Tanween calls on collaborators to innovate at Ithra in Dhahran

Talks, activities and workshops that celebrate creativity are running until November 12

Participants at Tanween's interactive Weaving Wall. Photo: Tanween
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Tanween, an event launched as the flagship for the King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture (Ithra), in 2018, is hosting its latest three-week-long programme in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

It aims to connect leaders, creatives and innovators, allowing them to share ideas and redefine what creativity means in a changing world.

This year, Tanween, which opened on Thursday, is running under the theme Collaborate to Create, focusing on our relationship with culture, nature, technology and society.

Ithra calls it the 'creativity season' and supports individuals and entities in leveraging new opportunities through co-operation and innovation to benefit society.

Tanween is designed to "celebrate, explore and inspire" the creative process through connection, says Noura Alzamil, head of programmes at Ithra.

“We are excited to return this year with a theme striking at the importance of interconnectivity: collaboration," Alzamil tells The National. "Collaboration requires the ability to reflect, ideate and co-operate in the pursuit of new creative endeavours.

"Tanween 2022 addresses the need for a collaboration of cultures, with nature, by technology, and for society, with an incredible line-up of offerings to enrich the minds of curious learners of all ages."

Three weeks of talks, discussions and activities, as well as workshpos, are taking place at the King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture (Ithra) in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Photo: Tanween

Over the next three weeks, Tanween will host talks and panels, exhibitions, networking sessions, masterclasses and demonstrations.

There are also many interactive creative exercises taking place, with hands-on activities related to architecture, fashion, nature and technology.

This includes the Inferno Experience, which is an immersive performance piece devised by Montreal-based artists Louis-Philippe Demers and Bill Vorn, which invites participants to install robotic devices on their bodies before "embarking on performance and entering a space that emphasises feeling and experience".

A Tanween Challenges exhibition will showcase the skills of the next generation of designers who have worked on developing practical solutions to current issues. The top projects will be exhibited alongside the Tanween Grad Expo, where the public, potential collaborators and employers will get to see some of the best designs by new graduates in the kingdom.

Another highlight is the Weaving Wall, designed so the public can consider the importance of managing textile waste by weaving on large-scale looms using recycled textiles.

In total, Tanween will host 18 speakers, 11 talks, seven workshops and five masterclasses.

In one speech over opening weekend, Princess Nourah Al-Faisal, entrepreneur and designer, discussed ongoing changes in the kingdom, stressing the importance of "collaboration to connect the dots" as opposed to "working in silos in the past".

Tanween by Ithra, or the creativity season, was launched in 2018. Photo: Tanween

Next weekend, from Thursday to Saturday, the focus will be on graphics, and visual communicators and designers will discuss the trends, strategies and technologies driving the industry. Events will also explore cross-cultural collaborations, communication and branding.

Speakers will include Joe Foster, founder of Reebok, Rami Afifi, a renowned graphic designer, beatboxer Harry Yeff (Reeps One) and graffiti artist Carlos “Mare139” Rodriguez.

The third weekend will focus on architecture and will host architects and designers building the next generation of virtual and physical spaces and products. The "green urbanista" Huda Shaka and Alan Parkinson, founder of Architects of Air, which will open a Luminarium installation at the event, will be guest speakers.

Since its inception, Tanween has hosted more than 75,000 participants and 200,000 visitors.

Scroll through the gallery below to see the Architects of Air's Luminarium at Expo 2020 Dubai

Updated: October 31, 2022, 2:23 PM