[Image: Front of VCUQatar during Mousharaka: Icograda Design Weed in Qatar 2009]
28 February 2009 - 05 March 2009

2008 - DOHA (QATAR)

Mousharaka: Icograda Design Week in Qatar 2009
Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar

Hosted in collaboration with Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar (VCUQatar), Mousharaka: Icograda Design Week in Qatar unfolded from 28 February - 5 March 2009. Bringing together practitioners, scholars, and students across design disciplines, cultures and regions to build bridges and raise awareness, the week-long event was an opportunity for dialogue and building connections necessary to achieve the full potential of design in the Gulf region, and to explore the importance of collaboration both within the region and on a global scale.

Education Symposium

The Design Week opened with the Education Symposium. Eight accomplished design educators shared their perspectives on design and design collaboration during the course of the three-day conference. The topics varied as each presenter explored these concepts from their unique point of view and according to their own experiences.

  • Kelley Beaverford (Canada) and Leland Hill (Qatar)
  • Farid Esmeail (United Arab Emirates)
  • Ian Grout (United Kingdom)
  • Brockett Horne (United States)
  • Claudia Meyer-Newman (United States)
  • Dr. Ajanta Sen (India)
  • Barbara Sudick and Frank Armstrong (United States)
  • Nicholas Vanderschantz (New Zealand)

Student Workshops

Following the theme of the Design Week, students engaged in two-day workshops as part of the Education Symposium. These workshops which were facilitated by the speakers, allowing the students to work together and create projects, which were then presented to the audience at the end of the two-day symposium.

  • Kelley Beaverford (Canada) and Leland Hill (Qatar)
    Getting started
  • Farid Esmeail (United Arab Emirates)
  • Ian Grout (United Kingdom)
    First Contact: how to start a collaboration
  • Brockett Horne (United States)
    Mousharaka: the typeface
  • Claudia Meyer-Newman (United States)
    Extreme Design Thinking
  • Reda Siginy (Saudi Arabia)
    Made in Doha: mapping the contemporary Gulf city
  • Barbara Sudick and Frank Armstrong (United States)
    Mapping the Meaning of Place
  • Ajanta Sen (India)
    Playspheres: where play meets 'collaboration'
  • Nicholas Vanderschantz
    Collaborative Digital Storytelling with a Shared Narrative

Professional Conference

The Professional Conference offered four keynote speakers and eight prominent presenters examining different facets of design and design collaborations. These presenters took the audience on a journey, mining cultural, geographic and historical contexts while consistently upholding the spirit of collaboration.

Keynote speakers:
  • Ibrahim Jaidah (Qatar)
  • Mario Gagliardi (Austria)
  • Mark Kingwell (Canada)
  • Mira Nair (India)

  • Chris Abani (Nigeria)
  • Dr. Sami Angawi (Saudi Arabia)
  • Petra Blaisse (The Netherlands)
  • Donna Campbell (New Zealand)
  • Nada Debs (Lebanon)
  • Delaware (Japan)
  • David Gibson (United States)
  • Kittiratana Pitipanich (Thailand)

Design Debate Doha

On 3 March 2009, a highlight of the Professional Conference was the first ever Design Debate Doha, an opportunity for the design community to address an important global design issue in a debate format. The motion for consideration was, "This house believes 'Globalisation harmfully subverts culturally unique sensibilities,'" and the much anticipated event drew a full house for the evening.

Debate Moderator: Kamal Santamaria

  • Rick Poynor - Writer and design critique (United Kingdom)
  • Dr. Sami Angawi - Founder and General Director of the AMAR Center (Saudi Arabia)
  • Russell Kennedy - Designer, educator (Australia)

  • Ibrahim Jaidah - Architect (Qatar)
  • Roger Mandle - Head of the Qatar Museum Authority
  • Petra Blaisse - Founder of Inside Outside (Netherlands)

Icograda scholarships

Six international scholarships were granted to bring six students to Mousharaka: Icograda Design Week in Qatar. The scholarships were offered through the support of Virginia Common University in Qatar (VCUQatar).


In the spirit of collaboration, VCU Qatar spearheaded a formative meeting of MEDEA - the Middle East Design Educators Association. Its objective was to gather perspectives on issues related to design and design education in the region and to discuss ways that an educators association could build capacity and collaboration within the design community.

Presenting partners