Tanween is an intensive development programme for innovative emerging designers working in the UAE. The programme is structured and founded on core attitudes, parameters and values: empathy to people, objects and environments; a focus on skills, materials and production processes innate to the region; an intention to trigger cross-cultural dialogues and experimentation; and an insistence on authenticity and rigour in both design and production.

This year at Design Days Dubai 2017, four UAE-based designers Hamza Omari, Hatem Hatem, Lujain Abulfaraj, and Lujaine Rezk will be showcasing their final products, under the design label 'Tanween', developed over a nine-month intensive programme. The products respond to the aesthetic of the UAE environment, incorporating elements of social, cultural, and biological significance to the Emirates.

In its fourth edition, the scope also continues to morph and expand as it draws on the capacities and successes of its alumni. The cross-generational mentorship and exchange seen in the growing Tanween community are an organic articulation of the programme’s essence of collaboration and dialogue.

In a city such as Dubai, where manufacturers are often working to large, mass orders, bespoke design and production situated entirely in the country is rare. Through Tanween, the designers have forged creative and fruitful partnerships with highly skilled craftspeople, the kind of partnerships that could only be possible in a country such as the UAE – abundantly populated with people from across the world. Merging the very new with the ancient, drawing on ambitious, future-facing approaches and suited to contemporary environments, Tanween is proud to present products that are innovative, relevant, desirable and functional – an embodiment of all that design in the UAE can be.

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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.

Roanne Dods (late), Small Is Beautiful

Roanne Dods was 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 had 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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