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March 11, 2018

VCUarts Qatar, DFI Win International Teaching Award

An innovative teaching collaboration between Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar’s) Interior Design program and the Doha Film Institute (DFI) has won a Merit Award for Excellence from the US-based Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) for a project called, “Exploring Space through the Lens—Production Design”.
The aim of the teaching collaboration was to provide VCUarts Qatar’s interior design students with hands-on experience of film production and at the same time to support Qatar’s rising film industry.

The Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) is an independent, non-profit, accrediting organization responsible for setting standards and evaluating degree-granting interior design programs. There are 190 CIDA-accredited programs in the US, UAE, Canada, and Qatar, including VCUarts Qatar’s Interior Design program.

The teaching collaboration was led by Interior Design program Associate Professor Johan Granberg from VCUarts Qatar; Ben Robinson, Producer / Internship Programme Manager, and Fahad Al Kuwari, Youth Programmes Coordinator, from DFI, all of whom were given the Merit Award for their work on the project.

“Incrementally distancing ourselves from silo-ed education, this course finds impetus in the hybridization of learning and application of design theories, as well-evidenced in the Council for Interior Design Accreditation standards, which underscore the necessity for students work “to demonstrate the ability to effectively collaborate with multiple disciplines in developing design solutions”” said Cherif Amor, the Chair of VCUarts Qatar’s Interior Design program.

“Exploring Space through the Lens—Production Design” was structured in three phases: workshops, production, and postproduction.

In the workshops, the students worked to build up an understanding of the inner workings of film making, such as by creating models, storyboards, mood‐boards, title sequences, and so on.

“We took the written word and translated it into shapes and forms that allowed us to make an environment plausible,” said senior interior design program students Hemian Al-Noaimi and Sara Mashadi.

“The scale and quality of the production is something that the average person would never imagine was the work of interior design students,” said senior interior design program students Nada Ibrahim and Al Jazi Al-Thani.

For more information about VCUarts Qatar’s Interior Design program, please visit

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