Designer as Link
Tasmeem Doha Design Conference
21-24 March 2011


Synapse --

Synapse --
designer -- as -- link --
a Tasmeem Doha Conference --
organized by --
Virginia Commonwealth
University in Qatar

Tasmeem Doha -- VCUQatar --

Tasmeem is an international design conference held in Doha, Qatar. For the past six years, Tasmeem has gathered scholars and practitioners in the fields of graphic, interior and fashion design in Doha to discuss critical issues in design and engage with our students and community members.

Since its inception, Tasmeem has been an annual event. Tasmeem will now be held biennially in order to address larger issues, engage the local community and blend the conference with the school's curriculum, Accordingly, the next Tasmeem conference will take place March 21-24, 2011, at VCUQatar in Doha, Qatar.

The title for the 2011 Tasmeem Conference is "Synapse: Designer as Link". The conference is interdisciplinary and collaborative, aiming to forge dynamic links between students, creative problem solvers, local community members, community stakeholders and VCUQatar. Tasmeem 2011 is situated as a working conference, featuring student driven teams investigating the role of design as a problem solving activity that tackles community issues, our daily life-worlds and future concerns. Conference activities are designed to generate awareness, raise important questions and provide meaningful, realizable solutions.

International Design Conference --

14 Speakers,
14 Workshops,
4 Days,
Local and International Participants

Location --

Tasmeem Doha 2011
takes place at the VCUQatar campus Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, Education City, Doha.


Pornprapha Phatanateacha


Pornprapha Phatanateacha is co-chair of the Tasmeem Doha International Design Conference 2011, and creator of the conference concept: to demonstrate and explore the expanding role of design and designers as a link across disciplines, ideas, and culture, and between the past, present and future.

Throughout her career as a designer and educator she has worked to expand the role of design toward a more interdisciplinary paradigm by focusing on design thinking and strategy development. Originally from Thailand, Assistant Professor Phatanateacha has been teaching at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar since 2002.

She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Utah, and a Master of Fine Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. She began her career working with the international architecture firm RTKL where she worked on numerous national and international design projects. Her professional design work spans a variety of disciplines including environmental design, exhibition design, branding, publication design and design strategy development. As an educator she has taught a wide range of courses, and she recently conceived and implemented a design studio course with three main goals: creating a transition to professional practice for students; educating clients within the Gulf region to the potential of design thinking and the value of design; and expanding projects beyond commercial service to include local social and cultural issues and student initiated entrepreneurial projects.

She has presented at a number of conferences including the Aspen Design Summit, and FLUX: Design Education in a Changing World, DEFSA International Design Education Conference. She was awarded a faculty research grant to investigate cultural patterns within a global context, and her work has appeared in several exhibitions and publications.


Muneera Spence


Muneera Umedaly Spence graduated with her MFA from Yale University in Graphic Design, and has taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels in the field at university level for 23 years. She is presently the Chair of the Department of Graphic Design at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar and has been for four years. She has participated in and led conference development and presentations, including Tasmeem Doha and Icograda Design Week, for four years. Her interest lies in understanding mechanisms of teaching and learning especially pertaining to design education in the international context. Her interest in international development/design projects have manifested in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine and now in Qatar.

Her funded research interests are in developing collaborative interdisciplinary teaching and learning and in innovations in critique methodologies, while her focus is in developing curricular design processes. She has presented on these topics at numerous international conferences. Her recent research interests include human logic mapping as a precursor to mutual cultural understanding. Her professional work in Graphic Design constitutes a wide range of projects from branding to book design, museum catalogs, posters, brochures and signage systems. Spence’s personal work explores mediums such as painting, drawing, photography, adornments, and 
concrete poetry focusing on issues pertaining to the family in a multicultural context. Her recent works involve the passage of time and the concept of impermanence and change.