Graphic Design, Co-Valedictorian
I want to design for change, design for good, for a purpose.
I am from India, but I have lived in Qatar all my life, because of my dad’s job.
I’ve been very artistic since childhood. I even took art and design as a subject in school, and I knew that I wanted to have a career in the arts. When it came time to think of universities, I was looking at schools in Qatar and the UK. But, I chose VCUQ for several reasons. Firstly, I had visited, I knew and had spoken to people who studied here, and I also took a summer intensive that offered courses like graphic design, illustration – a small sample of what they offer, and I liked it very much. However, what further persuaded me was the financial aid and scholarship available from QF, as well as the student employment opportunities available at VCUarts Qatar.
What has been your focus at VCUarts Qatar? What have you specialized in and why?
When I first applied, I decided graphic design would be my focus. With art foundation classes my first year that explored projects from different majors, I become more convinced that graphic design was the best for me because it offered a wide spectrum. I could design t-shirts, interior spaces, it connects with all design elements and it is very flexible and possibilities are endless. I’m somebody who likes to stick to a lot of things, so it matched my personality in that way.
One favorite project I worked on was during the pandemic, in the initial period when everyone had to quarantine. I designed a series of digital stickers that were representative of and visualized the pandemic and quarantine related phenomena that I observed around me. I made over 50 stickers that were really fun for everyone who interacted with it. For example, one sticker said, “not social, social club” , meaning you’re socializing but you’re not actually socializing in person. Another said, “Also how we lost the summer, RIP Summer 2020”, yet another about puzzles and cooking and baking… It was a fun , non-serious take, but also a response to the situation. As a result of this project, the communications department approached me to design the pin for the 2020 BFA exhibition. The design of this pin was a congratulatory message for the BFA graduates who showed such resilience during this time. The pin said, “Cmd Z”, the keyboard shortcut for “go back”, and the design itself was a likeness of a keyboard but represented with stacked houses, and it represented all of us being confined and the desire to go back to the pre-pandemic time. I also want to mention my thesis. It is on the topic of vegetarianism and the circular food economy. It explores how vegetarianism can be an easy solution that individually somebody can take to combat the climate crisis. I’m creating this app that can standardize plant-based dietary profiles. It scans products and if they are part of the circular food economy. I’m also creating illustrative infographics to provide contextual case studies and planet positive diet patterns, basically making the experience easier for those who are a part of the community. The project calls to improve the climate situation, and it is geared towards the environmental crisis and trying to find solutions through design.
It is about 70 percent done, and it will be a speculative, fictional brand. The design is very psychedelic, because the audience is the youth, the change makers. It aims to present the audience with a cool brand that they can relate to. It is exploring pushing the boundaries on how an app looks with colors and layout and how the information is displayed and communicated to make it engaging and cool.
To her younger self
The RAW Talent