Posted on March 08, 2017

Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, in collaboration with its home campus, VCU School of the Arts (VCUarts) today announced details for Tasmeem Doha 2017, their biennial international art and design conference. “Analogue Living in a Digital World” will take place on March 15 and 16, in Doha, Qatar, and will feature workshops, exhibitions, demonstrations, artists, and cultural leaders exploring the collision, intersection and interplay between the traditional and digital worlds. 

Speakers at Tasmeem Doha 2017 include:

  • Qatari-American artist, writer, and filmmaker Sophia Al Maria in conversation with Tina Kukielski, the executive director of Art21.   Art 21 is the longest running, award-winning public television and digital media series that introduces millions of people to contemporary art and artists;
  • Andrew Keen, one of the world’s best known and controversial commentators on the digital revolution, and the author of the acclaimed book, "The Internet Is Not The Answer";
  • Architect, engineer, inventor, educator, activist and MIT professor Carlo Ratti;
  • The Constitute/Goethe Institut, as part of Qatar Germany 2017 Year of Culture, will be holding a workshop on #3D ceramic printing;
  • Associate professor at the Department of Art at the University of Maryland Hasan Elahi;
  • Netherlands-based fashion-tech designer and innovator Anouk Wipprecht;
  • Marquise Stillwell, the founder and principal of Openbox, a New York-based design and innovation consultancy;
  • The Foundland Collective, an art, design and research collective, initiated in 2009 by Lauren Alexander and Ghalia Elsrakbi and based between Cairo and Amsterdam;
  • Kuwaiti artist Monira Al Qadiri from the GCC art collective, who recently had an exhibition at VCUQatar’s Gallery on Islamic figurative murals titled, “Muhawwil (Transformer)”;
  • Khalid Albaih, Romanian born, political cartoonist who considers himself  a “Virtual Revolutionist”.

Tasmeem Doha 2017 2 [qatarisbooming.jpg

Can traditional analogue and digital technologies coexist in the 21st century? “Analogue Living in a Digital World”, will explore the intersection between the analogue and the digital within the context of our lived experience, and will examine where the two modes differ, intertwine, and coexist. Lives that were previously analogue are rapidly becoming digitized. This conference will look at these changes and the differences between the industrial age, and the digital/information age. Workshops at Tasmeem Doha 2017 will engage visitors on topics ranging from geolocation and 3D print technology, to tintype photography and pixel art. Simultaneous exhibitions by artists and designers, faculty and students from VCUQatar and VCUarts will take place alongside the workshops, lectures, debates and demonstrations. Tasmeem, which is the Arabic word for "design", addresses contemporary topics on art and design, and brings together international designers, artists, academics, students, and industry professionals.

“The Tasmeem Doha conference has been developed to provide Qatar and the region an informed platform for exploring the relevance and potential of the creative practices of art and design, as well as to provide cultural, social, and economic benefit,” said Peter Martin, VCUQatar’s Interim Chair of Graphic Design. Martin, with his then colleague Mary McLaughlin, associate dean of academics, first initiated Tasmeem in 2004 with support of Qatar’s Ministry of Civil Service Affairs and Housing. Previous Tasmeem themes have ranged from sustainability to playfulness. Notable attendees over the years have included internationally renowned speakers such as Architect Rem Koolhass, Industrial Designer Karim Rashid, Graphic Designers Bruce Mau and Stefan Safmeister, Interior Designer Eva Maddox, YouTube personality Casey Neistat, and award-winning scientist David Suzuki.

"We are once again honored to host Tasmeem because of the exposure it gives to our talented and creative students.  They are our treasured investments, and through this conference their voices can be heard and appreciated. As educators, we aim to not just give students the tools they need to succeed, but encourage them to forge new tools and build something new and extraordinary, which is a central theme in this interactive conference,” said Akel I. Kahera, Ph.D., VCUQatar’s dean. “Analogue Living in a Digital World’ brings attention to how ingenuity progresses to innovation and how collective creativity becomes a powerful catalyst to all who use it, build upon it, change it and let it change them. We are indeed proud of our students’ participation, their tenacity, and their willingness to soar beyond the mark,” said Tasmeem 2017 Chairs and Assistant Professors Michael Perrone and Marco Bruno of VCUQatar and Assistant Professor John D. Freyer from VCUarts.

For the full list of speakers, exhibitions, demonstrations, and workshops, please go to