Community and Continuing Education Department Offers Workshops in New Media, Design and Technology

May 26, 2024
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A Qatar Academy student using a virtual reality headset and paddles during the class

The Community and Continuing Education program recently offered a series of courses that explore new media, animation, sound and video, including ‘Soundlab’ and ‘Creative Chronicles’

The courses coincided with the University announcing the launch of its new Bachelor of Fine Arts in Kinetic Imaging program in September 2024

Technology has elevated art and design to a whole new level, pushing the boundaries of creativity and offering designers new channels to explore and apply their skills to. With this in mind, the Community and Continuing Education (CCE) program recently offered a series of courses that explore new media, animation, sound and video.

The courses, held during the spring of 2024, coincided with the University announcing the launch of its new Bachelor of Fine Arts in Kinetic Imaging program in September 2024.

A short course titled ‘Soundlab’ delved into the intricacies of sound design. The course was open to the public and led by Naima Monif Almajdobah, a seasoned designer and VCUarts Qatar MFA alumna renowned for her passion for sonic exploration.

From crafting unique sonic textures to refining their projects through post-production techniques, participants in ‘Soundlab’ were guided through the full spectrum of sound design. They learned techniques such as live soundscapes and real-time audio manipulation and covered topics such as sound theory, Ableton Live proficiency, audio equipment exploration, and synchronization of sound with visuals. They then used their newfound knowledge and skills to design audio tracks, in studio sessions organized for this purpose.

“It’s an amazing class that introduces you to an otherwise rather inaccessible software. It was challenging too, which just proves that the content wasn’t simple. It was because the instructor taught the course in a fun, interactive manner that we could enjoy and learn at the same time,” said course participant Giovanni Innella.

Another short course, titled ‘Creative Chronicles’ is ongoing and is a collaboration between VCUarts Qatar and Qatar Academy Doha (QAD). The six-week course introduces grade 4 and 5 students to creative storytelling using a blend of traditional tools and technology.

In the course, led by VCUarts Qatar alumni Fatima Nazir and Alaa Albarazya, students learn the foundations of character design, creating personas inspired by superheroes and creatures from their imagination. As participants progress through the sessions, they are introduced to virtual reality (VR), giving them a chance to use advanced digital design techniques to bring landscapes and characters to life.

The students’ creative output will be featured in an exhibition to be held at the end of the ongoing short course, and will showcase a range of exhibits from intricately crafted costumes to immersive VR experiences.

According to Raquel Smith the Arts Lead at QAD, the students benefit from this first-of-its kind workshop.

She said, “The exposure received by our Grade 4 and Grade 5 students through this experience is truly phenomenal. Observing how they have used VR to fuse traditional art and design mediums with technology and create their own characters and worlds has been nothing short of inspirational. It prompts us to ponder the vast potential still waiting to be unlocked within these young minds, reminding us that their capacity to learn and grow knows no bounds.”

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