Control, Shift, Exhale:
A 3-Part Tale of Cultural Heritage, Digital Craft, and Artisan Production

The VCUarts Qatar Graduate Design program travels each year to produce a tailored project, collaborating with experts in an immersive learning experience. This year’s field study re-examined the traditional Arabic lantern, or Fanoos—a symbol of festive welcome and safe haven. To make our contemporary lanterns, we traveled to The Glass Hub, in England. Prior to departure, MFA students and faculty each designed a light source: programmable, rechargeable, and controlled via smartphone app. Also prior to departure, we designed two-part, 3d-printed steel molds. Onsite in England, we blew molten glass into the hinged molds. This fusion of traditional process and modern technology leveraged our students’ creative capacity, providing control in a medium that otherwise takes years to master. The fusion of old and new reflects our affinity for Qatar’s rich cultural heritage, and demonstrates our belief in the power of design to shape the future.


MFA in Design Studies
Course Title: DESI 520/605, MFA Field Study
Faculty: Rab McClure / Marco Bruno / Diane Derr / Thomas Modeen

Reema Abu Hassan / Nada Al-Kharashi / Asma Derouiche / Johana Nasreen / Zeinah Zahir / Abir Zakzok / Rabab Abdulla / Aisha Daniels / Mohammad Jawad / Se Hee Jang / Rabeya Khatoon / Noora Melhim / Madjulin Nasrallah / Mariam Rafehi