Those interested in exploring the exciting intersection of technology and design might want to check out an interactive exhibition titled, Hello, World! Exploring Computational Potential at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar).

The exhibition will run until 17 February 2022 and is open to the public during the university’s working hours.

Tech-based exhibition

The tech-based educational exhibition is organised by xLab, one of VCUarts Qatar’s research initiatives, and includes both static and live exhibits. The live exhibits are programmed to create or behave in a specific manner based on algorithms and data input, giving visitors a chance to explore and experience areas where art and design intersect technology and computation resulting in non-linear processes for thinking and making.

All the exhibits on display were created and programmed by VCUarts Qatar’s xLab team.


The exhibition comes at a time when day-to-day human activities have become intrinsically intertwined with technology, and more importantly, data. One way to raise awareness of current and potential applications of such emerging technologies is through hands-on engagement in creative practices – much like this exhibition.

According to the xLab team, creative practices in art and design play a critical role in exploring the various dimensions, potentials and layers of our lives that have become impacted by emerging technologies and computational processes.

Hence, awareness of and engagement with such technologies are the first steps to exploring a future where questions such as ‘can technology possess personality?’, or ‘can we develop craft in the realm of the post-digital?’ will be discussed.


xLab was started as a research studio at VCUarts Qatar almost two years ago, to support research, teaching and learning related to the creative potential of computation and technology, but not limited to robotics, AI, coding, new materials, and so on. Beyond the lab’s core purpose of conducting research and supporting academia, it is poised to be a resource, a channel and a network, for the wider community.

In addition to enhancing the creative capacity for technologies such as literacy in coding and algorithmic thinking within the VCUarts Qatar community, xLab is also keen to engage with the public. The inaugural exhibition, says the xLab team, is a first step to launch xLab within and outside the university.

We’ve already started engaging with the public regarding collaborations, possible workshops, and future projects.

The name of the exhibition itself holds a reference to the phrase Hello World in computation. A Hello, World! programme is popularly recognised as a computer programme that outputs or displays the message Hello, World! and is often used to illustrate the basic syntax of a programming language.

Those interested in learning more or getting in touch with the xLab team can send an email to [email protected], or an Instagram message to @xlab.vcuq.

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