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Cross-Cultural Kaleidoscope | Basma Hamdy x Peter Martin | 25 Years of VCUart Qatar

We’re looking back over 25 years of VCUarts Qatar through Tasmeem Doha – one of the region’s leading and most influential design initiatives – and chatting with six VCUarts Qatar faculty members and key players who have helped make it what it is today.

Our first in four conversations is with Basma Hamdy, the co-director of Tasmeem Doha 2022, and Peter Martin, one of the conference’s original co-directors. In this episode titled “Cross-cultural Kaleidoscope” we discuss the birth of Tasmeem Doha, and its evolution over the decades. Together Hamdy and Martin share the realities of putting together this kind of conference (especially during COVID-19) and how they think Tasmeem Doha has influenced and impacted different audiences — including themselves.

0:00 – Introduction

0:45 – The birth and evolution of Tasmeem Doha

17:32 – Tasmeem Doha, design and the Arabic language over 25 years of VCUartsQatar

27:39 – How can and should Tasmeem Doha collaborate with other conferences & build a cross-border network?

30:49 – Personal projects that grow out of Tasmeem Doha, politics of design and memories from previous

Tasmeem Doha conferences Tasmeem Doha is a biennial international conference that focuses on unique and contemporary themes in art and design. For 2024, the theme of the event is “Under Construction”, which is both a metaphor for creative research as well as a celebration and investigation of transformation. It is also a state that Doha has found itself in for decades: a transformation that has presented an outsized impact on the residents of the city.

Under Construction will also explore the past, present and future of VCUarts Qatar’s flagship event Tasmeem Doha. As part of the 25th anniversary of VCUart Qatar’s campus in Doha, the event will bring together voices from the past, present and future of various disciplines involved in this cycle of rethinking and remaking.

The program will include talks, workshops, public exhibitions and performances.

Basma Hamdy is an assistant professor of graphic design at VCUarts Qatar and co-director of Tasmeem Doha 2022. She is a research-based designer, author and educator producing work that bridges historical, political and social issues with archival, documentarian, participatory and critical mechanisms. She is an advocate for collaboration and participatory practices, believing that design must promote multiperspectivity. She has collaborated with historians, photographers, designers, activists and cultural organizations to create work that reformulates or challenges established norms or conventions.

Peter Martin was one of the co-directors at the original Tasmeem Doha conference. He holds a BS in Design and Environmental Analysis from Cornell University and an MFA in Graphic Design from Virginia Commonwealth University. His varied experience includes outdoor education, wooden boat building and organizational innovation consulting. He served as Interim Chair of Graphic Design at VCUarts Qatar (2016-2020), where he began teaching in 1999 where he co-led – in collaboration with VCUarts Richmond – the faculty’s development of a wholly new and forward-looking BFA curriculum. Since 2017 he has also been collaborating in developing interdisciplinary learning curricula and cultures with multiple universities of Qatar Foundation’s Education City campus. His design work investigates organizational and community participation platforms for co-creative processes for holistic and integrative transformations.


More about The Tasmeem Doha Podcast


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