Aaqifa Altaf                                 BFA thesis 2019                                 biography                                    other works                                    contact                               

a biography


Aaqifa Altaf is a Graphic Designer who passionately explores the spaces in between the digital and the hand made in her work. She has a deep interest in the concept of creation and combining hands-on and digital processes, to discover new landscapes of making. The poetic, organic beauty of natural methods with the controlled flexibility of the digital is a common theme in the production of her work.

Living as a third culture child all her life, the concept of belonging and the transition between geographic, cultural and literary spaces have influenced much of her design work. Her creative work spans a range of projects including-but not limited to-an Architecture themed card game that explores the transitioning community and cityscape of Qatar, a book on the shifting concept of memory through the collection of digital storage devices, and a typographic installation of floating words that seeks to expand the concept of the word charity, inspired by the beauty of its Arabic counterpart, Sadaqa.

Aaqifa received her BFA in Graphic Design from VCUArts in Qatar in 2019, where her thesis explored unconventional ways of approaching 3d printing and the landscape of making discovered in the process. At present, she works as a Graphic designer and has an ongoing research grant with Qatar National Research Fund where she conducts experimental research in combining 3d printing with the traditional craft of pottery.

Currently she is occupied with the delicate beauty of clay as a medium and it relationship to life and existence. The concept of clay dancing around the pottery wheel fascinates her in her ongoing research project of merging the worlds of clay and 3d printing.

She is also inspired by nature; she draws relations between her as a maker and the makers of nature; the birds, spiders, beavers and bees, that work endlessly to make, engineer and innovate the finest inventions witnessed in the natural world. It is this mindset of observation and curiosity for the processes in our surroundings that is the key to discovery.

It is this idea of ‘drawing’ new connections, of making new marks, that coined the term ‘aaqifas marker’. First inspired by her BFA thesis project, where she made new marks while experimenting with 3D printing, now talks to the entirety of her creative journey; a humble attempt to discover and learn new ideas and paths everyday.