VCUarts Qatar is the branch campus of the School of the Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, Virginia), located in Qatar Foundation’s Education City (Doha, Qatar). In 2022 the VCUarts Qatar campus formalized a Research Lab initiative in an effort to cultivate trans- and multi-disciplinary research for increased impact in the community, the classroom, and wider discourse. The formalization of this initiative was driven by an aligned synergy between faculty interests and stakeholder priorities. The VCUarts Qatar Research Labs comprise collaborative teams of faculty, students, and alumni, pursuing a territory of inquiry through iterative explorations. The Labs are rooted in a broad and diverse spectrum of domains, including Arabic typography, art and law in the Gulf region, cultural preservation and production, emergent technology, graphic publishing, nanotechnology and textile manufacturing, culturally responsive pedagogy, product design, sound design, and statistical analysis. This paper will present an assessment of the Research Lab model, established on the VCUarts Qatar campus, addressing key aims and goals, including partnering with local industry in Qatar for increased community engagement, increasing awareness of societal impacts and contributions of Creative Research, supporting impactful research activities and dissemination through multi-disciplinary collaborations with VCU (home campuses) and Education City Partner Universities, and supporting human capacity development in creative research.
Diane Derr, Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, Qatar