Research Faculty

Art Foundation

Simone Muscolino
Director of Foundation
Time-Based Media and Interaction-Design
Education: Master in Architecture, Polytechnic University of Turin

Research Interests

In the past few years I have focused my research in new short forms of video making: the Moving Postcards. Moving Postcards are short videos that could represent a space, an atmosphere, an action, a behavior. They are multimedia between photography and video. They work on the fragment as a module of meaning.

A Moving Postcard relates to video making as a postcard relates to letter writing. It is a moving snapshot of a certain situation. It is the Twitter of video making.

The goal of my research is to produce an innovative documentary about Doha, Qatar and its relation with the Gulf Area. A documentary done with fragments. A documentary that is done not only for the screen, but that could take advantage of innovative interaction design platform and take the shape of an exhibition or a product, connecting the video content to physical objects, allowing and encouraging the audience to build personal sequences of fragments and to choose the timing of the vision.

 

Jesse Payne

Assistant Professor

Drawing/Painting/Printmaking/Photography

Education: MFA in Painting, Northern Illinois University 2003

                BFA in Painting/Drawing, Indiana State University 2001

Research Interests

  • Ongoing research in contemporary trends in art and design foundations pedagogy.
  • Research in digital technology/tools and the influence of them on art education.
  • Ongoing research in the fields of painting, drawing and printmaking
  • Investigating new media and hybrid approaches to art making
  • The role of art in design and vice versa.

 

Nathan Davis

Assistant Professor

Education:

MFA: Design, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, California, 2007

BFA: Magna Cum Laude, Applied Visual Arts [Sculpture], Minor: Art History, 2004, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon

Research Interests

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.

 

Ryan Browning

Assistant Professor

Education:

BA in Art History and Curatorial Studies from Brigham Young University in 2005, with a special emphasis on Middle Eastern and Near Eastern cultures.

MFA in Interdisciplinary Art in 2008 from the Maryland Institute College of Art’s Mount Royal School of Art program.

Research Interests

  • Painting materials and methods
  • Narrative illustration and drawing technique
  • Digital fabrication as means of art-production
  • Arduino and open source physical computing
  • Artist as community member and Art as community builder

 

Art History

Dina Bangdel

Director of Art History

South Asian and Himalayan Art

Education:

  • PhD, The Ohio State University
  • MA University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • BA Bryn Mawr College

Research Interests

  • The art and ritual traditions of Newar Buddhism 
  • The development of tantric Buddhist iconography 
  • South Asian Art

 

Debra Hanson

Assistant Professor

American Art and Visual Culture

Education:

  • PhD Virginia Commonwealth University
  • MFA East Carolina University
  • BA Mary Washington College

Research Interests

  • Art and Architecture of the U.S. Capitol
  • The 19th Century World's Fairs
  • Art of Thomas Eakins

 

 

Jochen Sokoly

Assistant Professor

Art History

Education:

Doctor of Philosophy (D.Phil), Oriental Studies, University of Oxford, 2002

Master of Philosophy (M.Phil), Oriental Studies (Islamic Art and Architecture), University of Oxford, 1992

Master of Arts, Archaeology, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 1999 (Distinction)

Bachelor of Arts, Art and Archaeology, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 1989 (First Class Honors)

Research Interests

  • History of the art and architecture of the Islamic world;
  • Contemporary Art of the Middle East;
  • Contemporary visual culture and urbanism of the Middle East;
  • Digital resources in the History of Art.

 

 

Leah Long

Assistant Professor

Education:

Classical Art and Archaeology

Ph.D. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
M.A. New York University, New York City
B.A. Brandeis University, Waltham, MA

Research Interests

  • Roman Architecture and Sculpture
  • Roman Urbanism and Economy
  • Hellenistic and Roman Asia Minor
  • Geoarchaeology        

 

Radha Dalal

Assistant Professor

Islamic Art and Architecture

Education:

2011 - PhD, Art History, University of Minnesota

2003 - MA, Art History, University of Minnesota

1999 - BA, Art History and Archaeology, University of Maryland

Research Interests

  • The visual cultures of mobility within the Ottoman Empire in the 19th and early 20th centuries
  • The visual propaganda of the Khilafat movement in India
  • Cultural heritage and museum studies
  • Theories of collective memory
  • Histories of photography and urbanism.  

Graduate Studies

Thomas Modeen

Associate Professor

Architecture, Design, Digital Fabrication Processes

Education:

  • PhD Loughborough University
  • M.Phil Royal College of Art
  • AA Dipl. (MA) Architectural Association School of Architecture
  • BFA Parson's School of Design

Research Interests

Thomas Modeen is interested in designing environments and objects, both small and large, engaging with the people that use them, challenging the technologies and processes that build them, and exploring the conceptual, perceptual and sensory paradigms that define and unite them.

For examples of his work please visit: http://www.architectsindependent.com

 

 

Diane Derr

Curator, Innovative Media Studio, Associate Professor

Time Based and Interactive Media

Education:

  • Ph.D. candidate, Centre for Advanced Inquiry in Interactive Arts (CAiiA-HUB), The Planetary Collegium, University of Plymouth
  • M.F.A. Interdisciplinary Arts and Media, Columbia College, 2007
  • B.F.A. Dual-degree, Photography and Film and Sculpture and Extended Media, VCU, 2004

 

Research Interests

As an artist and a researcher in digital media production Diane's practice examines the construct of narrative enabled by interactive and time-based digital technologies specifically addressing the increasingly malleable roles of the author, the subject and the spectator.  The central thread of her practice is focused on how digital media production technologies challenge our perception of information and our experience of cultural constructs.  

Framed within the areas of narrotology, communication structures and interaction aesthetics, her practice examines social and cultural constructs embedded in, and accessed through, the spectrum of digital technology.  Within this framework she has two primary research trajectories; the construction of inter-textual narrative within the networked model of communication; and the phenomenology of interaction enabled and challenged by digital media production technologies. Using open-source hardware and software, computer vision, and time-based media she has addressed these topics through; mediated system narratives in interactive installations; the deconstruction of mass media narratives through experimental documentary production; and the use of emergent technology to access archeological data and built cultural heritage in the Middle East.

 

 

Marco Bruno

Assistant Professor

Space: from myself to infinity and beyond

Education:

  • Master of Architecture, Southern California Institute of Architecture, LA, CA, USA
  • Bachelor in Architecture, Magna cum Laude, Politecnico di Torino, Italy
  • Erasmus Scholarship, Escola Superior das Belas Artes, Lisbon, Portugal

Research Interests

During his permanence in Seoul, Marco has been intensively researching on the way people, in very dense Korean urban environments, use public space for their own private benefit. It is a phenomenon he calls “Borrowed City”, which affects more and more the daily experience of people living in overcrowded areas, where space has become a very precious resource. Borrowing space is a necessary form of sharing: it is a way to optimize resources and an opportunity to creatively use public space.

The result of his research will be soon published in Korea. Marco is looking forward to explore Doha and understand how the urban borrowing takes place in Qatar. To begin with the exploration he bought a red motorcycle.

 

 

 

Michael Wirtz

Head, Research & Library Technology, Assistant Professor

Design Research

Education:

  • M.A. Information Resources and Library Science, University of Arizona, 2008
  • M.F.A. Painting, Arizona State University, 2004
  • B.F.A. Fine Art - Painting and Printmaking, University of Wyoming, 2000
  • B.A. Journalism, University of Wyoming, 1998

Research Interests

  • The use of digital technologies in information resource development.
  • Information literacy and critical thinking pedagogy.
  • The use of information delivery systems within the library environment.

 

Graphic Design

 

Denielle Emans

Assistant Professor

Education:

  • MFA, Graphic Design, North Carolina State University
  • BA, Communication Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Research Interests

  • Interdisciplinary design collaborations and service learning initiatives for sustainability and social good  
  • Virtually mediated cross-cultural design collaborations within design pedagogy
  • Design for multilingual contexts and language conservation
  • Impact assessment within social design practice, initiatives, and education

 

 

 

Law Alsobrook

Assistant Professor

Narrative Studies, Design Semiotics & Visual Communication

Education:

  • Ph.D. candidate, Centre for Advanced Inquiry in Integrative Arts (CAiiA-HUB), The Planetary Collegium, University of Plymouth, in progress
  • MFA Rhode Island School of Design
  • BA University of Alabama

Research Interests

  • The role of narrative and language as intermediate agents of consciousness
  • The semiotics of travel, space and place
  • DIY and craft as frontiers in design entrepreneurship
  • Cross-cultural learning modalities and motivation

 

 

Levi Hammett

Associate Professor

Time-based media and Interaction design

Education:

  • MFA in Graphic Design, Rhode Island School of Design, 2006.
  • BFA in Graphic Design, Oregon State University, 2003.

Research Interests

Levi Hammett's research practice is concerned with creating design objects that enable users to relate to their spatial environment in unexpected yet insightful ways, with the aim of expanding their awareness and understanding of the physical world. The objects span a range of media that includes traditional graphic design, digital interface design, game design, photography, and product design. Despite the variety of media, every object shares a focus on creating playful interfaces and spaces that invite users to interact, either physically or cognitively. These interactions have the potential to reveal new perspectives, comparisons, and insights about a user’s relationship to space, place, and location.

Research Keywords: Space, place, cartography, culture, interaction, play, education

 

 

Michael Hersrud

Associate Professor

Time-Based and Interactive Media

Education:

  • MFA. Rhode Island School of Design, RISD. Department of Graphic Design. 2006.
  • BFA. Minnesota State University, Moorhead, MSUM. Studio Art w/ emphasis in Graphic Design Studio. 1996.

Research Interests

"I view myself as a factotum of the digital era. Design in our current global and digital culture calls upon us to be versed in many many areas of knowledge and become interim experts as we wander from project to project. Boundaries that once defined one discipline from another are now expanding, collapsing and intermixing. Because of this, and within my own creative practice, I often pursue a multiplicity of creative avenues that interweave materials, media and creative disciplines, that are interconnected through diverse inquires into the ‘context of culture’. Overtime, many of my projects have explored notions of visual ethnography and descriptive research as a means to collect information and produce creative outcomes.

"The territories I pursue in my work varies from documentary filmmaking, to experiential installations, to book collectives, to experimental cartographies, to graphic computational form generation, all resulting in investigations that often combine analog and digital processes. My inquiries span from individual to collaborative initiatives, and examine three areas of design; one, ‘design process’ to explore old/new technology and create meaningful, expressive and connotative visual imagery; two, ‘design narrative’ to visually communicate stories both didactically and poetically to allow viewers to learn something new or imagine possibility; and three, ‘design thinking’ as a means of praxis and discourse relative to classroom and community engagement. The combination of these areas becomes the pathway that leads me from one project to the next, with slight divergences along the journey." Michael Hersrud.  

 

 

Interior Design

 

Cherif Amor

Chair of Interior Design

Education:

  • PhD University of Missouri Columbia, USA
  • M.Phil University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
  • ESL, College of Saint John and Saint Mark, Plymouth, UK
  • B.Arch Institute of Architecture, Algeria

 

Research Interests

Neuro-imaging and the built environment; evidence-based design; sustainability; and interaction of culture and the built environment.

 

 

Johan Granberg

Associate Professor

Education:

  • 2009-2012 PhD at RMIT Melbourne  
  • 2002-03 Knowledge in design, PhD seminar Chalmers School of Architecture in Gothenburg, (Chalmers)
  • 1995 ”Palimpsest of Rome” PhD Workshop Chalmers
  • 1995 School of Architecture, Helsinki
  • 1992-96 School of Architecture at Chalmers Tekniska Högskola (diploma M Arch 99)
  • 1991-92 Architecture School at Pratt Institute, New York
  • 1984-87 Engineering at Wenströmska in Västerås

 

Research Interests

Johan’s research focuses on questions of how society and culture are held together, particularly on Making and Fabrication:

  • What is involved in the cultural act of making?
  • What relationships emerge by various-object-making and how can we see these relationships in the making of society as a holistic unit?
  • What didactic systems emerge around the act of making?
  • How do technologies and material impact the act of making?
  • How are design schools applying acts of making into the curricula?

Johan has an anthropological design approach and, by his work, seeks to expand his research from various syntheses: art/science, theory/practice, material/ideas, concept/product, producer/user, tradition/innovation. These interests take the form of design laboratories that have investigated a variety of topics such as digital fabrication, material specific processes, the chair and the act of sitting in Western culture, objects generated from traditional eating, and the cultural act of the restaurant cue.

 

 

 

Liam Colquhoun

Assistant Professor

Education:

  • Master of Design (distinction) Communication Design, RMIT, Melbourne
  • Bachelor of Arts, Interior Design, Napier University Scotland

 

Research Interests

The research topic currently being explored by Liam reflects his interest in the collaborative, cross -disciplinary approach to retail design. In particular, Liam and Matthew Holmes-Dallimore, explore the places, structures and objects we create that help facilitate simple transactions in different cultures. This enquiry, and student outcomes from projects derived from this research, became an exhibition called Retail without Walls: Kiosk Culture, at Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art in 2012.

 

 

 

Li Han

Assistant Professor

Conceptual ideations / Manual and digital interior design graphics / Space Planning and Codes

Education:

  • MS University of Wisconsin
  • BS Tonji University

 

Research Interests

  • Design methodology
  • Design communication
  • Hybridization and creativity
  • Digital fabrication

 

 

 

 

Liberal Arts & Sciences

 

Diane G. Woodcock

Associate Professor

Writing and Rhetoric, Creative Writing

Education:

  • MFA Virginia Commonwealth University
  • BS Virginia Commonwealth University

 

Research Interests

  • Two Ecosystems in Crisis: The Arabian Peninsula and the Everglades
  • The Role of Poetry in the Search for an Environmental Ethic
  • How Environmental Rights and Human Rights Converge
  • Women Past and Present Tapping into the Power of Poetry​

 

 

 

 

Jesse Ulmer

Assistant Professor

English Literature and Composition

Education:

  • Ph.D., English Literature & Criticism, Indiana University of Pennsylvania 

  • MA, English Literature, Virginia Commonwealth University

  • BA, English Literature, Minnesota State University Moorhead

 

Research Interests

His research interests include 19th and 20th Century American Literature, Critical Theory, Composition Studies, and Literacy/Orality Studies. Jesse has published and presented his work in a variety of regional, national and international forums.

 

 

 

 

Jörg Matthias Determann

Assistant Professor

Education:

  • Doctor of Philosophy, History, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London
  • Magister der Philosophie, History, University of Vienna
  • Magister der Philosophie, Arabic Studies, University of Vienna

 

Research Interests

Jörg's research interests lie in global history, the history of science and scholarship, and the history of the Middle East. His first book is entitled Historiography in Saudi Arabia: Globalization and the State in the Middle East. He is currently working on a second book with the title Researching Biology and Evolution in the Gulf States: Networks of Science in the Middle East. He is also undertaking research for a third book with the working title The Arab World’s Final Frontier: Transnational Space Science. Finally, he is thinking about researching Muslim conceptions of space aliens. You can find more about his research here.

 

 

 

Khaled Saoud

Associate Professor

Physics, Mathematics, Materials Science, Nanotechnology

Education:

  • PhD Virginia Commonwealth University
  • MS Virginia Commonwealth University
  • BS Yarmouk University

 

Research Interests

Dr Saoud’s research focuses in general on the synthesis, characterization and multiple applications of nanoscale materials. The major fields of science that are relevant to his work include nanotechnology, nanocatalysts, and nanoparticle systems of metals, metal alloys, nanoparticle/polymer hybrid nanostructures, and metal oxides. His research is involved in the sized controlled synthesis of nanomaterials, their detailed characterization and investigation of size dependent changes in the properties of these materials.

Dr Saoud’s interests are focused on the design and evaluation of catalytic materials for “Future Fuels” synthesis and environmental applications such as investigating a variety of nanocatalysts used in CO Oxidation, Fischer-Tropsch chemistry, sulfur removal, and CO2 decomposition. Nanomaterials support allows more efficient distribution of the catalytic species, his primary focus in this area is to investigate the catalytic mechanism at the nanoscale.

 

 

 

 

Robert Bianchi

Assistant Professor

English; Linguistics

Education:

  • PhD Lancaster University, UK
  • MA York University, Canada
  • CELTA RSA/Cambridge, UK
  • Bilingual BA (Hons) York University, Canada

 

Research Interests

Robert continues to analyze data from the ground-breaking mahjoob.com multilingual corpus, a corpus of nearly half a million discussion forums written in English, Arabic, and 3arabizi/Arabish. Based on the vitality of 3arabizi as a written form of communication, Robert is also exploring the possible educational value of written Vernacular Arabic within K-12 schools in Qatar.

 

 

 

 

 

Robin Fetherston

Assistant Professor

Academic Writing, Literature, and Creative Writing

Education:

  • MA The College of William and Mary
  • BA Arizona State University

 

Research Interests

  • A Historical Perspective on Detective Fiction
  • Adolescent Development and Death in Victorian Britain
  • British Cultural Influences on Victorian Art and Literature
  • Transitions between Oral Traditions and Textual Practices in the Middle East

 

 

 

 

Ryad Ahmad Ghanam

Associate Professor

Education:

  • Ph.D. in Mathematics, University of Toledo.
  • M.A in Mathematics, University of Toledo.
  • B.S in Mathematics, University of Jordan.

 

Research Interests

  • Primary: Applied Differential Geometry, Lie Algebras & Lie Groups.
  • Secondary: Numerical analysis and numerical solutions to partial differential equations.

 

 

 

 

 

Sadia Mir

Assistant Professor

English

Education:

  • M.F.A. Documentary Media. Ryerson University, Canada
  • B.A. English and Art History. McGill University, Canada
  • CELTA. Certificate of English Speakers of Other Languages. Cambridge University, UK
  • Certificate. Teachers and Trainers of Adults. Algonquin College, Canada

 

Research Interests

  • Use of personal narratives in scholarly research 
  • Documentary media storytelling (visual and literary forms)