To be unveiled at Downtown Design 2024, 9 UAE-based designers have been selected for the annual design programme and produce original, contemporary design pieces made in the UAE.

One of the UAE’s key cultural incubators, Tashkeel has announced the nine designers set to take part in this year’s edition of the decade-long running Tanween Design Programme.

A continuous participant of Downtown Design, the annual programme aims at fostering the growth of design in the UAE, and local production of sustainable furniture and home goods. Every year, the initiative welcomes a select group of emerging UAE–based designers, offering them a transformative journey of skill enhancement and creative exploration. Through a carefully crafted curriculum, the selected designers will engage in immersive training, mentorship, and research opportunities, culminating in the development and production of commercially-available design pieces that will be unveiled at Downtown Design in November.

Throughout 2024, Tanween participants refine their craft, expand creative horizons, and engage in critical discourse, fostering regional design innovation. With the opportunity to showcase their work to a diverse audience of both industry professionals, collectors and design curious public visitors at Downtown Design, Tanween empowers designers to make meaningful contributions to the evolving design landscape.

The programme introduces an innovative approach to furniture design, emphasizing functionality and sustainability. Each piece is not only inspired by the rich culture and heritage of the UAE but is also entirely crafted within the country, reflecting a commitment to local craftsmanship and ingenuity. The initiative aims to merge traditional Emirati design elements with modern aesthetics, producing timeless pieces that are not only visually appealing but also environmentally conscious.

Tashkeel’s Tanween cohort for 2024 includes:

Tanween by Tashkeel 2024

From left to right: Khadija Almazimi, Majid Al Bastaki, Khaled Al Shaer and Mohammad Samara

Khadija Almazimi, an Emirati designer and researcher specializing in UAE heritage and sustainable materials, who has pursued painting since childhood. With qualifications in Graphic Art from the Sharjah Higher College of Technology and Science Design (Interior Design) from the American University in the UAE, Khadija has built a diverse portfolio, working in various roles including graphic designer, architecture drafter, and freelance interior designer.

Majid Al Bastaki, a Senior Architectural Engineering student, who has established himself as a creative force marked by innovation. Alongside his studies, Majid excels as a Freelance Architectural Photographer since 2018, capturing captivating images that showcase architectural beauty.

Khaled Al Shaer, an Emirati multidisciplinary designer and strategist, who holds a degree in design management from the American University of Sharjah. His professional journey spans various dimensions within the technology sector, encompassing roles as an interaction designer. Khaled works with architect and designer Mohammad Samara as a design duo united in their interest in contextual design, light touch, and placemaking, investigating coexistence with nature, vernacularity, and the exploration of a regional design philosophy.

Mohammad Samara, a design architect from the American University of Sharjah, who centers his professional endeavors on innovation and sustainability. Research is a pivotal driver, influencing his approach to challenge preconceived design notions. Mohammad sees design as a catalyst for meaningful dialogues and positive change, aiming to revive a distinct design identity in the region.

Tanween by Tashkeel 2024

From left to right: One-Third Studio (Amna Bin Bishr, Duna Ajlan, and Dania Ajlan), Osama Rashad, and Rimsha Kidwai

Amna Bin Bishr, Duna Ajlan, and Dania Ajlan, owners of One-Third Studio, a dynamic trio of female designers on a collective mission to redefine the field of design. United by a shared passion for creating impactful and aesthetically compelling products, they bring a fresh perspective and a wealth of diverse experiences to the table.

Osama Rashad, an architect and technical partner at Atoms Studio in Dubai, who holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Alexandria University. Specializing in earth construction, he has led various projects in South Sinai, Egypt, emphasizing community engagement and knowledge dissemination through seminars and workshops. In 2022, his work was exhibited at Cairo Design Week.

Rimsha Kidwai, a product designer with an interest in urban research, materiality and indigenous production methods. Based in the UAE since 2006, she graduated from the National College of Arts in Pakistan and has since worked at Dubai-based design studios Tinkah and Aljoud Lootah Design.