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...

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...

For this assignment, students devised a series of experiments to explore a chosen verb through typographic formal compositions. Each student aimed to develop a unique visual representation of the word based on its meaning using single letters or different words. Following the experimental process, students developed a book jacket for a fiction or poetry hardcover found in the University library. The goal was to simultaneously employ the use of expressive typography...

Four outstanding students from the Fall 2014 Design for a Sustainable Future course accompanied me in an exhibition opportunity at the 'AASHE 2015 Conference and Expo: Transforming Sustainability Education' held in Minneapolis. Accepted for inclusion as part of the conference in a double-blind peer review process, the exhibition highlighted our collaboration with RIT graphic design students on shared approaches to sustainability challenges. Held at the Minneapolis Convention Center, the exhibition with Kelly...

For this Imaging II project, students created two binary posters to reflect two opposing emotions (ie. confidence vs fear), time-periods (ie. past vs present), selves (ie. how you see yourself vs how others see you), or even melodies. The goal was to capture the quality, emotion, and essence of the 2 emotional states using only self-generated materials, textures, typography, and photography. The concept behind each collage was an important factor for students...

This project was a collaboration between GDES students and MAHATAT, a public art organization located in the Middle East. During the collaboration, students worked to revive the magic of traditional ‘wonder-boxes’ by developing prototypes in English and Arabic, while considering the need for both functionality and portability. The project methodology leveraged interactive and trans-media approaches for engaging the community in dynamic cultural and visual storytelling. Following the assembly of the boxes,...

Sustainability—it’s a word we hear a lot. We casually refer to sustainable choices, products, and lifestyles, but what exactly is this idea of sustainability? In order to unravel this buzzword, nineteen Graphic Design seniors from Virginia Commonwealth University’s campus in Doha, Qatar (VCUQ) and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Rochester, NY USA collaborated across the globe to make meaningful connections between the concept of sustainability and our day-to-day lives. The...

This project asked students to choose a (perishable or non-perishable) product that satisfies an essential need for a “makeover” using experimental print formats. The goal was to take the mundane package and breathe life into the item using a system-based approach. The package should engage the audience in an interactive or playful manner while taking into consideration the ethics of mass production and sustainable solutions within a throw-away culture. Co-taught with...

This scaffolded project asked students to utilize the environment, city and/or immediate surrounding space as a basis to create a grid for a modular typeface. Using the found grid system, students playfully engaged in a design process that utilized components and modules to generate each letterform. Using the software application Glyphs, students completed the working typeface through a system of constants and variables. Upon completion of the typeface, students developed...

The goal of this project is to design a calendar that simultaneously explores time and numerals in a creative and functional manner. Students were asked to consider a variety of solutions by investigating lunar phases, astrology, historical references, the meaning of numbers, culture, seasons, religion, nature, information architecture, and more. "Time has no divisions to mark its passage. There is never a thunder-storm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning...

Water is vital to life; this is a simple fact, but human behaviors and relationships with water are increasingly complex. This ongoing research in cross-cultural design education between two geographically distinct classrooms encourages students to collaborate virtually, exchange ideas, explore possibilities, and create new tools, approaches, and communication solutions around our planet’s most precious and imperiled resource. An outcome of this research is a series of student design projects that illustrate...

Global sustainability was the thematic backdrop for the entire semester of a “Design for Social Change” course taught in Dubai, with issues relevant to the MENA region as the core focus of this Digital Narratives & Sustainability project. The project began with a series of presentations and field trips introducing the class to sustainability issues within the UAE. Each student chose an area of interest for primary and secondary research collection around the...

Students create a deck of cards to showcase an individual topic of interest using illustrative, typographic, and conceptual skills on multiple surfaces. This imaginative project is not just fun and games, but an opportunity for students to also learn about green options in design, including the use of recycled paper, soy-based inks, and the reduction of packaging components. [gallery size="full" link="none" ids="6279,6280,6301,6286,6287,6282,6281,6284,6285,6296,6295,6289,6288,6300,6299,6298,6297"]...

This bilingual packaging project asks students to create a promotional piece for the Annual Emirates Festival held in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The festival hosts films, events, and exhibitions to promote the importance of locally made products to the culture and economy of the United Arab Emirates. Students develop prototypes from concept to production using a variety of found and manufactured materials in this Junior-level course. [gallery size="full" link="none" ids="7695,7699,7700,7696,7697,7704,7701,7702,7698,7706"]...

It was an exciting month for our “Design for Social Change” course. Not only did we have the opportunity to share the topics we have been exploring in a formal exhibition, but the resulting children’s e-books received rave reviews from some very high profile guests. So what exactly is ‘design for social change’? Often referred to as ‘social design,’ it aims to contribute to—or directly benefit—social, humanitarian, or environmental well-being. Designer...

The Odyssey of the Insatiable Minds is an international collaboration of both written and visual expression. The book is a collection of award-winning short stories gathered between 2006 and 2011 written in exactly 50 words. The Extremely Short Story Competition (ESSC) was originated by Professor Peter Hassall of Zayed University (UAE) and administered by the Japanese Association for Asian Englishes (JAFAE). Professor Nobuyuki Honna of Aoyama Gakuin University, President of...

Storytelling is a universal mode of communication that spans cultures, space, and time. Stories can engage the audience, transcend mediums, and help define personal identity. The examination and analysis of existing narratives is also a wonderfully rich and expansive area for graphic design students to explore. During this narrative collage project, students learn to develop their creative storytelling skills by collaborating with poets and writers. Using a collage technique, students synthesize...