Teaching Graphic Design History in/of the Arab World: Narratives and Practices


Graphic design in the Arab world has been shaped by colonial legacies that continue to influence both its teaching and practice. This research symposium aims to explore this issue by bringing together scholars, educators, and practitioners to discuss the decolonisation of graphic design education. It aims to provide a platform to reflect on challenges and opportunities, and to consider approaches to the study of graphic design in the Arab world with a focus on the cultural, social, linguistic, and historical contexts of the region.

This event is organized by Dr. Yasmine Nachabe Taan, Lebanese American University, Beirut and Trustee of the Design History Society, and Dr. Lina Hakim, Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director of the Visual and Material Culture Research Centre at Kingston University, London.

Register for Day 1 Register for Day 2



Thursday 29th February 2024, 3-5 PM UK / 5-7 PM Lebanon 
  • Welcome speech (Dean Elie Haddad, School of Architecture and Design, LAU)
  • Introduction (Dr. Yasmine Nachabe Taan & Dr. Lina Hakim)
  • Panel 1: Narratives (stories, definitions, timelines, archives)
    • Dina Benbrahim - Inside and outside the classroom: an anti-racist and feminist approach to design histories
    • Haytham Nawar - A History of Histories: The stories/challenges behind writing a book about “Arab Graphic Design History”
    • Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFarès - Uncovering the Multifaceted History of Typography in the Arab World
    • Yasmine Nachabe Taan - A Transition from Global to Glocal: Breaking Hierarchies in the Teaching of History of Graphic Design
  • Discussion (speakers + participants)
  • Open Q&A to audience


Friday 1st March 2024, 3-5 PM UK / 5-7 PM Lebanon
  • Panel 2: Practices (references, knowledge, language, dissemination)
    • Jana Traboulsi - Center and Margins in Design History — Reflecting on Kitab al Hawamesh
    • Moe Elhossieny - Archives of The Shadow: Institutions, Collectors, Dealers, and Heirs
    • Basma Hamdy - The Myth of Complexity in the Arabic Script
    • Lara Balaa - A Methodological Framework for Studying Geographies of Graphic Design
  • Discussion (speakers + participants)
  • Open Q&A to audience
  • Reflective Commentary: Lina Hakim
  • Closing remarks

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