April 9, 2019
What happens—typographically speaking—when you meet a total stranger on the other side of the world and dive straight into the deep end together, confronting topics such as gender discrimination and religious persecution from completely different cultural perspectives?
Student teams of 2–4 introductory-level Typography students in Kelly Murdoch-Kitt’s Fall 2019 Typography course at the Stamps School of Art & Design and Denielle Emans and Basma Hamdy’s Typography course at Virginia Commonwealth University in Doha, Qatar addressed various topics of discrimination by co-creating pairs of banners to hang on either side of a light post. In addition to tackling the divides represented in their chosen topics, teams also addressed the physical divide between the two banners.
Working together virtually via video-conferencing, messaging, and other digital collaboration tools, teams found ways to navigate challenging topics alongside the hurdles of virtual co-creation. Many teams tried their hand at multilingual copywriting to address a range of sociocultural divides that have personal meaning to them.
Several outcomes from this experiment in typographic education were recently selected by a jury for exhibition for Tasmeem Doha 2019, a biennial international art and design conference. Selected banners were on display March 8–April 3, 2019, at VCUarts Qatar.
Pictured (clockwise, from top left): Izza Alyssa and Najla K. Al-Khater from VCUarts Qatar (partnered with Edgar Chung from UM/Stamps, pictured as photo cut-out); Shima Aeinehdar from VCUarts Qatar (partnered with Melissa Newman from UM/Stamps, not pictured); Sets of selected banners hanging in Hekayat, Project Space at VCUarts Qatar; Zainab Al-Shibani from VCUarts Qatar (partnered with Michelle Zhang from UM/Stamps, not pictured).