11 March 2015

Tasmeem Doha 2015: 3ajeeb! Opens To Over 500 Participants

Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar in partnership with the Qatar Foundation launched its biennial art and design conference Tasmeem Doha on Sunday, 8 March 2015. Tasmeem Doha 2015: ‘3ajeeb!’ is open to the public and takes place at VCUQatar until 12 March, with presentations on Tuesday 2-5pm, Wednesday 1-8pm and Thursday 3-7pm.

The 2015 edition of Tasmeem Doha focuses on the theme of ‘playfulness’ as expressed by the Arabizi word 3ajeeb! (ahh-jhee-b) meaning “strange in a strange way, cool in a cool way, and slightly weird in a slightly weird way.” Tasmeem Doha 3ajeeb! will foster discussions on playful processes as a creative practice to generate new knowledge, technologies and discoveries.

The first morning of the conference saw participants of the various workshops being briefed about the projects. The 3ajeeb! studios feature 26 workshops led by multidisciplinary artists, designers, architects, performers and musicians. They include:

Making Animated Gifs In Fashion; Robots With Character; Turning the Tables on Table Tennis; The Nomadic Doll; Magic stories for the Wonder Box; Phonotropia!; Tokyo to Doha, 3D Print Exchange; Praesentia: Drawing and Code; Arabic Script Light Calligraphy; Now That’s A Zine!; The Moneychanger; Floating Architecture; Mechanisms of Delightful Interaction; Touch the Sound; Upcycling Punch-Card Knitting Machines; Face-Painted People; The House That Knew Too Much; So, What Are You Going To Shoot?; Bamboo Bike Building; Atypical Type; Heya ... Origami!; They Promised Us Jetpacks; Hole in One: Exquisite Corpse Mini-Golf; DIY Battle of the Bands; marionetteKINECT and Portrait Machine. Participation in the 3-day workshops is limited to faculty, students, and select guests.

The studio part of the day came to a close with the opening address by Pors & Rao, a Bangalore-based Indo-Danish art duo, making sculptures and installations that often involve mechanical movement and responsive behaviors. Pors & Rao are particularly interested in the involuntary aspects of human behavior - of what lies outside our knowledge and control.

This was followed by a conversation with special guests, legendary fashion designer and master couturier Valentino Garavani and Honorary President of the Valentino Fashion House, Giancarlo Giammetti. Valentino and Giammetti opened their session with a video presentation of the Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum, a digital fashion experience showcasing five decades of fashion history. The museum, a downloadable application that uses real time 3D technology, let’s visitors explore, in-depth, not just the house’s archive, but also Valentino’s captivating back story.

Moderated conversations with Valentino and Giammetti, led by VCUQatar Fashion Design Chair Sandra Wilkins, followed the screening, and touched upon the concept of the virtual museum, as well as Valentino’s amazing professional and personal insights into the world of couture fashion. Following the conversation, members of the audience, including students, participated in a Q&A session.

“We are grateful to Qatar Foundation for providing such an extraordinary opportunity to our students,” says VCUQatar Dean Allyson Vanstone. “It was a once in a lifetime event, and Mr. Valentino and Mr. Giammetti were truly delightful and generous guests.”

First day of Tasmeem Doha 2015, VCUQatar's biennial art and design conference.

Designers Pors & Rao (Apama Rao and Soren Pors) speaking at the opening of Tasmeem Doha 2015.

Legendary fashion designer Valentino with Chair of the Fashion Design Department Sandra Wilkins, on the opening night of Tasmeem Doha 2015.

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