashion Show Fashion students from VCUQatar presented “Reach” at the 17th

The fashion show was also a place to present various design awards.

Annual Fashion Show, hosted by Salam Stores at The Gate Mall.

The W Doha Award was awarded to Saadia Khabab who will be given

The highly anticipated annual event was attended by Her Excellency

the opportunity to use the W Doha, and other W Hotels around the

Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairperson

world as a platform to showcase her collection. Mahnoor Ansari

of Qatar Museums, Doha Film Institute and Reach out to Asia. Guest

received the Salam Fashion Award and the GLAM magazine award for

designer Rami Al Ali, whose collections have been worn by the likes of

her outstanding creativity in the Tanuvo collection. The Salam award

Beyoncé and Diana Haddad, showed his Autumn Winter 16/17 ready-

includes mentoring in the development and design of two bespoke

to-wear collection.

collections, which will be sold exclusively within a dedicated space in

The student pieces showcased the process of turning creative concepts into ready-to-wear pieces for the runway, which not only had to be beautiful, but also wearable and marketable. The designs explored laser cutting, hand painting, military wear, detatchable accessories, Islamic patterns and reinventing classic elegance, and reflected a diversity of cultures and styles. The students seemed to embody the words of guest judge, Milan-based fashion designer Kristina Spirk, who

Salam Stores, Doha. VCUQatar’s Golden Needle Award, which goes to the best senior collection, was awarded to Sadia Khabab. Additional support for the show came from Guerlain, Carolina Herrera, Tajmeel Qatar International Beauty Academy, Makeup District, Bombay Silk Centre, and Sara’s Secrets. This support helps to catapult VCUQatar’s graduates into the fashion industry, creating a strong local and regional talent base that will support the economy.

said “Who we are is what defines our design and it’s the essence of the story of the creation.”

BFA & MFA Exhibition Graduates of VCUQatar’s Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts Degree (MFA) programs in the fields of graphic design, interior design, fashion design, and painting and printmaking showcased their final works at the BFA + MFA Exhibition in May at The Gallery, VCUQatar. A diverse range of subjects were addressed in the MFA and BFA in Graphic Design’s display, which ranged from typography to Qatar’s visual identify, to gender stereotypes, to how a scent can be visualized, and to how the changes of light can affect a design. Holistic Qatari designs shone from the Interior Design works on display. The Department of Interior Design chair Dr. Cherif Amor, emphasized the importance of a culturally diverse learning experience. Amor explained: “Diversity is highly important, along with innovation, collaboration and sustainability to address the needs of the ‘glocal’ contexts,” he said, using the adjective that refers to global and local settings. The Painting and Printmaking program showcased diverse works of art representing religious, societal and personal issues. The work highlighted how students use their work to try to change the world. According to Department of painting and Printmaking chair, Rhys Himsworth “the graduates will play a significant role in shaping the cultural landscape of Qatar and beyond.”

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C L A SS O F 2016 

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C L A SS O F 2016 


C L A SS O F 2016 

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THANK YOU VCUQatar’s remarkable achievements would not have been possible without the generosity of donors and partners 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 201 5 –2016 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

MEMBERS D R. SA M U E L H O I PR E S I D E NT, M A RY L A N D I N S TITUTE CO LLEG E O F A RT J E FFR E Y N E S I N PROVO S T, S CH O O L O F VI S UA L A RT S, N E W YO R K VE N K A PU RU S H OTH A M A N VI CE-PR E S I D E NT (AC A D E M I C) & PROVO S T, L A SA LLE CO LLEG E O F TH E A RT S, S I N GA P O R E D R. JA M E S FR A Z I E R , E D D, M FA I NTE R I M D E A N, S CH O O L O F TH E A RT S, VCU B R I A N S H AW S E N I O R E XECUTIVE D I R EC TO R , PR E S I D E NT’S O FFI CE , VCU D R. J E LE N A TR KU L JA D I R EC TO R O F E D U C ATI O N, Q ATA R M U S EU M S D R. A M A L A L M A LK I FO U N D I N G D E A N O F H U M A N ITI E S A N D S O CI A L S CI E N CE S, H A M A D B I N K H A LI FA U N IVE R S IT Y

E X- O F F I C I O M E M B E R (S) A K E L I. K A H E R A , PH.D. D E A N, VCU Q ATA R D R. M U N I R H A M D I D E A N O F E N G I N E E R I N G, H A M A D B I N K H A LI FA U N IVE R S IT Y

Many thanks to those who have graciously donated anonymously, as well as those who continue to partner with us in our quest to address and promote the interconnectedness between and among science, the arts and humanities.

This publication is printed on FSC approved Arjowiggins Rives Sensation


CO N T E X T | VCU Q ATA R M AG A Z I N E 2 015 –2 016

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Context Magazine 2015-2016: Issue 5  

Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar's annual magazine