Nathan Davis

Assistant Professor


+974 4402 0708
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California College of the Arts, San Francisco, California
MFA: Design

Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon
BFA: Magna Cum Laude, Applied Visual Arts [Sculpture], Minor: Art History


Nathan currently teaches Surface Research in the Art Foundation program at VCUQatar. After studying sculpture at Oregon State, Nathan earned an MFA in Design at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Nathan began teaching at Ohio University and then Montana State University before coming to VCUQatar. He taught undergraduate graphic design for 5 years including courses in digital media, web design, identity systems, typography, publication design, design principles and a seminar on media studies called Landscape / Mediascape. Nathan also served as the Graduate Studies committee chair at Montana State, where he taught a graduate seminar on media and identity, and served on several MFA thesis committees.

In addition to his activity as a researcher and design educator, Nathan continues to maintain a professional practice through Arcadian Studio, a design studio and consultancy with his partner Jennifer Davis. Nathan’s design work has appeared in Print Magazine, Graphis, Under Consideration’s FPO Awards, Design Boom and Creative Quarterly.

design studio:
personal research and teaching:

Teaching Experience

Assistant Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar (current)
Professor of Surface Research for Art and Design Foundation


Assistant Professor of Graphic Design, Montana State University
Coordinator of Sophomore Design Curriculum, Graduate Advisor


Visiting Assistant Professor of Graphic Design, Ohio University
Professor of Design Methodology, Media and Graphic Design Principles

Previous Professional Experience

Partner, Arcadian Studio

Strategic brand communications, design and art direction (current)


Partner, General Creative Group, San Francisco, California
Brand consulting, brand strategy, concept development, collateral, retail and packaging design


Freelance Print Design, San Francisco, California
Independent and collaborative award winning print design, and art direction


Design Intern, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Conducted brand experience research using qualitative research methodologies


Meta Newhouse Co-P.I., “Type of Place” (paper presentation of collaborative research at TypeCon, the annual conference presented by the non-profit Society of Typographic Aficionados (SOTA), Denver Colorado

Foundations in Art Theory Education (FATE), Indianapolis, Tectonic Shifts
Panel Co-Chair: Jesse Payne, Assistant Professor VCUQatar
Panel Topic: Why Master the Skills Before Making Something that Matters?
Panel Presentation: “How Can Something Matter if the Matter is Wrong?”

VCUQatar Joint Advisory Board: “Intercultural Communication in Art Foundations”


ATypI: Typographic Dialogs; “Type of place: Global Vernacular Type Archive.” Barcelona, Spain.

Design Inquiry 10: ACCESS; “A Dinner Table ‘What if’” Vinalhaven Maine, USA


“Collaboration, Interaction, Participation: What Does the Rise of Participatory Culture Mean for Art and Design Education and Practice?” College Art Association Conference, New York City

Design Research Workshop, Syracuse School of Architecture New York, NY


“Landscape / Mediascape: Materiality, Communication and Presence,” International Conference on the Image, Higher School of Humanities and Journalism, Poznan Poland.
Pecha Kucha; “Type of Place: Typographic Form and Cultural Identity,” The Ellen Theater, Bozeman Montana.


Association Typographic Internationale (ATypI) 2011; Type of Place: Typographic Encounters in Reykjavik.
Foundations in Art Theory Education (FATE) 2011, St. Louis: “Designer as Artist.”


FACTS Freshman Foundations Lecture: Graphic Design in the 21st Century
Montana State University.


“TypeCon 2015: Type of Place,” The Uppercase Magazine blog, McRae, Allie.


Participate: Design with User Generated Content. Armstrong, Helen & Zvezdana Stojmirovic, Princeton Architectural Press, 2011.


Weingart Typography: Azores Discussions documentary film included in Wolfgang Weingart Retrospective exhibition. Museum Fur Gestaltung, Zurich.

Strange Wonders, Faculty Exhibition Msheireb Enrichment Centre, Doha Qatar



“The Art of Design,” @ Deweese Gallery, Bozeman, MT.


“Nieznane: Thread to the Unknown,” Polish Mediations Bienniale Special Exhibition, Poznan, Poland

“Gathered Thoughts” @ Helen E. Copeland Gallery, Montana State University, Bozeman Montana
“Air Hunger,” @ HonnunarMars Design Festival, Spring 2012, Reykjavik, Iceland
“Type of Place: Reykjavik and Roma” @ HonnunarMars Design Festival, Reykjavik City Library, Spring 2012, Reykjavik, Iceland.

“Absence as Pretext for Action” @ Utah State University, Logan Utah.



Type of Place: Installation @ 101 Laugavegur, Reykjavik, Is.



Faculty Exhibition @ US Bank Gallery, Butte Montana


The Big Three @ Michael Rosenthal Gallery, San Francisco, CA        

Visiting Faculty Exhibition, Trisolini Gallery, Athens, Ohio


Enchanted Forest @ LoBot Gallery, Oakland, CA

MFA Thesis Exhibition @ The California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA



Graphis Design Annual 2016, Silver Award, “Tasmeem 3ajeeb!” Publication 
Creative Quarterly 40: The Journal of Art and Design: Runner-up, Professional Graphic Design category “Tasmeem Doha: 3ajeeb in the Classroom”



Virginia Commonwealth University Faculty Research Grant, Fall 2014: Type of Place: Creating a Global, User Generated Archive of Vernacular Typography.


Virginia Commonwealth University Faculty Research Grant, Fall 2013: Type of Place: Creating a Global, User Generated Archive of Vernacular Typography. Partial funding to design and develop an iPhone app for the production of a user generated archive of vernacular typography.

Print Regional Design Annual: Far West Region; for David Peters Ceramics: Forever More Than Once, Exhibition Catalog.

2013 FPO Awards book and website for Dave Peters Ceramics: Forever More Than Once, Exhibition Catalog.

Undergraduate Scholars Program, Faculty Mentor, Funded Grant Proposal: Type of Place: Typography and Cultural Identity. Funding to sponsor two undergraduate researchers to conduct workshops for the Type of Place project in Budapest, Vienna, and Prague.



Research and Creativity Block Grant, Montana State University

Adobe Design Achievement Awards Semifinalist


Shortlist: Designboom Sound Innovation Competition


Print Magazine Regional Design Annual


Graduate Merit Scholarship, California College of the Arts


Plinkiewisch Scholarship Recipient, Oregon State University



Graduating Senior of Distinction Award, Oregon State University


Oregon Graduates Show Selection, Portland, Oregon