Disarming Design from Palestine


Disarming Design from Palestine is an inclusive design label that creates useful products. The goods are developed, designed and made in Palestine by contemporary designers, artists and students in collaboration with local producers and artisans. During yearly ‘createshops’, the participants engage in an enriching design dialogue with small emerging businesses and international colleagues. They develop new products out of existing production processes, which feed new ideas for crafts production, avoiding the traditional – and often purely decorative – handcrafted object.

The products of Disarming Design disseminate alternative narratives about contemporary Palestine and reflect upon the function of creative practices in situations of conflict. In this project, art and design are deployed as powerful tools that allow serious discussions within a community about political, social and cultural realities. The label catalyses the development of design as a discourse and invests in the creative potential of the people. Or in other words, it asks how creative practices can contribute to a more sustainable society and human-centred economy.

Disarming Design from Palestine focuses on local capacity-building through advancing design and production. By stimulating these interdisciplinary working relationships, new models of artistic practices and handcrafts are empowered.

The collection of products is presented and sold through a traveling exhibition and a webshop. Through local and international promotion and sales, the label will work towards a financially sustainable business model.




The Subjective Atlas Series

Since 2004,  designer Annelys de Vet has carried out a series of ‘subjective atlases’ in collaboration with international cultural institutions and creative practitioners. The atlases map a country, region or political entity from inside out by its inhabitants. During a number of workshops, a mixed group of artists, designers, photographers and other creative people are invited to map their country in their own way: critical, indignant, sensitive, political, poetic or proud. Personal involvement is the starting point to produce human and  unconventional images of a country. In the context of the atlas, everyday practices take on new meanings. They reveal issues that usually remain invisible and lay bare the consequences of political change, discreetly, implicitly, and not as a goal in itself.

The atlases are an attempt to make meaningful contributions to the discourse around cultural-image formation, in a creative, disarming and sensitive yet critical way. The books serve as a humanist response to the increasing simplification of the political debate and the complacency of power. They show, above all, a complex reality that lies beyond simplistic or sensational media images. This potent series of alternative, copyright-free visualisations can serve as a tool for the critical questioning of the apparently objective.

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