25 February 2009

VCUQatar Launches Design Debate Doha at the Mousharaka Conference

Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar in partnership with Icograda is proud to announce the first of its kind not just in Qatar and the region but the world; the launch of the Design Debate Doha during the Mousharaka conference. Mousharaka will take place at VCUQatar from 28 February to 5 March, 2009.

The VCUQatar sponsored Icograda Design Week in Qatar strives to combine teaching and business acumen with design excellence. The ultimate aim is simple and audacious: To seize the future by bringing in innovative ideas into design education where the synergy of the collaboration is more than the sum of its individual parts; the schools, educators and students.

This is why VCUQatar has chosen Mousharaka as the platform to launch Design Debate Doha, an opportunity for the design community to address an important global design issue in debate form.

The Design Debate Doha takes place on 3 March, 2009 and is open to the public. ‘Globalization harmfully subverts culturally unique sensibilities,’ is the issue the Design Debate will tackle and the audience will decide! Panelists for the motion include writer and design critic from the UK, Rick Poynor, Dr. Sami Angawi, Founder and General Director of the AMAR Center in Saudi Arabia, and Australian educator and designer, Russell Kennedy. Panelists against the motion include Qatari architect Ibrahim Jaidah, Roger Mandle, Head of the Qatar Museums Authority and from the Netherlands, Petra Blaisse, founder of design studio Inside Outside.

Through Design Debate Doha VCUQatar aims for a design practice that encourages public dialogue by being open, democratic, and creative; by revealing complexity; and by winning for itself the power to make a difference. “The topic has been on the minds of designers and professionals in the region for a long time. It may be controversial, but its importance deserves a public venue,” said Muneera Umedaly Spence, Chairperson of the Mousharaka Organizing Committee and the Chairperson of the Graphic Design Department at VCUQatar. “This is the first time in Doha or for that matter in the region that any type of design debate has been held in a conference setting,” added VCUQatar’s Events Coordinator Donna Duffet. “The topic is of great importance especially in this challenging business climate.”

VCUQatar is also proud to announce Qatari Diar as a sponsor for Mousharaka. Qatari Diar is the organization entrusted with realizing Qatar’s vision for a beautiful built environment, new sustainable communities and developments which catch the imagination of a world audience.

They are a major player in Qatar’s emergence as a vibrant investment, commercial, cultural and social community. The company is the region’s most influential and innovative real estate investment company – a master developer and planner whose mission is to promote a better quality of life by creating distinguished legacy developments, planned, built and managed to internationally recognized standards. Qatari Diar is fully owned by the Qatar Investment Authority and was founded to support Qatar’s rapidly expanding economy and to provide structure and quality control for the country’s real estate development priorities.

Mousharaka / The Icograda Design Week in Qatar, presented by VCUQatar, is composed of the Education Symposium and the Professional Conference, where prominent speakers will share perspectives on design and design collaborations and students will engage in two-day workshops culminating in an exhibition of the best work.. VCUQatar is also spearheading the creation of MEDEA – the Middle East Design Educators Association - a platform for educators charged with getting the most out of design. For more information about Mousharaka, featured speakers and events, and to register please visit http://www.mousharaka.com/

Design Debate Doha takes place on 3 March, 2009 in the atrium at VCUQatar. The event is open to the public.

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