Ithra’s 4th Tanween Season Explores ‘Tools’ that Shape Creativity for the Future

The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture’s 4th flagship creativity season kicks-off with 4 tracks of virtual and physical line-ups including 30 talks, 7 workshops, 10 masterclasses 1-1 meet-ups, exhibits, and much more across 3 weeks starting October 27th,

  • Under the theme of “Tools: Shaping Creativity”, Tanween supports creatives entering the creative industries and helps professionals advance their careers
  • Ithra to launch the first Cultural and Creative Industry Index (CCI) on KSA and two other cultural reports exploring the evolution of culture in the Kingdom and regionally, within a global context

au2i5248DHAHRAN, SAUDI ARABIA, October 26, 2021 – The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) is excited to launch the 4th edition of its flagship Tanween creativity season. Held under the theme “Tools: Crafting Creativity”, the event features high-profile speakers and a series of targeted workshops and masterclasses from October 27 – November 13 and is designed to celebrate, explore and inspire the creative process.img_7078

Underscoring Ithra’s goal of supporting and developing the region’s creative industries, a key highlight will be the unveiling of the results of one of the most comprehensive studies mapping the cultural and creative landscape of the Middle East and North Africa, including rare insights into the Saudi cultural pulse.tanween_10-31-2020_ahmed-al-thani-1

“Since its inception, Ithra has positively disrupted the scene in culture, art, knowledge, creativity, and community. Through the annual creativity season, Tanween, a cultural catalyst, and the global gateway have succeeded in creating an unprecedented ecosystem that embodies Ithra’s five pillars, while offering unique experiences to the public and to creative professionals,” said Ashraf Fagih, Head of Programs at Ithra.tanween-2019_10-16-2019_ahmed-al-thani44

Miznah Alzamil, Head of Innovation and Creativity at Ithra explained, Like “Disruption”, “Play” and “The New Next” before it, the “Tools” theme will explore an aspect of the creative process and tap into how cultural and creative industries continue to innovate and steer the future of the creative economy – highlighting the tools at their disposal. “Tanween 2021 empowers the creative industries through exploring the innovative use of tools and identifying new opportunities presented by adopting and developing new toolsets.”tanween2019_10-16-2019_nayef-aldhamen-155

She added: “From the first stone hammer to modern-day technology, tools enable our creativity to shape our world. From hand and head tools to digital and physical tools, and abstract and real toolsets, Tanween 2021 explores the role ‘Tools’ have in our creative process and industries and shaping our creativity for the future.”tanween_10-28-2020_ahmed-al-thani-138

From its launch in 2018 Tanween has connected change-making creatives and innovators with global subject matter experts in an inspiration-fueled environment to nurture creative potential, share ideas and redefine what creativity means in a changing world. It offers a platform for them to connect with curious learners, aspiring creatives, and professionals across all levels and industries to unlock creative potential.

This year’s headline speakers include former Adidas Senior Design Director Chris Law, founding director of the Khatt Foundation Dr. Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFarès, international contemporary artist and researcher Sougwen Chung, and Arthur Mamou-Mani, founder of the award-winning Mamou-Mani Architecture practice.tanween-2019_10-11-2019_ahmed-al-thani14

The main tracks and programs that will run during Tanween include:

  • Emerging Creatives (October 27-28, 2021) –Where final-year students, recent graduates, or early careerists can learn to polish their personal brand, practice their pitch and build their network to support building their Creative Career,
  • Creative Economy (October 29-30, 2021)– New Tools and New Opportunities, where risk-taking creatives and change-making innovators take participants through the tools and technologies revolutionizing the industry,
  • Graphics and Communication (November 5-6, 2021)– Analog First, the must-attend event of the year for visual communicators, designers, and graphic artists to explore how the evolving role of design creates an impact on both business and culture,
  • Architecture and Products (November 12-13)– Designer and a Maker, offering insights on the role of tools in sustainability, ideation, and creativity in design and architecture, and Your Future in Design, a partnership with the Saudi X Design (SXD) initiative to provide a new platform of resources for emerging creatives.

tanween2019_10-23-2019_nayef-aldhamen-298Tanween 2021 also presents a series of workshops that are not to be missed:

The Personal Productivity Toolkit (bridging the gap between ideation and execution), The Professional Starter Kit, Design Plastic Product (transform, reuse, and process plastic to create new products), Digital Risograph (learn how to get their files ready for print), 3D Laser Scanning (illustrating a c digital workflow for 3D data processing),  and Folding Structures: Satellites to Shoes (use of contemporary origami in design, art, architecture, and engineering) and many more.tanween-2019_10-10-2019_ahmed-al-thani13

Furthermore, visitors can explore four pavilions focused on heritage, architectural ingenuity, culture, design, and innovation. In Sa’af by Shahad Alazzaz, the architect brings the Kingdom’s heritage to the forefront, weaving in the history of Saudi’s rural villages. House of Hairs by Eidetic Space offers a journey through tradition and culture, evoking a timeless significance tied to Bedouin life and their deep sense of community. Faseelah is a Tanween Challenge architectural pavilion showcasing smart construction methodology and technique. Sketch, meanwhile, welcomes visitors into an exploratory environment analyzing concepts of place and space through artists’ words and thoughts illustrated across a massive canvas.

Visitors and participants can also look forward to a series of meet-ups, social events, and performances.tanween_10-28-2020_ahmed-al-thani-129

On October 29, Ithra will also launch its three series of cultural reports, including the first CCI Index on Saudi Arabia with a discussion panel featuring key cultural representatives from renowned institutions. They will discuss the commissioned cultural reports that were led by Ithra in collaboration with research partners Economist Intelligence Unit and Boston Consulting Group. The study explores the evolution of culture in the Kingdom, and regionally within a global context, and includes a very special report on the impact of COVID on this industry.

Since launching in 2018, Tanween has welcomed more than 165,000 visitors and over 75,000 participants, hosted 103 speakers, delivered 107 workshops, 26 exhibits or installations and 52 live performances. For more information on Tanween and Ithra’s regular programs, visit

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