We asked special guests to choose a student whose work must be highlighted, whose talents they want to share with the world and whose names we’ll all soon know in Qatar.
Discover Urban Designer Celine Larkin's pick!
Experiential Environment for Qatar Storytelling History
Following the footsteps of my grandfather, Jassim Zaini- the first Fine Artist in Qatar, I have always sought to celebrate the hidden gems and values of the Qatari culture. To me, Interior Design becomes a great tool that opens many doors. Through my love for sketching and the power of three- dimensional designing, I will not only showcase the rich Qatari traditions to the world, but I will also be able to tackle the biggest dilemma this country faces: preserving heritage and history in a world influenced by technological advancements.
Before he passed away, my grandfather always told me “to just keep drawing.” Thus, I will continue to be that voice, designing to foster my country’s identity.
Her interest lies in the integration of a project’s vision from the grand scale of the city to the fine grain of architectural detail. Her work grows from careful observation, analysis and research in the cultural and sustainable context of forms with special focus on well-being. Awards for her work include the first Cultural Design Award for Housing from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development for the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribal Housing, Project to Watch Award from the Urban Land Institute for the Puerto Rico Convention Center District and a Merit Award from the Boston Society of Landscape Architects for the Comprehensive Campus Plan for Paul Smith’s, The College of the Adirondacks.
Celine has written extensively for industry journals including Corporate Real Estate Journal and School Construction News, where she serves on the Editorial Board. She has spoken at leading trade conferences for CoreNet, SCUP and the AIA, addressing issues of design for well-being and the impact Generation Z will have on the evolving cultural and social norms of tomorrow’s environments.
Celine has taught architecture and urban design at MIT, Brandeis and Roger Williams Universities, and served as a guest critic and lecturer at Harvard, Georgetown, the University of Southern California, and California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo. She remains active in the Senior Common Room at Kirkland House, Harvard University.
About the Selected Project: 'HEZAYA'
The use of water in the forecourt immediately marks a transition from the larger super-public National Museum of Qatar to a quieter, calmer and more intimate place. We can see it, hear its movement and reach to touch it. Trees in the baraha “speak” as we pass, echoes of past lives. Spaces for stories are acoustically tuned to how the stories are heard- directly by human performance or as if overheard by a child. A round library of oral history recordings offers the potential of a “whisper” wall. Ornamentation again brings together old and now, a ceiling of traditional agal and battoulah attenuates sound and a decorative pattern is derived from audiometer patterns. It fits well in its historic shell, which in turn sits in the very modern Nouvel museum design. Overall, the project represents a design direction both culturally authentic and universally understood.
The VCUarts Qatar Interior Design curriculum is curated to provide a rich and challenging pedagogical experience that explores many diverse aspects of the industry, from environmental psychology and evidence-based design to technical proficiency with a range of industry-standard tools and emerging technologies. The task of navigating this journey has, of course, been given an added dimension by the unforeseen circumstances thrust upon us by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the fact that our graduating class were able to adapt and respond so well speaks volumes for their determination and resourcefulness – traits that will stand them in good stead, whether they choose to step into the professional arena or continue their education. Mabruk.
AlReem M. AlKubaisi
Amira Y. Mohamed
Deema Al Muraikhi
Maha Al Emadi
Nadine Al Sous
Shainah Dane Juras
Liam Colquhoun, Interim Chair
Matthew P Holmes Dallimore, Erik J. Granberg, Haitham El-Hammali, Li Han, Mohammad Nabil Suleiman, Marwa Abdelmonem and Sherin Karawia
Liam Colquhoun, Department Chair
The RAW Talent