Ithra’s Tanween festival returns for a fifth year

The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, Ithra, has announced the launch of the 5th edition of Tanween, its flagship annual creativity season. This year’s edition invites creatives, professionals, students, curious learners and more to explore creativity and innovation under the tagline “Collaborate to Create”, and will once again feature a lineup of high-profile speakers alongside a series of workshops, masterclasses, exhibitions, demonstrations and events from October 27 – November 12, 2022.

Held mainly across three weekends, the event is set to include more than 26 speakers, 10 workshops, five masterclasses, 18 talks and panels, the Tanween Hub including four hands-on experience stations, three installations, five immersive experiences, a graduate showcase, 1-to-1 consultation sessions for aspiring professionals and the showcasing of five of this year’s Tanween Challenge projects.

Highlights for families include a mass audience participatory Big Moment and the opening of the Architects of Air Luminarium installation. Key speakers include Electronic Arts cofounder Dave Evans and Stanford design professor Bill Burnett, Saudi creative industry “God Father” Kaswara Al-Khatib, Reebok cofounder Joe Foster, audio astronaut Reeps One, the green urbanista Huda Shaka, and the veteran architect of air Alan Parkinson.

The Program

Under the umbrella of “Collaboration”, Tanween 2022 addresses the need for a creative collaborative process of cultures, with nature, by technology and for society.

Weekend 1 (October 27-29): The Business of Creativity
The Business of Creativity explores new ways of creative collaboration through innovative brand crossovers, featuring AI and robotics and more, exploring new methods to help solve challenges, create new opportunities and implement new ideas.

Weekend 2 (November 3-5): Graphics & Communication
A featured highlight for visual communicators, designers and graphic artists, this track examines and discusses the trends, strategies and technologies driving the industry, take a deep dive into communication and branding, and explore who is collaborating with whom to magnify and reach across cultures and audiences.

Weekend 3 (November 10-12): Architecture
The final weekend targets architects and designers building the next generation of virtual and physical spaces and products. Featuring collaboration between architecture, the environment, society and culture, this track explores how collaboration with these elements can contribute to better architecture.

Other highlights from the program include: Leading Saudi design advocate Princess Nourah Al-Faisal, serial brand collaborator designer Rami Afifi, graffiti legend Carlos Mare, architectural material wizard Marcus Farr and partners contributions including the Academy for Theater and Digitality supported by the Goethe Institute and Netherland Embassy supported artist Arne Hendriks.

Tanween projects and experiences

The top projects in the Tanween Challenges, designed to produce practical solutions to real-world issues while promoting design thinking and innovation, will also be exhibited at the event, alongside the Tanween Grad Expo, where the public, potential collaborators and potential employers are introduced to some of the best young design talent in the Kingdom and the GCC through projects by recent graduates from universities and schools of architecture and design.

Furthermore, this year’s entertaining and interactive Tanween Experiences encourage us to reflect on our relationships with nature, technology and each other. Visitors can explore the power of collaboration and co-creation by contributing to a community weaving project, engage with technology by interacting with a robotic arm, and explore the relationship between the natural world and design by entering a cocoon to watch an immersive short film.

“Tanween is designed to celebrate, explore and inspire the creative process through connection,” said Noura Alzamil, head of programs at Ithra. “We are excited to return this year with a theme striking at the importance of interconnectivity: collaboration. Collaboration requires the ability to reflect, to ideate and cooperate in the pursuit of new creative endeavors. Tanween 2022 addresses the need for a collaboration of cultures, with nature, by technology and for society, with an incredible lineup of offerings to enrich the minds of curious learners of all ages.”

Underpinned by Ithra’s mission to champion the creative economy and industries, Tanween connects innovators and creatives across all ages, levels, and interests with a network of global subject matter experts and peers. This year’s theme, “Collaborate”, examines the creative potential of teamwork and partnership, in addition to importance of unlocking new opportunities through connecting ideas.

Launched in 2018, Tanween’s previous editions explored the themes of “Disruption”, “Play”, “The New Next”, and “Tools”. Since its inception, Tanween has welcomed almost 200,000 visitors and more than 75,000 program participants. For more information on Tanween and Ithra’s ongoing programs, visit here.