A final look at the “Shifting Spaces & Forgotten Walls” exhibition that was recently held at Art 29 at the W Doha Hotel & Residences. Through a series of photographs and videos, the exhibition provided a closer look at the diversity of Qatar’s atmospheric Old Al Rayyan Area. Qatar’s exponential economic growth since the 1970s has given rise to massive changes in city planning, with older buildings giving way to new...

A collection of quotes about design, the media, social change, and other inspirations for research, teaching, and creativity. Design “Questions about whether design is necessary or affordable are quite beside the point: design is inevitable. The alternative to good design is bad design, not no design at all.” ~Douglas Martin "People are not passive consumers of design, they are active designers of their own world—and always have been." ~Jane Fulton Suri "We are on a journey...

This March, I was humbled by the invitation to participate in the Riwaq Al Fikr event on the topic of “Design for Social Change” with keynote guest speaker, Jessica Walsh, partner at Sagmeister & Walsh. Sponsored by the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) and Zayed University, this panel discussion was part of the Abu Dhabi Festival 2017: Culture and Tolerance. I was pleased to invite graphic design student, Amira...

I recently organized a five-day field study to Abu Dhabi to help students learn about community outreach from a professional and regional standpoint. The trip was SO MUCH FUN! It was co-chaperoned with Maryam Al-Homaid and involved attending the Riwak al Fikr event, visiting the Emirates Palace, Sheikh Zayed Mosque, and Alserkal Avenue. I wish I had a little more time right now to post pictures of all of our...

I really enjoyed chatting with the collaborative team of Valerie Molnar & Matt Spahr during the special Tasmeem edition of the video podcast VCU ALT Lab, entitled RVArts Majlis Conversations. The RVArts Cultural Passport is a VCUarts Richmond initiative that explores the diversity of visual and performing arts in the Richmond area by featuring conversations between diverse faculty members. The 2017 Tasmeem Doha edition was streamed live to the home...

On a cool Doha Saturday morning this January, I joined Graphic Design Seniors Rabeya Khatoon and Alisha Saiyed in the last session of the Community Art Workshop entitled “Built / Unbuilt: City / Home.”  We spent the day working alongside a wonderful group of people dedicated to building artistic bridges with the Nepalese community led by Dina Bangdel (Chair of the VCUQatar Art History Department), UCLQ colleagues, and NRNA-Qatar. Through...

Three is an exhibition based on three components of design: condition, action, and effect. It was produced by students in their third year of the Graphic Design program and taught by three faculty: Basma Hamdy, Levi Hammett, and Denielle Emans. The exhibition is the product of combining two classes: Systems in Design and Interaction Design into one expanded studio and is based on a model of identifying a real-world condition,...

With an introduction to 3D modeling, this multi-phase project asked students to navigate basic 3D rendering technology and translate a vector illustration into three dimensions. Once complete, students printed their characters on a MakerBot and hand-painted the character models. For the final phase of the project, students expressed the personality, habits, and traits of their character in a short visual narrative. The execution of the narrative included photography, video, and an...

After spending a week in Taiwan for The International Conference on Design History and Design Studies (ICDHS), I am smitten with the city of Taipei. Not only did we have an opportunity to attend some fantastic talks and presentations at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, but the city itself is brimming over with innovative projects and initiatives. One of the highlights of the conference was the opportunity...

One of the highlights of my recent trip to Taipei was the opportunity to visit the International Design House Exhibitions as part of the World Design Capital Taipei 2016. With Songshan Cultural & Creative Park serving as the main exhibition area, we had a whirlwind tour of the major halls and a peek into the diverse aspects of Taipei as an “Adaptive City – Design in Motion.” The core concept...

It has been an incredible week in Las Vegas at the AIGA Design Conference: the Shape of Design. There were provocative sessions, discipline-driven symposia, and inspiring speakers. The 2016 Conference brought together a diverse group of designers, artists, writers, strategists, inventors and other creative thinkers to explore and explain the role adaptation plays in shaping designers' creative practice, culture, and selves. "Adaptation is change with purpose. Writers wrestle with it. Artists embrace...

I was honored to attend the 2016 IAMCR Conference recently held at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom from July 27–31, 2016. The conference theme of memory, commemoration, and communication was a meaningful opportunity to examine how the media speak to local and global audiences, in both the past and the present. During the conference, I presented the paper “Unfolding memories: Representations of migration and intercultural communication.” The paper investigates the...

Mark your calendars! Our spring workshop, Designing Web Sites in Webflow, will be held on April 13 from 3 to 5 at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. Led by Ahmed Hashmi, this event is free and open to the public. Please email me if you would like to attend so that we reserve enough seats! Interaction Design defines the structure and behavior of interactive systems. Interaction Designers strive to create meaningful relationships between...

Storyboards are organizational tools that help designers, videographers, editors, animators, producers and directors create a rough visual representation of a movie or video project. Storyboarding forces you to think through all of the logistics of your project. The storyboard is a sheet of paper that breaks down the elements of a video production into what you see and what you hear. Not only do they help determine the flow of the...

The "Print Booklet" feature in InDesign lets you create printer spreads for printing saddle stitch booklets, magazines, or traditional books. With this feature, your pages will appear in sequence as you work, but can be printed in the appropriate order for folding and binding when you are ready. Here's a brief introduction to what you should know about this easy-to-use feature. Note: much of this information can also be found in wonderfully...

The process of creating printer spreads from layout spreads is called imposition. Manual imposition used to be the only way to produce your final book from InDesign. Luckily there is the "Booklet Printing" feature to make your lives easier these days.

As part of the GDES Department's ongoing effort to bring in visiting Arab designers to VCUQ, we were pleased to host the talented type and graphic designer, Ali AlMasri, this past week. Ali visited us from Jordan and spent his time at VCUQ lecturing and running workshops in the Sophomore and Junior graphic design studios. A big thank you to Ali for sharing his typographic wisdom and inspiration with the students....

As you begin working in the world of publication design, it is useful to look at existing, award-winning designs to generate ideas for the layout, color schemes, and type choices. You might start by visiting the design section of a large bookstore, where you can find entire books devoted to one genre of design, or look through design magazines such as Print or Communication Arts. Below you will find a...