Nurturing the ongoing evolution of the UAE’s design aesthetic, Tashkeel’s design programme offers selected designers year-round, fully funded mentorship and training to develop a product inspired by the UAE. Annually, the final works are presented at Downtown Editions.
“With each Downtown Editions, Tanween by Tashkeel strengthens its network of design professionals and private buyers,” says Lisa Ball-Lechgar, Deputy Director of Tashkeel. “The Fair is a fitting platform for the Tanween designers to debut their collections inspired, designed and made in the UAE.”
From modular furniture that offered a contemporary update on regional crafts to a room divider featuring forms that celebrated the designer’s training in graphic design, last year’s participants wove together their personal stories, passions and background with product design, offering insight into the diversity of the region’s design scene. Tanween’s class of 2019 – featuring Lana El Samman, Yara Habib and Abdalla Almulla - caught the attention of the region’s buyers, as well as international press titles.
According to BBC: ‘Downtown Design and Downtown Editions provided local and international visitors with a glimpse of design’s evolution in the high-octane Emirate and the region.’
‘After developing something in the privacy of the programme, sharing it with the world at Downtown Design was a great opportunity to engage with the industry and get real-time feedback,’ said Almulla who presented an abstract clock inspired by the movement of sand dunes. ‘The fair also allowed me to gauge market sentiment and what the buyers are looking for.’
At Downtown Editions 2020 and in conclusion of this year’s programme, Tanween will reveal new works of designers: product designer Lina Ghalib, architect Neda Salmanpour, interior designer Nada Abu Shaqra, and duo Julia Ibbini and Stephane Noyer of Ibbini Studio.
Tashkeel has been honing the skills of resident designers since 2011. Before the launch of the Tanween programme, Tashkeel collaborated with the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority and theCreative Dialogue Association, Barcelona (Spain) and then with PAL Labs (UK). Since then, the Dubai-based studio has trained 22 designers and manufactured 36 limited-edition furniture and lighting pieces, many of which are featured in The Tanween Collection and are available for purchase.