Nagla Samir is an Associate Professor of Practice for the Department of the Arts, The American University in Cairo. She received her PhD in Visual Communication 2002, from the Faculty of Applied Arts, Cairo. She holds an MFA in Advertising and BFA in Graphic Design.
Samir worked as a graphic designer then creative director since graduation until 2002, when she joined academia. Teaching in several institutions, she has joined the launching program of graphic design at AUC as an adjunct faculty, then as a full-time faculty in 2016.
She leads a parallel career as an interdisciplinary media artist and cultural curator. She founded and directed Passage 35 for contemporary art 2006-2009, directed the Sharjah Art Gallery 2010 - 2011, and is currently an independent international curator.
Since I started teaching in 2002, I have utilized my hands-on experience as creative director to my class, acknowledging individual interests and skills and directing students to their full potential. Following a liberal arts education approach that empowers them to deal with diversity and rapid change in several relatable fields to design.
Courses I teach vary from foundation to professional studio practice courses, and supervising graduation thesis and projects. Encouraging a creative design thinking approach towards experimental and reflective problem solving for foundations’ level, and offering more experiential learning methodologies, introducing real client briefs and encouraging teamwork and peer group critiques for more professional classes.
As a mentor, my commitment to students extends beyond their scholar expert to utilizing my network to secure internships and starting jobs, and constantly supporting their scholar and practical careers.
As a curator, my projects are interdisciplinary, blurring boundaries between art and design. The majority of my recent curatorial projects are focused on revisiting and documenting historic and contemporary work by veteran artists and designers from the Arab world. Projects I have curated are usually supported by authored and co-authored publications.
My personal art practice can be classified under media art. Usually stemming from photography, then digitally manipulated to express concepts. My recent work has been heavily influenced by the aftermath of current regional civil wars, and my personal reflections on human anguish.