Amir Berbić, a design expert who has worked in the United States, Europe and the Middle East, has been named Dean of VCUarts Qatar. Berbić, a professor of graphic design at the University of Illinois at Chicago, has served as associate dean for faculty affairs of the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts; chair of graphic design; and as acting director of the School of Design. Prior to working at the University of Illinois, Berbić was a faculty member of the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.
“It’s a pleasure to welcome Amir Berbić to VCUarts Qatar. I am confident the university’s legacy of groundbreaking innovation and creativity will continue with Dean Berbić as leader. I look forward to working with him for years to come,” said VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D.
In addition to working at universities, Berbić has collaborated with cultural organizations, arts institutions and publishers. His work has been recognized in several renowned publications, conferences and exhibitions including Design Issues, International Council of Design, and AIGA Design Educators Community. His work is featured in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Berbić was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and moved to the United States in the 1990s. He holds an MFA in visual communication from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA in graphic design from the University of Illinois at Chicago. “VCUarts Qatar is nimble, dynamic, experimental, and it is a lab for innovative ideas that emerge out of research, teaching and student initiatives within a very unique environment. I am inspired by the cooperation between VCU and Qatar Foundation to establish a world-class arts institution in the Gulf — one that responds to the local context while having global impact,” said Berbić.
VCUarts Qatar is the Qatar campus of the prestigious Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts located in Richmond, Virginia. It was established in 1998 in a partnership with Qatar Foundation, and was the first campus established in Education City located in Doha. Since then, it has been joined by campuses of several prestigious American Universities, including Texas A&M University at Qatar, Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar and Georgetown University Qatar.
The vision of VCUarts Qatar is “to contribute to the vitality of human, social, economic and environmental development in Qatar and the region through creative innovation, expression and collaboration.”
VCUarts Qatar offers students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in fashion design, graphic design, interior design and painting & printmaking, a Bachelor of Arts degree in art history and a Master of Fine Arts degree in design. In 2010, the university doubled its facitlities through a major expansion project, and added a media lab, digital fabrication lab, printmaking studios, photography studio, an expanded library and the first materials library in the region.
(Image Source: VCUArts – Qatar)