Conference Co-Chair and Co-Creative Director. The work shown here is for the 2015 Tasmeem '3ajeeb!' International Design Conference in Doha, Qatar. I co-directed the conference with three other co-chairs. Preparations for the conference lasted about one and a half years prior to the event. Included in the preparations was working with our marketing and communications department, as well as a small team of select designers. The Arabizi word '3ajeeb' (ahh-jeee-b) was defined by our students as "strange in a strange way, slightly weird in a slightly weird way, cool in a cool way". 

Our vision was to use visually transcribe this definition throughout all the conference materials, from the website, to the post publications, and everything in between. We imagined that the conference was not only defined by the speakers and events, but all the materials, objects, and communications that attendees were to come in contact with. In actuality, the conference itself was one massive experiential design project where we were able to test and explore research ideas using materials, inks, graphics and text. The challenge was to create continuity through all the designed materials and events, while still letting go so new bizarre ideas could emerge within each team working on content.

Given the cultural context of having a conference in the Middle East that would be broadcast on social media in real-time, we had to invent new forms of visually communicating, such as using stickers for 'ok to photograph'. After living and working in Qatar for many years, you realize the rules on photographing people, woman in particular, is not so clear. This is just one of many nuances we wanted to address with design in a playful manner.

The original concepts for the conference website were designed by Jordan Gushwa and Dan Sinclair and continued by Sara Shabban and lead by Meike Kaan and her VCUQatar communications team.

The creative directions for 'Take Me With You' publications was lead by Sara Sabban and her team. The writing and content development was lead by Lauren Mass, as well as the co-chairs of the conference. The 'In the Classroom' publications and the conference materials were designed by Nathan Davis, with the assistance of the communications team.



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