We are pleased to be launching the call for entries for the seventh edition of the Tanween design programme. Each year, practitioners are selected to embark on a journey of experimentation and learning that includes the development of products, from concept to completion, that contribute towards defining a UAE design aesthetic. The final products become part of the Tanween Collection and are revealed to the world at Dubai Design Week. Tashkeel then continues its support by providing funding, marketing and sales resources for a limited-edition product line, enabling each designer to gain entry into the market.

The programme supports designers in design enquiry, material research and experimentation as well as exploring the process and development of prototypes. It draws on a wide range of resources unique to the UAE, from locally based manufacturers, fabricators and artisans to myriad materials including textiles, wood and marble. Through a series of LABs and supporting working sessions, participants engage in group, pair and individual work, experimental practice, collaborative practice, constructive critical feedback, investigation of new business models, reflection and evaluation.
Tanween design programme is led by contemporary design project specialist Helen Voce (UK) and local mentor Kevin Badni with contributions from UAE-based and international design professionals such as Gareth Neal (UK), Salem Al-Qassimi (UAE) and Studio MUJU (UAE).


The call is open to all designers living and working in the UAE who:
• Are over the age of 21 as of 2 March 2019.
• Work in any design discipline.
• Currently reside in the UAE.

Entries must be submitted by 10pm 23 November 2019 with the subject header ‘TANWEEN 2020 – APPLICATION’ to [email protected]



Kevin S. Badni is the Head of the College of Arts and Creative Enterprises, Zayed University. Previously, he was the Head of Art and Design at the American University of Sharjah. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Product Design from Loughborough University and his Master’s in Multimedia Design from De Montfort University in the UK. Before becoming an academic, Badni spent ten years as a professional designer working in the design industry, including managing the UK’s first commercial Virtual Reality centre. His main research area of interest is the personal perceptions of vision; he has had his art exhibited in galleries in the UK, Australia, America, Colombia, Italy and the UAE.

Helen Voce is a supporter of creative people and creative industries. As an independent project manager, event and programme producer in the creative industries she works locally, nationally, internationally and voluntarily from her base in Scotland. She designs, facilitates and produces opportunities, initiatives and spaces in which creative practitioners, microbusinesses and projects can realise their full artistic and business potential. Her professional specialism and personal interest is contemporary craft and design. Amongst other things, Voce is Regions Coordinator at Make Works, Co-Producer of Applied Arts Scotland’s Digital Craft Toolkit for the British Council {Thailand} and a Board Member of Fife Contemporary. Previous roles include business development programme / workshop facilitator and mentor at Emergents, Open Project Fund Assessor at Creative Scotland, Mentor on the British Crafts Council’s Hothouse development programme for emerging makers and Crafts Programme Producer at Cove Park, Scotland’s international artists’ residency centre. A postgraduate of the Royal College of Art / Victoria & Albert Museum’s MA in the History of Design and Material Cultural, 1650 to the present, Voce has previously worked for Cultural Enterprise Office, the British Crafts Council and the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Gareth Neal is a progressive and innovative London-based design studio established in 2006. Their conceptually rigorous work incorporates digital and traditional fabrication techniques which unite harmoniously in uniquely crafted pieces. The practice is at the forefront of British furniture design with work that has been internationally acquired, exhibited and celebrated. Clients include Aesop, The Glenlivet, Hampton Court Palace, the Victoria & Albert Museum and Zaha Hadid Architects.

Salem Al Qassimi is a multidisciplinary designer, educator, & entrepreneur. He is the Principal and Founder of Fikra, and Director of the Fikra Graphic Design Biennial. He has published numerous articles, reviews, and essays on Arabic typography, culture, design. Al Qassimi’s work focuses on elements of culture and identity and has been awarded regionally and internationally.

Jumana Taha is an interior designer, product designer, and researcher based in the UAE. Jumana’s career kick started soon after graduating from the American University of Sharjah when she joined a multinational design firm working on large scale projects in the hospitality and leisure industries. Her work as an interior designer presented the opportunity to explore various design realms including bespoke furniture design and detailing, lighting design, textiles, and narrative spatial design. After completing the Tanween design programme in 2016, she launched a furniture design studio alongside her partner Mentalla Said called Studio MUJU. Jumana is currently the project coordinator of Make Works UAE, an online directory of fabricators, material suppliers, workshops and manufacturers in the Emirates.

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