UAE-based talents announce projects for Tashkeel's 2015 design programme
A year in design is revealed...
Last April saw an international panel of esteemed contemporary design experts, face the decision of selecting the four finalists of the Tashkeel Design Programme 2014–2015. The four UAE-based designers that scored the honour of being enrolled in the programme are: Talin Hazbar, Rand Abdul Jabbar, Saher Samman and Latifa Saeed. And now as the year long programme draws to an end for these four talents, (to make way for the upcoming class of 2015–2016) the inspired works that they have been labouring and collaborating over, have been revealed.
Tashkeel has an established long-term commitment to supporting locally-based designers and this annual programme, which runs for 12 months, April–March, is one of the key initiatives, designed to enhance the diversity of the region's cultural skills and resources. The artists selected benefit from a year of mentoring and feedback from established designers, and solo and collaborative projects are produced though the course of the year, which is run in partnership with PAL Labs UK.
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. These final works will be presented at the fourth edition of Design Days Dubai.
Talin Hazbar, is Aleppo-born and raised in the UAE and a recipient of various regional and international art awards. She explores structure and the material possibilities of natural resources and plans to work with travertine, a form of limestone deposited by mineral springs. Hoping to bring a local folktale to life, Hazbar is creating an innovative lighting piece called Lithic.
Rand Abdul Jabbar moved to the UAE in 1995 from Iraq and has formed a deeply rooted relationship with the land, people and its customs. The multi-ethnic backdrop of her upbringing in the UAE has driven a desire and commitment to engage opportunities for dialogue and cultural exchange through a variety of creative processes. She is creating Forma, a series of furniture including chairs and table, with the objective to expose people to the beauty and craft of dhow building and provide them with a new sense of appreciation for a profession that has been slowly dying away over the past few decades.
Saher Oliver Samman, born in London to an English mother and Palestinian father, has mastered the skills of traditional leather design, creating bespoke garments and objects. His work, Woven (a hammock) is a furniture piece, which identifies with the 'sadu' aesthetic using both a material that he's very familiar with along with woods and metal.
Latifa Saeed, participating in this programme for the second time, enjoys exploring concepts, collaborating with artisans and designing without limitations. Having presented a seating collection made up of cushion tubes in the form of braids, this year, she adopts khoos weaving, using palm tree leaves which makes up 98% of the fruit trees in the region. Playing a significant role in the history of the Emirates, the fronds also provide shelter for the people as well as fans, baskets, food trays and similar functional items. She hopes that Kinetic Khoos, a series of children's toys, will challenge people's perception of a traditional craft and recognise the importance it can play in daily life.
The pieces are slated to be showcased during the upcoming Design Days Dubai art fair in March 2015.