Marking 10 years of support, Tashkeel highlights boom in UAE design this November through new products, exhibition and talks

Celebrating a decade of development and support of UAE-based designers, Tashkeel presents the latest sustainable product outcomes of its Tanween design programme at Downtown Design 2021 in addition to exhibition, talks, and other activities during the month of November.

Six participants of Tashkeel’s Tanween programme from 2020 and 2021 will take part in Downtown Design from 8-12 November, four of whom are making their commercial debut. ‘Tanween by Tashkeel’ nurtures the UAE design aesthetic through a range of commercially available, limited-edition pieces inspired by, designed and manufactured in the UAE. These furniture and lighting pieces integrate traditional crafts and contemporary design practice, often using innovative applications of traditional materials and techniques that are integral to the UAE identity.

Visitors to Downtown Design can experience and place orders for design pieces including the Kapok series chair & footrest by Tasnim Tinawi, Taht Al Ghaf lights by Khawla Al Balooshi, the Sehra cabinet by Eman Shafiq, the SEEDS series ottoman/table and bag by Nuhayr Zein, as well as Yereed by Lina Ghalib, Liminal series table by Hala Al Ani and Katta by Yara Habib.

A number of these designers will participate in talks at Dubai Design Week and Downtown Design alongside Tashkeel’s Deputy Director, Lisa Ball-Lechgar, discussing their experiences in developing sustainable materials for their practice, the process of designing and producing their pieces in the Emirates as well as the future of design education in the UAE.

In addition to its presence at Downtown Design, Tashkeel will celebrate its commitment to nurturing UAE creativity through A Decade of Design exhibition, 2 November – 5 January 2022 at its Nad Al Sheba location. Since 2011, Tashkeel has enabled hundreds of UAE-based creatives to develop their design skills through workshops, talks and lectures. These include a staggering 40 designers who have received intensive professional development training, resulting more than 50 prototypes and more than 30 furniture and lighting pieces inspired by, designed and made in the UAE. ‘A Decade of Design’ charts Tashkeel’s journey through the pillars of collaboration, UAE identity, material innovation and craft development while contributing to UAE-based manufacturing and production.

“While Tashkeel contributes to the development of the UAE design sector year-round through our projects, programmes and online platform, November is when our commitment to design and the work of both emerging and established designers takes centre stage,” says Lisa Ball-Lechgar, Deputy Director of Tashkeel.

“Whether visitors want to see innovative limited edition designs that echo the country’s own sustainability efforts at Downtown Design, or explore the progression of the UAE design over the last decade at Tashkeel Nad Al Sheba, there is a design story to engage everyone’s interest,” she adds.

Tashkeel’s other design-centric activities in November include the launch of 8th Van Cleef & Arpels Middle East Emergent Designer Prize; the open call for the 2022 Tanween design programme (sustainability edition); a free online talk by innovative design studio Bahraini-Danish; and affordable homeware and accessories for sale at the Dubai Design Week Marketplace; and a photowalk in Nad Al Sheba.