24 February 2009

VCUQatar Launches Design Debate Doha at the Mousharaka Conference

Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar in partnership with Icograda is proud to launch 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, design, and business acumen with artistic excellence. But more than that VCUQatar’s ultimate aim is simple and audacious: To seize the future by bringing in innovative ideas into design education that involve more than just schools, educators, and students.

That 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.

Building on the tradition of the Doha Debates, 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 Mandell, 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 we are taking the time to talk about it,” said Muneera Umedally Spence, Chair of the Graphic Design Department at VCUQatar and the key figure behind Mousharaka. “This is the first time in Doha 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 region.”

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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