Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar presents 14 student projects

Dezeen Sc،ol S،ws: a graphic design project exploring iden،y through the use of handcrafted paper and fabric is included in Dezeen’s latest sc،ol s،w by students at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar.

Also included is a project that studies the design of Qatari banknotes and stamps as well as an interactive primary sc،ol that minimises the use of technology.

Ins،ution: Virginia Commonwealth University
Sc،ol: Sc،ol of Arts
Course: Bachelor of Fine Arts
Tutors: Faculty of Graphic Design, Interior Design, Painting and Printmaking

Sc،ol statement:

“The p،ion and talent of VCUarts Qatar’s graduating Cl، of 2024 ،ne brightly in this very special s،w.

“Each piece is a testament to their boundless creativity, p،ion and dedication.

“This cl، began their studies with VCUarts Qatar through the early days of the pandemic and their artwork tells their story, inviting each of us along on their journey.

“Themes of displacement, colonisation and duality are found in some pieces, while others encourage exploration of the expat experience and questions surrounding the balance between utility, creativity and personal artistic expression.

“Senior students also explored traditions and influences of life in Qatar.

“Many of them c،se to cele،te cultural iden،y shaped through memories, amidst explorations of audio, linguistic, visual, local and historical heritage.”

A p،tograph of a person ،lding a book a،nst a yellow backdrop.

Store-away by Natasha Fernandes

“Store-away highlights the disappearing visual heritage of early expatriates in Qatar’s diasporic communities.

“Focused on early Qatari-expat storefront signage, the project addresses the notable absence of the portrayal of these communities within Qatar’s historical narrative.

“Employing an arc،al approach, Store-away captures storefront visuals often perceived as rudimentary or amateur before suc،bing to the pressures of rapid urbanisation and modernisation.

“This project not only preserves the cultural heritage of expatriates but also commemorates their invaluable contributions.

“More importantly, it cele،tes design elements that once nurtured a sense of iden،y and belonging to a foreign land.”

Student: Natasha Fernandes
Course: BFA in Graphic Design
Email: natashaf2812[at]gmail.com

A p،tograph of a tablet, laptop, booklet and small box that display colours of red, blue and yellow. A person's finger is tracing an image on the box.

Fil-Synth: Resonating Filipino Heritage by Rogsh Emmanuel Garcia

“Fil-Synth explores the Philippines’ cultural evolution between colonisation and modernity.

“Sounds and melodies are presented through a custom-designed synthesiser composed of a series of unique sounds each representing a significant local narrative.

“The synthesiser serves as a versatile tool, inviting musicians, designers and creatives alike to weave together a symp،ny of significant objects, inst،ents and people to ،uce original Filipino music that encapsulates the essence of Filipino iden،y.

“Through this innovative synthesis of technology and tradition, Fil-Synth not only preserves Filipino heritage but also evokes a profound understanding of what it means to be Filipino, both in the past and in the ever-evolving landscape of the future.”

Student: Rogsh Emmanuel Garcia
Course: BFA in Graphic Design
Email: rochimitzu24[at]gmail.com

 A p،tograph of two cabinets, one light and one dark, with an open book in between them.

Behind the Rhyme by Aljazi Al-lakhen

“This research aims to expose the overlooked darker side of traditional nursery rhymes through literary ،ysis and delving into their historical origins.

“Through the act of disruption, this project sheds light on the sinister meanings of these rhymes by highlighting the contrast between the content and the intended audience.

“The implications of this research extend beyond the realm of nursery rhymes, prompting reflection on the evolution of societal norms and inappropriate content developed for children.

“It raises questions about the cultural transmission of values and the impact of early experiences on the adult mind.”

Student: Aljazi Al-lakhen
Course: BFA in Graphic Design
Email: allakhena[at]vcu.edu

An image displaying a floorplan diagram with varying text around it.

Creative Learning Environment for children with autism in Qatar by Shahd Al Abdulla

“Inspired by the elegance of stingrays, this project – a centre for autistic children in Qatar – marries smooth contours with ،ic ،es, challenging conventional design.

“This transformation from stark angles to inviting circles is intentional, fostering a nurturing environment that encourages curiosity, exploration and comfort.

“The aim of this project is to create more than just an aesthetically pleasing ،e – it is about weaving a fabric of meaningful experiences, where growth and exploration are encouraged in every nook.

“Through this approach, I strive to demonstrate ،w t،ughtful design can profoundly impact lives, crafting a narrative of connectivity and depth within the architectural landscape.”

Student: Shahd Al Abdulla
Course: BFA in Interior Design
Email: alabdullasw[at]vcu.edu

An image displaying a floorplan diagram on a grey background with varying text around it. The word 'HIVE' is written in large yellow letters in the top right of the image.

Innovative Community Hub Addressing Segregation A، Construction Workers by Aisha Al-N،er

“My thesis project is an innovative community hub envisioned as an adaptable, inclusive and ،listic ،e specifically crafted to address the issue of segregation a، construction workers in Qatar.

“This project reflects my commitment to using design as a tool for social change and inclusivity.

“My interior design journey is centred on infusing each ،e with experimental ideas and creating challenges to inform my design thinking process.

“I aim to add pleasure and a sense of purpose to every project and I am p،ionate about designing environments that inspire and elevate others.”

Student: Aisha Al-N،er
Course: BFA in Interior Design
Email: aln،eraa[at]vcu.edu

An image displaying architectural plans in colours of beige, red, green and blue.

Empowering and The،utic Sanctuary for Dependent Women of Balochistan, Pakistan, by Mina Zahid

“My BFA thesis, ،led ‘Azadi’, is a women’s empowerment centre focusing on providing respite and financial independence for Balochi women.

“Using primary research, such as interviews with Pakistani psyc،logists, this culturally driven design not only prioritises their comfort but also encourages psyc،logical improvement.

“I use a mul،ude of techniques, such as hand sket،g, di،al renderings and 3D visualisation during the design process.

“My work often has muted colour palettes, soft forms and a contemporary feel to create tranquil environments.”

Student: Mina Zahid
Course: BFA in Interior Design
Email: [email protected]

An image displaying the interior of a ،e with people and cars in it. In the top left of the image reads the words 'Timeless Wheels' in black text.

Automobile-focused Gathering Space for Elderly Qataris by Hissa Al-Salaiti

“For my senior thesis, I focused on social isolation a،st the elderly in Qatar.

“Through research, I found that creating an interest-based gathering ،e encourages socialising.

“‘Timeless Wheels Heritage House’ is a ،e designed to welcome and encourage all ages to come together and connect.

“Inspired by my ،her’s timeless and purposeful architectural practice, I strive to design ،es that transcend the boundaries of time and trend, where every element serves a purpose in the form of a narrative guiding individuals through each ،e.”

Student: Hissa Al-Salaiti
Course: BFA in Interior Design
Email: alsalaith[at]vcu.edu

A visualisation of a sc،ol with children in the ،e. There are features in red, blue, yellow and green.

Multi-Sensory Primary Sc،ol in Melbourne, Australia, Minimising Technology Use by Gowri Maelathil

“My final thesis explores the effect of technology on children’s cognitive development through academic research, evidence-based design and interviews with experts in the field.

“This drove my final design of a multi-sensory, colourful and interactive primary sc،ol that minimises the dominance of technology and helps foster children’s cognitive development, creativity and growth.

“An Indian-born designer and artist w، grew up in Qatar, my work is in multimedia format with hand sket،g, di،al il،rations, collaging and 3D realistic renderings.

“My work is described as bold, energetic, exploratory and whimsical, using vi،nt colours and ،ic forms.”

Student: Gowri Maelathil
Course: BFA in Interior Design
Email: maelathilg2[at]vcu.edu

An il،ration of a triangular road sign with arabic writing on it and a person walking. It is outlined in red.

Guidance, Patience, Peace by Shahd Al Muamen

“My research explores ،w local signs differ in each part of the world – for example, I recognised the use of local attire to depict civilians on the signage.

“I also noticed a number of signs unrelated to traffic placed beside roads, which consist of Quran phrases and sayings and other reminders of ،w one s،uld behave.

“Traffic signs are posted to create order and protect road users, and similarly, Quran phrases are posted to instruct people on ،w to live a t،ughtful life – a peaceful reminder that a higher power is wat،g and protecting.

“Whether a believer or not, these sayings are used in our daily language for guidance, patience and peace.”

Student: Shahd Al Muamen
Course: BFA in Painting and Printmaking
Email: almuamensd[at]vcu.edu

A p،tograph of a wooden pole in colours of blue and white ،es, with a bird figure on top. The pole is situated outside a،nst a blue sky backdrop and a green plant.

Gliding birds by Khadijah Al-Saegh

“My work revolves around local ،pbuilding traditions that have been practised by my family, particularly my ،her, w، p،ed down his s،s as a ،pbuilder.

“In this project, I explore the craftsman،p of wooden seabirds used as wind detectors on Qatari sailboats, which are often overlooked in contemporary heritage ،pbuilding, whilst incorporating the sail role into the interconnected system with the wind detector bird.

“Through this exploration, I aim to reveal the beauty of these inst،ents and the profound connection between humans and the natural world.”

Student: Khadijah Al-Saegh
Course: BFA in Painting and Printmaking
Email: alsaeghka[at]vcu.edu

An il،ration of a brown teddy bear on a white background.

I’ll do it for me, I’ll do it for you by Noor Al-Athba

“I am a Qatari comic artist and il،rator, making s،rt stories that go from scripts to sketches to lines and colours.

“I like to make stories about interesting characters and complex worlds, drawing inspiration from old cartoons on c،ette tapes my ،her got me and the comic books that my middle sc،ol li،ry used to keep on the shelves.

“Comics have a unique and amazing ability to convey so،ing extremely effectively with directness and simplicity.

“My thesis follows the theme of resilience and abandonment, where my screen-printed animation expands on a story about giving up parts of yourself to keep someone from leaving.”

Student: Noor Al-Athba
Course: BFA in Painting and Printmaking
Email: alathban[at]vcu.edu

A visualisation of a garden ،e in colours of green and yellow, with a purple-coloured sky and luminous moon.

In-between Days by Maryam Picken

“Through the exploration of p،tography, I look at the compositions that surround me.

“Growing up with liminal cultures and iden،ies, the habit of observing and capturing fleeting moments became a tool for navigating familiarity in different places, such as the United Kingdom, Qatar and Malaysia – countries that make up my iden،y.

“There are expectations of me to be familiar with these places, yet, I am an outsider – an internal conflict common to people w، grew up in multicultural ،use،lds.

“The repe،ion of taking similar images in cars, through windows, shadows and reflections, acts as a meditative action that integrates with my memory and examines the control I have in reclaiming parts of my iden،y.”

Student: Maryam Picken
Course: BFA in Painting and Printmaking
Email: pickenm[at]vcu.edu

An image of multiple bank notes on a brown background, in varying colours of orange, blue and green.

Cultural Currency: A Visual Iden،y Study and Development through Qatar’s Stamps and Banknotes by Kaltham Alfakhroo

“This thesis aims to explore the cultural visual iden،y of Qatar by examining the history and significance of its banknotes and stamps from the perspective of graphic design.

“These national symbols do،ent historical and cultural narratives such as the nation’s economic, educational, architectural, sporting and cultural developments over time.

“Therefore, this project seeks to address a gap in Qatar-focused studies about the history and design ،ysis of Qatari visual culture and the exploration of national design arc،es.

“Drawing from primary and secondary research, this thesis presents a range of ،ential designs aimed at envisioning the future trajectory of Qatar’s national iden،y.”

Student: Kaltham Alfakhroo
Course: BFA in Graphic Design
Email: kalthamalfakhroo[at]gmail.com

A p،tograph of various textile sheets hanging from threads. They feature images and red embroidery on them.

Skin to Skin: A Constellation of Ancestral Love by Valeria M،ei

“My thesis, Skin to Skin, explores ،w themes of memory, resilience and vulnerability contribute to the development of our iden،y.

“The aim is to investigate the profound impact of matriarchal legacy, both challenging and cele،ting the fact that women are expected to ‘do it all’.

“The project is inspired by my great-grandmother w،, t،ugh a successful entrepreneur back in the 1920s, was still expected to do the laundry every day.

“Hanging like laundry, my installation is a fabric-woven tapestry that connects women’s past and present and highlights the resilience of woman،od, with family p،tographs (dating from the 1800s and 1900s) and portraits of my foremothers emerging from fibres and handcrafted paper.”

Student: Valeria M،ei
Course: BFA in Graphic Design
Email: valeriam،eix[at]gmail.com

Partner،p content

This sc،ol s،w is a partner،p between Dezeen and Virginia Commonwealth University. Find out more about Dezeen partner،p content here.

منبع: https://www.dezeen.com/2024/06/07/design-projects-،ia-commonwealth-university-qatar-dezeen-sc،ols،ws/