Updates from Tanween Design Programme 2019

LAB 003: Rapid Prototyping

LAB 003 was about making, refining, and planning. The 3-day session focused on rapid prototyping methods and strategic business planning, which included presentations by Tanween alumni Hamza Omari and Design & Commercial Manager Lewis Adams. Led by Helen Voce, the LAB was supported by Gareth Neal, one of the international mentors of the programme who focuses on helping designers refine their concepts through rapid prototyping and research.

Each LAB session for Tanween is tailored to help the designers progress, grow, and further their practice. These sessions offer not only practical but professional development, studying all facets of design practice and management. Through Hamza Omari’s presentation, the designers were given an insight into the prototyping methods and budget management that other Tanween designers have used over the years. Tashkeel encourages all Tanween designers to contribute and feed their experience back into the programme through LAB presentations.

The designers presented their initial ideas, answering questions on people, process, place: who’s it for, what materials will you use, and where do you see its place in the world? This formed the foundation of the second day of LAB 003, where the designers rolled up their sleeves and started to rapid prototype in the Tashkeel 3D studio with support from Gareth, Salim Ahmed, and Helen Voce.

Rapid prototyping is an integral part of the Tanween programme, offering designers a chance to understand the mechanics and functionality of design by making. Throughout the building process, Gareth, Salim and Helen offer suggestions and solutions, looking at each designers’ work individually and ensuring each designer is pushing themselves and discovering new ideas in the process. Over two days the designers work in the studio building, experimenting and researching, ending with a short presentation by each designer and reflections and feedback from the group.

The third day of LAB 003 also consisted of a look at strategic business planning with Lewis Adams, who shared his knowledge in calculating cost of goods, developing a business model as you make products, and looking at where to position your products in the consumer/competitor landscape. His presentation allowed the designers to understand how to dictate retail price while producing, emphasising quality control and time management.

With LAB 003 over, the designers now have the tools to further develop prototypes and refine their concepts. As they continue to research and build, they will meet again in the next design review session with local mentor Kevin Badni to develop their concepts and receive critiques and feedback.