Infrastructures for solidarity through design

Disarming design from Palestine is een onafhankelijk non-profit project dat hedendaags design uit Palestina ontwikkelt en presenteert, met als doel het debat rond eerlijke relaties en condities te stimuleren. Ze brengen maker van diverse aard (lokale en internationale ontwerpers) samen.

Samen met Pianofabriek en Femimain (femimain) willen ze fair trade in the picture zetten tijdens de Week van de Fair Trade. Met een focus op de Palestijnse context willen ze mensen bewustmaken in hoe politiek, productie, taal, educatie en materialisatie met elkaar verbonden zijn, en hoe ontwerpers hier actief een rol in hebben en spelen.

Tijdens de Week van de Fair Trade richten ze zich specifiek op de makers van de toekomst; jonge ontwerpers en studenten, met een volledig programma.

(Studenten en beginnende ontwerpers tussen 18 en 35, twee groepen van 20.)

Workshop programme

Thursday 5 October, 10am—5pm

  • Welcome & check-in

  • Guided tour of exhibition Pianofabriek

  • Lecture by designer Annelys Devet on Disarming Design from Palestine; how did this project originate, how was it organised, how were the products designed, what was the role and content of the workshops, what problems did we encounter along the way and what is the meaning of such a project, beyond the visible? Followed by a discussion.

  • Film screening providing insight in the processes of making the products and their narratives

  • Lunch

  • Presentation and workshop by Sulaiman Saleh, researcher International and Intercultural Communication, giving more insight on the role of culture in the struggle for fairer relationships.

  • Workshop on designing infrastructures

Friday 6 October, 10am—5pm

  • Hybrid presentation and Q&A by Latlateh (Arabic for meaningless chatter) which is a platform curated by artists Rasha Dakkak and Siwar Krai(y)tem that centers on the potential of language, our relation to language(s), and the impact of translation

  • Conversation with Trees Candaele, founder of Moroccan design brand Femimain on how she developed this label, how she works with Moroccan craftswomen, how they jointly develop the designs, what is the role of design and what complexities arise with such a socially engaged project.

  • Lunch

  • Workshop by Annelys Devet, Sulaiman Saleh and Rateb Bakri on design-infrastructures, language and fair trade, during which participants collectively create graphic statements, to be exhibited in the Pianofabriek’s exhibition space as a ‘Fair Glossary’

  • Presentation of the joint ‘Fair Glossary’


As an independent non-profit project we foster thought-provoking designs from Palestine. With a focus on artisanal products created in conscious ways, these items speak of the reality they are manufactured in, offering lived perspectives that question the dominant narratives and challenge social and political preconceptions. Through a certain twist or addition their meaning extends beyond the generalised everyday and touches on another, particular everydayness; of living in Palestine.

Rooted in workshops that we’ve organised with cultural platforms in Palestine, the products are made by artisans and self-producing designers. They are shipped to our studio in Belgium from where we present and distribute them across borders. With our project we invest in participative design methods as cultural resistance to defy oppression and occupation everywhere, and in Palestine in particular.

Since this year we share a generous space together with the Moroccan-Belgian social project ‘Femimain’ that is part of the cultural platform ‘Pianofabriek’ in Brussels. In the context of the Belgium Fair Trade Week, we collaboratively organise an exhibition, film screening, a workshop and a stop-motion atelier. These activities are supported by Enabel and aim to sensitise youth for the importance of fair trade.

Wie geeft de workshops?

De workshop wordt gegeven door ontwerper Annelys de Vet, mede-oprichter van het project en onderzoekster naar designmethodes die bijdragen aan een eerlijkere wereld.

Rasha Dakkak en Siwar Kraitem zijn alumni van de masteropleiding ‘Disarming Design’ aan het Sandberg Instituut Amsterdam. Zij ontwikkelden tijdens hun studie (naar aanleiding van een project in Kunsthal Gent) het ‘Language Café’. Ze zullen digitaal de workshop begeleiden.

Waar en wanneer?

  • Expositie: 5 t/m 14 oktober

  • Workshops: 5 en 6 oktober

  • Waar? Pianofabriek