Tashkeel has announced the six UAE-based designers selected for its Tanween design programme 2022, which includes Ebrahim Assur, Huda Al Aithan, Reema Al Mheiri, Shaza Khalil and design duo Sara Abu Farha and Khaled Shalkha, presenting the largest cohort to be chosen in the programme’s history.

For the 2022 Tanween programme, the selected designers will explore the theme of sustainability and how design can help address this fundamental challenge. The selected designers are set to collaborate with engineers and scientists over the next eleven months as they research, experiment and ultimately deliver an innovative, functional design outcome with sustainability as a defining element. Their materials of interest include the use of date seeds and date palm fronds, Kombucha fabric and wood to find more sustainable design practices that have commercial relevance and appeal. 

While Ebrahim Assur seeks to return to wood and explore the properties and creative potential of this traditional material within the parameters of sustainable design practice, Huda Al Aithan aims to discover the potential of khoos (date palm fronds) not only in relation to the sustainable contemporary product design practice but also as a means of skills preservation and economic development for traditional craftswomen.

Through her practice, Reema Al Mheiri intends to explore the integration of biological ecosystems with human-centric spaces, while Shaza Khalil will continue her research into Kombucha fabric and hopes to collaborate with a scientific practitioner to investigate the fabrication process. Sara Abu Farha and Khaled Shalkha intend to study the design potential and capability of the date seed. The duo hope to identify a sustainable and low-cost industrial process to convert raw date seed into a design material that retains its mechanical properties and creates an aesthetically appealing and culturally relevant functional product. 

Initiated in 2013, the mission of the Tanween design programme is to nurture the ongoing evolution of a UAE design aesthetic by providing one year of fully-funded training for a cohort of specially selected professional designers.

The work of the 2022 Tanween Design Programme will be unveiled at this year’s Downtown Design.

Find out more here.