Innovative Media Studio




Collaborating Faculty and Researchers
MaML collaborates with a variety of students, faculty and researchers on the VCUQatar campus, HBKU, and the Qatar community.


Law Alsobrook
Assistant Professor in Graphic Design, VCUQatar
Law Alsobrook came to graphic design through a rather circuitous route beginning with a stint in printmaking and bookbinding coupled with time spent learning linguistics and semiotics while studying for an MA in TESOL. Not content with the trajectory of his career, he stumbled upon graphic design when his two seemingly disparate interests—art and words—collided and ignited and even greater passion—design.  He veered, briefly, into the world of web design and interactivity while working in New York, but circumstances there led him to teaching design which eventually became his true calling. Gratified to have found something he was genuinely fascinated by, curiosity compelled him to further his enquiry into design thinking, and in 2005 he earned an MFA from RISD. While at school, he became enamored with visual narrative and the art of show and tell—not too far from his original quest with words and images. Currently, he resides in the Middle East where he teaches graphic Design at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar. His research focuses on visual storying telling, the nature of place and the dialogue of travel as metaphor.


Mirza Baig
Senior Database Engineer, VCUQatar


Diane Derr
Assistant Professor, Curator of Innovative Media Studio VCUQatar
Diane Derr works with time-based and interactive media, using communication structures and strategies as material. Exploring the narratology of trans-media Diane considers the space between the real and the fictional representation. Adapting structural, editorial, and production frameworks her work investigates the roles of author, subject, and spectator within the intertextual narrative.

Diane is a doctoral candidate at the University of Plymouth, researching fictional realisms of trans-media narratology within the Centre for Advanced Inquiry in Integrative Arts (CAiiA), Planetary Collegium under the supervision of Professor Roy Ascott. Diane received her MFA in Interdisciplinary Art and Media from Columbia College Chicago in 2007. In 2004, she received a dual BFA degree in Photography + Film and Sculpture + Extended Media from Virginia Commonwealth University. Diane has exhibited her work throughout the US and the UK including Artist Space in New York, Scope London, Scope Hamptons, the Projection Gallery, LoBot Gallery and NAB LAB. In addition, she has had recent exhibitions in Doha, Qatar and Cairo, Egypt.


Caitlin Doherty
Gallery Curator, VCUQatar


Dr. Andrew Petersen
Director of Research Islamic Archaeology, University of Wales
My research can be divided into two main strands one concerned with the Hajj and another focussing on shrines in Palestine. In the future I will integrate these two aspects of my research on pilgrimage into a wider study of Muslim sacred landscapes.

1) The Hajj. Whilst much is known of the rituals and religious duties associated with pilgrimage to Mecca from the beginning of Islam to the present day the study of the material culture of the Hajj is less well developed. My research is based on an architectural documentation of the Syrian Hajj route Darb al-Hajj al-Shami in Jordan and Syria. The final report of this work is in press and will be published in 2011.

2) Muslim Shrines in Palestine. My interest in Muslim shrines in Palestine focuses on how they are used to define a sacred Islamic landscape which complements the holy city of Jerusalem. In particular I am interested in shrines associated with Biblical and Quranic figures. The results of this work have been published in various journals and are incorporated into a course which I teach at Lampeter.