Peter Martin

Assistant Professor


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  • MFA Virginia Commonwealth University
  • BS Cornell University


Peter Martin holds a BS in Design and Environmental Analysis from Cornell University and an MFA in Graphic Design from Virginia Commonwealth University. He has worked in a range of jobs including wooden boat building and coaching rowing. He currently is an assistant professor at VCU’s branch campus in Qatar where he began in 1999 as one of the founding faculty of the graphic design program. Trained as a facilitator, he has collaborated in the design and facilitation of numerous generative processes and platforms. Most recently in 2014, he co-led the VCU Qatar campus strategic planning process. Beginning in 2010, he co-founded and co-hosted a radio program, Design Edition, that was broadcast for two years on Qatar Foundation Radio. In 2004, Peter co-founded the biannual Tasmeem Doha international design conference.

Peter’s research involves information visualization, designing and facilitating generative processes within organizations, axiological analysis within design endeavors, and contextual design. His understanding of how contexts vary and operate with their designed components has been enhanced with travel experiences and photography in over 50 countries.

Previous Professional Experience

  • Graphic Designer pmdesign Richmond, VA and Doha, Qatar. 1996 - current.
  • Art Director RMR & Associates, Rockville, MD. 1992 - 1994.
  • Wooden Boat Builder Garwood Boat Builders, Watervliet, NY. 1989 - 1990. 


  1. Paper: A Pedagogical Prototype Focused on Designing Value co-authored with Dana Ahdab. In proceedings of Learn X Design: 3rd International Conference. Jun 2015.
  2. Paper: Handling a Coke Bottle; A Case Study of a Seminar Course’s Approach to Help Contextualize a Foreign Graphic Design Program. AIGA Educators Conference, Honolulu, United States. Dec 2012.


  1. Lecture: So What Do We Want To Do? Considering The Integration of Two Disciplines. learning lab of art, design, and medical students VCU Qatar and Wiell Cornell Medical College Qatar. Doha, Qatar. Feb 2015.
  2. Panel Member: Discussion of design’s relationships to the environmental crisis. Symposium of the Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics of Qatar Foundation’s Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies. Doha, Qatar. Jan 2012. 


  1. Exhibited Work (1 piece): Design of light made of Staron. Made in Qatar exhibit curated by Constantin Boym. Tasmeem Doha 2013 International Design Conference. Doha, Qatar. Mar 2013.
  2. Co-Curated Exhibit: Hazawi; Past, Present, and Future. Co-Curator: Halim Choueiry, VCUQ Gallery. Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar. Doha, Qatar. Aug 2007.
  3. Exhibited Works (2 pieces): Printed graphic design works. Typo.Graphic Beruit Design Exhibition. Lebanese American University, Sheikh Zayed Hall Gallery, Beirut Campus, Beirut, Lebanon. Apr 2005.

Funded Research Projects and Grants

  1. Undergraduate Research Experience Program (UREP) Grant (10,000 USD): Student mentored research project: The Semantics of Color in Qatar. Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF). Aug 2007. 
  2. Undergraduate Research Experience Program (UREP) Grant (10,000 USD): Student mentored research project: Here To Now: Developing a design methodology for universal symbols that are expressive of cultural location. Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF). Mar 2007.