Tasmeem Doha 2011 – ‘Synapse: Designer as Link’ is open to the public and will take place at VCUQatar from 21 to 24 March, 2011. For the Monday night opening ceremony seating is on a first come first seated basis and it is recommended that audience be seated by 5:30 PM.
Tasmeem Doha 2011 is situated as a working conference, featuring student driven teams investigating the role of design as a problem solving activity that tackles community issues, our daily life-worlds and future concerns. Through the idea of ‘Synapse’, VCUQatar aims to forge dynamic links between students, creative problem solvers, local community members, community stakeholders and VCUQatar.
In keeping with this theme, VCUQatar together with Pink Tank UAE is organizing TasmeemLab: ‘Linking Through Making’, a performance of Arab design creation and collaboration. Four designers from the Arab world – Product designer Younes Duret from Morocco, interior designer Khalid Shafar from the UAE, and graphic designers Richard Kahwagi, from Lebanon and Manar Al Muftah from Qatar - will give live demonstrations of how their work is made. Visitors will be offered a rare view into the designers’ workshop spaces to understand the process that goes into the creation of design products.
Reflecting on the theme ‘link’ each designer will produce a piece in front of the public that reflects the notion of design as a connector between different materials, disciplines or society. TasmeemLab is also a matchmaking exercise where designers will work together on the creation of a common product(s) at the event. This exercise will explore how different creative methods become compatible when they intersect as the designers combine their expertise and creative minds in this collaborative process. The teams will prototype their design ideas in live sessions, allowing audiences to observe this dynamic interplay and watch the evolution of the designs as they are created. Individual and collective products will be presented on the 24th, the final day of the conference.
Franco-Morroccan designer Younes Duret draws from his duality in many of his works. Duret firmly believes that objects should be both beautiful and useful. He defines himself as an industrial designer with a focus on ergonomics and function. For him, design should consider not only how an object looks, but also how it is created and how it is used. Far from concentrating only on the shapes, Duret forces himself to look into a conceptual strictness and a permanent reevaluation of his designer status. His mission is to bring industrial design to the forefront of Morocco’s design world. With a lot of humor and love, Duret links all things bringing cultures closer.
Khalid Shafar has studied and specialized in Furniture & Objects design, first at the prestigious Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London, then at the Centre for Fine Woodworking in Nelson, New Zealand. Over this time Shafar has acquired the skills and techniques integral to bespoke furniture making and craftsmanship. Shafar’s approach to design links his personal expression of form, movement, emotion, and in particular, ‘the tale’ of objects.
Graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from the American University of Beirut, Richard Kahwagi has delved in various areas of print, advertising, music and television. Based in Beirut, he has collaborated with different design studios and advertising agencies in the Netherlands and the Arab countries. His work has been sold, exhibited and included in several publications. With a penchant for Arabic and Latin typography, Kahwagi sources his inspiration from the surrounding vernacular and DJing.
Manar Al Muftah graduated from VCUQatar with a BFA in Graphic Design. Her interest in art grew with time. In the same way that found objects inspired her, she discovered that calligraphy also fired her imagination and creativity. She started attending calligraphy classes, under the supervision of Hameed Al Saady, and “came to deeply appreciate the world of the Arabic alphabet”. Shortly after, she compiled concepts for each letter and started working on a pattern or texture to represent the historical aspects of those letters. She honors the alphabet by giving each letter the value it deserves. Al Muftah’s work links language, art and design.
TasmeemLab live individual demonstrations take place on Monday, 21 March from 12:00 to 4:45 PM and on Tuesday 22 March from 9:15 AM to 1:30 PM. The TasmeemLab live group demonstration will take place on Wednesday 23 March from 9:15 AM to 12:25 PM and the presentation of individual and collective TasmeemLab projects will take place on Thursday 24 March from 11:55 Am to 12:50 PM. This will be followed by a main stage presentation by Pink Tank at 1:40 PM on the 24th.
Tasmeem Doha 2011 will also host a MEDEA (Middle East Design Educators Association) workshop on 22 March to provide an opportunity for design educators to share ideas, methods, challenges and opportunities with their colleagues, and to foster dialogue between the design industry and those who educate the next generation of designers. The session will include presentations by Jimmy Ghazal, head of Digital at M&C Saatchi MENA and Richard Grefé, executive director of AIGA, the oldest and largest professional association of designers in the United States.
Founded in 2008, MEDEA serves as an inspirational and information platform for design educators in this region. It is an opportunity for edu¬cational design institutions and design educators to be supported by the synergy of depth and breadth that emerges when a collection of people from diverse initiatives and overlapping concerns collaborate in something common. MEDEA is currently in the process of becoming an association under the International Education Network (IEN) which functions under the auspices of Icograda, the world body for professional communication design and a partner of the International Design Alliance (IDA).
AIGA advances the interests of over 20,000 designers working in a variety of communication media and dimensions, ranging from type and book designers to new media, experience and service designers. AIGA, under Grefé, has become the leading advocate for the value of designing, as a way of thinking and as a means of creating strategic value for business.
Grefé earned a BA from Dartmouth College, crafted books at Stinehour Press, reported from the Bronx County Courthouse for AP, wrote for Time magazine on business and the economy and then earned an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business. Following an early career in urban design and public policy consulting, Grefé managed the association responsible for strategic planning and legislative advocacy for public television and led a think tank on the future of public television and radio in Washington. He has been at AIGA since 1995.
Beirut born, Jimmy Ghazal started his career in corporate identity and Arabic typography at Brand Central in 2001. Keeping pace with technological advances, he has taken his expertise online with Saatchi & Saatchi heading the multimedia division and catering for the intense demand for high quality, regional multimedia solutions. Ghazal holds a BA in Graphic Design from Notre Dame University (NDU), Beirut and conducts Masters Classes at the Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts (Alba).
He is head of Digital at M&C Saatchi MENA and also heads Fusion, the digital and multimedia firm in the group.
VCUQatar’s biennial international design conference Tasmeem 2011 "Synapse: Designer as Link", with 14 speakers and 14 workshops, is interdisciplinary and collaborative with activities designed to generate awareness, raise important questions and provide meaningful, realizable solutions. The conference opens on Monday 21 March with workshops in the morning. The opening ceremony at 6:00 PM at the atrium at VCUQatar will be followed by the keynote address by Tom Kelley, general manager of IDEO. The conference is open to the general public. For more information about Tasmeem 2011, featured speakers, workshops and events, and to register please visit http://www.tasmeemdoha.com/
Manar Al Muftah