It has been an immensely rewarding semester co-teaching the 2019 edition of “Senior Studio” with Basma Hamdy, a course that culminates with the production of a Graphic Design BFA thesis and participation in the VCUarts Qatar BFA + MFA Exhibition. Our students worked on a wide range of topics for their thesis projects, ranging from space exploration and mental health, to Arabic typography and comparative religions. The culminating BFA + MFA Exhibition was an opportunity to showcase all of this outstanding work to a range of visitors from across Qatar.

Judges Choice

As part of the exhibition component of the course, we invited 20 experts to participate in judging the Senior Show this year. These awards acknowledge student accomplishments in the areas of design impact, originality, daringness, and overall outstanding work. The award process was rigorous and transparent, resulting in a tie in two categories. I am pleased to share the results of the awards below, along with the links to the thesis websites.

Outstanding: Hind Al Saad & Sarah Elawad
Overall excellent work, both in concept, execution, craft, aesthetics, and communication.

Original: Yeon Geong Hwang
Work with a unique concept that is innovative, or outside the box. The project invents or presents ideas in a new and unexpected fashion.

Impactful: Reham Mohamed & Carlotta Bernardi
Work that directly impacts a community, culture, society or tackles a local/global issue. It not only raises awareness but creates a lasting impact on the viewer.

Daring: Sara Alafifi
Work that pushes boundaries, questions norms or beliefs, takes risks, or goes against the mainstream to express a concept. The work challenges the understanding or interpretation of the world around us.

Commencement 2019

Only a few days after The BFA + MFA Exhibition opening reception, families, friends, faculty and staff gathered to celebrate the graduates’ accomplishments during VCUarts Qatar’s Commencement ceremony. Co-Valedictorians and graphic design graduates, Hind Ghanim Al Saad and Yeon Geong Hwang, encouraged the Class of 2019 to step into their futures and embrace what comes next.

“We deeply appreciate that we had such an amazing batch as classmates and friends for the last four years. This batch had inspiring energy – that never sought to give up – and it brought us here today. It would’ve been a very different experience without every single one of you. We also want to thank the often hidden and often less noticed staff of our university. And last but certainly not least, we thank our amazing faculty. Sometimes I think our faculty suffers a bit more than us, and for that, we are very thankful,” Yeon Geong Hwang said.

“All of you make up our community, and because we were surrounded by you, we grew as people, developed ways of seeing, thinking and reflecting, which completely shifted our perspectives of the world, we started to notice all the small details and see all the connections. It was a creative community of like-minded people, and that was our creative fuel, which made us grow and develop further as creatives, by allowing new perspectives to come in,” Hind Ghanim Al Saad said.

We join Hind and Yeon in celebrating the Class of 2019! Onward!

NOTE: Photos are all taken by freelance photographer Sadie Packer.