Tanween is an annual design programme by Tashkeel that aims to nurture the growth of contemporary art and design practice rooted in the UAE. Each year a cohort of UAE-based designers with multidisciplinary backgrounds are chosen for the annual development programme.

Now in its tenth edition, Tashkeel is pleased to announce the latest cohort of designers selected for the 2023 design programme includes: Wafa Al Falahi, Marwa Abdelrahim, Maryam Elattar & Mohamed Elnaggar and Chinara Tashmatova.

Over the next nine months, the designers will collaborate with engineers and scientists to develop skills, and explore materials and production processes innate to the region. The designers will investigate local resourcing, recycling and production practices including the experimentation of locally found soil and firing clay. They will also be developing methods on how waste materials can be given a second life while focusing on providing solutions to consumerism and excess.

At the end of the programme, the designers will showcase their functional, sustainable and limited-edition design series at Downtown Design 8-11 November 2023. Over the last 10 years, Downtown Design and affiliated events have provided a platform for over 30 designers in the Tanween programme to showcase their work amongst regional and international industry leaders.

Last year’s Tanween cohort drew much admiration from visitors to the fair. The selected creatives included Ebrahim Assur, Huda Al Aithan, Reema Al Mheiri, Shaza Khalil and design duo Sara Abu Farha and Khaled Shalkha. The theme prompted them to explore sustainability in materials and how design can help address this fundamental challenge. The designers developed more sustainable design practices with commercial relevance and appeal, using materials such as date seeds and date palm fronds, Kombucha fabric and wood.

In speaking about the expectations from this year’s participants and the growth of Tashkeel, which is celebrating its 15th year anniversary this year, Deputy Director, Lisa-Ball Lechgar said, “Tashkeel values its legacy of training and development over the last 15 years and shall continue its commitment moving forward. The alumni from our professional development programmes have become leaders in their fields and continue to contribute to the country’s creative and cultural industries as innovators and entrepreneurs.”

Stay tuned to Downtown Design’s channels for the latest announcements and updates.