Established in 2013, Tashkeel’s Tanween Programme is now in its third year of supporting UAE-based designers to develop a range of products which work towards defining a production process, design and aesthetic that responds to its environment, the Emirates.

This year Amer Aldour, Zuleika Penniman and Studio MUJU (Jumana Taha and Mentalla Said) will be presenting their final works, ranging from a kinetic installation to furniture, using locally sourced materials through to repurposed materials including sadu weaving and coral. Final products will be showcased and available under Tashkeel’s design product label ‘Tanween’ during Design Days Dubai, 14-18 March 2016 – Booth G08.

As part of Tashkeel’s long-term commitment to supporting locally-based designers, this programme enhances the diversity of the region’s cultural skills and resources, influenced from traditional to modern elements of the UAE. Tashkeel annually selects talented designers from an open call, providing an opportunity to create products that exemplify a design, style and production processes innate to the UAE.

Tanween is run in collaboration with Small is Beautiful, a research programme and annual global conference which supports and inspires creative micro businesses, providing the designers with an exclusive opportunity of sustained mentorship with established designers and curators through a series of workshops.

Instructors for Tanween 2015-16 included Lead Instructor Roanne Dods (Co-Producer, Small Is Beautiful), product designer Kevin Badni (Head of Art and Design, American University of Sharjah), design collective Glithero, Fi Scott (Founder, Make Works) and craft & design expert Helen Voce. The programme also featured workshops by Paul Caldwell (Brand Union), Clyde & Co., Silsal Design and Shireen El Khatib (Marquee).

This year the programme is supported by the Dubai Design & Fashion Council (DDFC) that was established following a Royal decree last year by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai and Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE.

Find out more about the designer's journeys, concepts and final pieces through the downloadable catalogue.

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Helen Voce professionally, personally and voluntarily supports the development of creative micro-businesses, practitioners, projects and organisations in Scotland, the UK and beyond. Her professional specialism and personal interest is contemporary craft and design. Helen currently coordinates and produces business development opportunities, projects and events for the creative industries, specifically craft and design. Current clients include the Scottish Artists Union, Emergents, Cove Park, where she is Craft Programme Producer, and Applied Arts Scotland where she is also an Adviser to the Board of makers.


Fi Scott is a manufacturing geek, factory finder, designer and founder of Make Works; an independent design organisation that facilitates and celebrates local manufacturing. Fi is inspired by the value of making, local production and craftsmanship, fascinated by materials, machines and what people can do with access to them.


Glithero are British designer Tim Simpson and Dutch designer Sarah van Gameren, who met and studied at the Royal College of Art. From their studio in London they create product, furniture, and time-based installations that give birth to unique and wonderful products. The work is presented in a broad spectrum of media, but follows a consistent conceptual path; to capture and present the beauty in the moment things are made.

Roanne Dods, Small Is Beautiful

Roanne Dods is Co-Producer of Small Is Beautiful, an annual international conference and research programme to support and inspire creative micro businesses. Roanne was also Artistic Director at PAL Labs, a pioneering 25 year old organisation that develops new work/research and ideas through collaborative, interdisciplinary processes. She has worked with many of the most outstanding cultural and creative organisations in the UK in a career in the arts, and is passionate about the role and place of art and culture in creating a positive 21st Century.

Kevin Badni, Mentor

Kevin S. Badni is the Head of Art and Design, at the American University of Sharjah. He received his Bachelors degree in Product Design from Loughborough University and his Masters in Multimedia Design from De Montfort University in the UK. Before becoming an academic, Kevin 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 and the UAE.

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