I am genuinely sad to see Tasmeem 2019 come to a close!

It has been a fantastic three-days of inspiring speakers, engaging workshops, and fun activities—led by four incredible women, who also happen to be VCUarts Qatar alumnae! They did an exceptional job bringing together a lineup of speakers with tremendous heart and soul, curating numerous exhibitions, and working with designers across our spatial and graphic worlds to make the conference a success. 

On the first day of Tasmeem 2019, I was honored to participate in Narratives Mash-up + Responsive Riso Stories led by Tricia Treacy. During the workshop, I collaborated with Farah Adawy, Rabeya Khatoon, and Basma Hamdy to create a narrative zine about overcoming fear and anxiety in order to find your own voice. 

Later that evening, Sir David Adjaye OBE, Founder and Principal of Adjaye Associates, gave the opening keynote of the conference. Not only is his work aesthetically innovative, but conceptually inspiring. Each space Sir David creates takes into account the human condition by looking at the narratives of people through experiential design, along with the environmental and sustainable implications of architecture. These commemorative spaces serve as vessels of historical, cultural and political journeys. His work for the National Museum of African American History and Culture honestly brought me to tears.

During day two of the conference, I participated in the workshop Utopian Dystopias: A study of Architecture and Print led by Samer Fouad. Samer’s workshop introduced screen-printing to participants and explored utopian architecture from different creative points of view.

Later that evening, the Minus 162 exhibition opened at the Doha Fire Station to a large and welcoming crowd of enthusiastic spectators. This collaboration between faculty and students utilized 40 floating printers and coding to scrape images from online sources to explore the Qatar Japan LNG agreement. 

On day three, it was an honor to see graphic design senior, Reham Mohamed, in action during her workshop PressZine. This Letterpress workshop introduced participants to the different fields of analog and digital technology while straddling Arabic and English typography.

Following Reham’s workshop, students from the graphic design department performed sound experiments and synthesized beats during a Sonic Jeel performance. As part of this musical event, I joined the fashion design department’s “Dress-Up Troop” in a performance of secret identities and curated personalities. Honestly, this was so much fun!

The last day of the Tasmeem conference welcomed another inspiring speaker, Julia Koerner, to share the stories behind her projects and work in the worlds of 3D printing, architecture, and fashion design. Her costume designs for award-winning actress Angela Bassett (in her role as Queen Ramonda in Black Panther) is simply breathtaking.

Congratulations again to the four co-chairs who made this conference possible—Noha Fouad, HadeerOmar, Wajiha Pervez, and Yasmeen Suleiman—and to all those who made it possible!