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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ashes to Lashes, Dust to Design - VCUQ MFA Thesis by Rania Chamsine...

Hair Ball Beard/ Necklace...

Following the two previous posts, it seemed only appropriate also include an entry on one of our own recent MFA graduates, Rania Chamsine (whose project I supervised)... Its title Ashes to Lashes, Dust to Design, which was chosen during the projects initial phase, is slightly misleading, as the project ended up focusing mainly on the design based re-appropriation of discarded hair (you can read the project abstract by clicking the image below). Her project is, however, a prime example of a project that (in its own individualistic way) summarizes what the, still newly established, MFA Department is attempting to achieve and explore - the notion of what interdisciplinary design practice entails...

Rania and her colleagues' thesis projects examine, each in their own way, various universal issues, but which here were inevitably approached from a regional and culturally reflective and relevant perspective. The outcomes of most project are difficult to affiliate with any particular discipline, as their founding suppositions were based more on personalized insights rather than on know-how and nous specific to any single branch of knowledge. This is the way it should be, although it often does give rise to a very challenging process for both the students as well as faculty. Accepting the innately hybrid way designers mostly work - and opening the brief, any brief, to influences beyond the usual frameworks and constraints defined by a set field of study - stimulates and introduces a novel set of (often unexpected) paradigms that are defined according to the actual empirical findings found during the research and defining phase of a project, rather than being based on pre-existing assumptions... Something I feel that design research involved at a post-graduate level should, as a matter of course, embrace...

There is an intrinsic beauty in the vagueness in the inter component of interdisciplinary design that opens it up to a variety of subjective interpretations of what this type of academic design praxis entails. This quality of dynamic openness should be celebrated and allowed to adapt along with the times and accompanying, also evolving, student body... 


Portraits: Rania Chamsine (with the assistance of Sarah Lauck)
Model: Sarah Lauck
Main Advisor: Thomas Modeen
Associate Advisors: Alia Farid & Rhys Himsworth
Additional Advisor: Constantin Boym
Technical Advisor: Khaled Saoud
Reader: Michael Wirtz

 Rania's Thesis Abstract...


Above & Below: Hair-Ball Beard/ Necklace...



Above & Below: Hair Crown/ Beard/ Necklace...






Above & Below: Hair Head-Scarf...





Hair Print Hair-Scarf... 


 Hair-Ball Ear-Ring...


Brush-Rings...

 Beard-Brush Ring...

Eye-Brow Rings... 

Brass-Knuckle Brush... 


 Case-Study: Hair with Plaster...

Case-Study: Hair & Plaster Tile...

Case-study: Hair Etched into Copper ...

Case-Study: Hair infused with Golden Nano-particles...


The Display Cubes of the MFA Thesis Exhibition... 

The Interior of Rania's Cube...


A walkthrough video showing Rania's MFA Thesis exhibit. The video also includes a bit of fellow graduate Imad Fadel's exhibit. Unfortunately it ends abruptly in the middle as my camera ran out of memory...

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