UPCOMING CREATE-SHOP AMMANannelys
Disarming Design from Palestine is having their latest workshop in Amman, 4–14 September 2017
On the invitation of Amman Design Week, Darat al Funun, Disarming Design from Palestine, Gaza refugee camp in Jerash and the design masters of the Sandberg Instituut Amsterdam have joined forces to collaboratively organize an educational program in the context of contemporary product design.
Slideshow of previous create shops in the Westbank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.
During a 2 week workshop a 5 teams of totoally 11 contemporary designers from Jordan, Palestine and the Netherlands will collaborate with local craftswomen from Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan. Participants are invited to develop new useful products that somehow reflect the life in the camp, and can be made there by the local artisans and with the available resources. Afterwards the output will be exhibited (and sold) at “The Lab” during Amman Design Week from 6-14 October 2017. A selection of the workshops’ outcome will be taken into production to be included in the collection of Disarming Design, which is a line of thought-provoking products that speak of Palestine’s current reality. The products are then sold locally and internationally to spread alternative stories and reflect upon the function of creative practices in situations of conflict.
The program’s objectives are to create a learning collaboration between Jordanian, Palestinian and international designers and Palestinian craftspeople, and to create opportunities for international exchange between designers in the Netherlands, Jordan and Palestine. Additionally we hope to provide economic empowerment to the crafts communities, particularly women, as well as a chance for cultural exchange and storytelling — with particular reference to the Palestinian diaspora or being stranded away from home. It will be an opportunity to connect with their identity.
The following artists and designers have been selected for this year’s create-shop:
— TEAM 1
Rand Abu al-Sha’r (JO), architect: “As a woman in a field still largely dominated by men, I constantly strive to support any endeavors which aim to empower women. Also, as a Jordanian with a Palestinian mother who was displaced in 1967, the cultural aspect of this experience speaks to me on a personal level
Asja Keeman (NL), Master Student Design Sandberg Instituut: “I often work with stories of and from refugees, but I have never set foot in a refugee camp or see their everyday lives. I hope my experience in Amman will broaden my horizon.”
— TEAM 2
Mohammad Ishtay (PS), product and interior designer: “I think a great design is the one which helps people or the environment, improves it or fixes a problem and does it in a very tasteful and original way. That is always the goal of my designs and that’s what I think is design for the real world.”
Tessa Meeus (NL), Master Student Design Sandberg Instituut: “At this moment my perspective is based on western media and stories, I would like to challenge my view with real life experience. The questions I ask myself are: what is this state of being like? What do people embrace? What do they hate on a daily basis? What are the values of the place and how can design play a role?”
— TEAM 3
Fida Shaffi (PS), political scientist & designer: “We’re becoming one-by-one part of a new and dynamic design movement, when it comes to our collective identity, as we tried to tap into the social and political moment and cultural significance of our country at voluntary basis.”
Sherida Kuffour (NL/GB/GH), Master Student Design Sandberg Instituut: “In recent years I’ve been interested in anti-colonial, and anti-imperialism movements and how people push back against these strongholds. I’ve come to realise that, as the ‘colonized’, regardless of race or religion, we share somewhat similar struggles of revolution and pushback.”
— TEAM 4
Nour Nsheiwat (JO), designer: “The only thing that gets me going is sharing stories. I have realized that in every corner of my life I have pursed a job that included some narrative methodology. I‘m into listening to a new story told by a product. I‘m eager to get to know more people and share more knowledge and passion. Nowadays, I’m teaching my self about “being” in the moment and how this can progress from narration into truthful actions.”
Rebekka Fries (NL), Sandberg Instituut Design Alumni: “To have the opportunity to be integrated in the situation of the citizens of the refugee camp I hope it changes disconnected worldviews I have myself. I want the opportunity to witness a reality, which isn’t mine, and in collaboration on personal, local and on cultural level participate in achieving more awareness of living circumstances, which may entail already multiple generations.”
— TEAM 5
Mariam s. Shukri (JO), designer: “The possibility of locating and identifying hidden talents in our communities and of whom simply did not get the chance in life to share their skills and abilities with the outside world! My confidence and belief in art being quite an influential tool that can be used to express and portray someone’s thoughts, beliefs, causes or conflicts. ”
Qusai al Aaify (PS), founder origami Palestine: “An essential part of the production process is the experience itself. Social interactivity enriches the value of the product by the involved varied knowledge backgrounds of the participated designers, artists, and handicraftsmen. This collective work is important for the quality of the product as well as the environment of the whole experience.”
Aya Abu Ghazaleh (JO),artist / designer: “I am looking forward to collaborate with different designers and industries, as well asworking with the local camp community here in Jordan is a added value that I respect and admire.”
The workshop will be guided by:
- Ghadeer Dajani (Production manager Disarming Design and designer)
- Annelys de Vet (founder Disarming Design, designer, head Design Dept. Sandberg Instituut)
- Rana Beiruti (Co-Director, Amman Design Week, and Director of ‘The Lab’, Darat al Funun)
- Abeer Seikaly (Co-Director, Amman Design Week)
- Haya Bustami (Education & Community Outreach, Amman Design Week)
- Reem Marji (Architect, team Darat al Funun)
- Guestspeakers (Jordanian designers/artists)
FURTHER READING & REFERENCE
- Report of create-shop 2016 in Ramallah
- Slideshow & Video create-shop 2016
- Amman Design Week Announcement
- Interview Ghadeer Dajani
- Interview Annelys de Vet
FOR MORE INFORMATION
THEMES & MOTIVES
Re-think Palestinian identity
In the current specific socio-political situation in Palestine, there is another layer to consider to guide us into a ‘sensitive’ local design and production. After what Palestinians have passed in the last century, there is a deep need for a re-search for a new Palestinian identity, as it has been and is being distorted and transformed after many shocking and drastic changes. Disarming Design provides a platform where designers and artists search into their visual reality of Palestine, into their daily needs and experiences. They elaborate them to create useful objects that will ease obstacles, or inspire for a better reality. Identity is not something fixed, but something that corresponds to contemporary realities, so to say a work in progress and that’s where product design serves part of this re-discovery.
It is always a challenge when it comes to telling the Palestinian story. The historical conflict, the daily challenges, the complexity of the collective society that varies in the charm, kindness and active creation from one side, and the conservative perceptions from another side. Local and international audiences have become in a way desensitized of the overly repeated news reports of victims, documentaries on the struggles of checkpoints, and images of clashes, that deal with the people as only the recipients of information and facts, that media agencies race with each other on. Disarming Design from Palestine has been trying to take a totally different direction to engage people, on a personal level, with the Palestinian story, by creating an interaction between the produced product and them. In a way that gives them a perception of being the contributor and a part of the story, not only a receiver.
This collaboration with Amman Design Week introduces the opportunity for Palestinians that remain in diaspora to contribute to that narrative through their work in crafts.
On the international context, the presence of the Disarming Design products in the international market is important to stimulate and trigger the international community and bring new perspectives alive. We have received several feedbacks on how a simple product can create great lasting impressions on people (see the example of ‘Measuring Inequality’). But more pragmatically and as mentioned above, Disarming Design’s important role is the one of supporting local economy through access to the international market.
Over time craftsmanship has deteriorated and fallen into a repetitive loop of making the same products without relation to their original meaning. In each DDFP’s ‘create shop’ we try to put back a piece of the craftsmanship functionality in its place, by questioning what is the story we want to tell. This is why it is important to put together the ability of the artisan with the freshness and the perspective of the designer; together they make reality themselves.
Bring artisans to the frontier
Most of the artisans and producers in Palestine are from marginal families, or individuals with low income. We help them by creating back the demand from the local market where these people are facing great challenges; some because of the political situation which prevents them from moving around for trade purposes, so they have limits on finding resources whether local or imported. They also face the international challenge that the local market is being diminished by the international mass production of goods made in China or elsewhere. One of our aims is to bring these artisans to the frontier, to acknowledge their importance and unique local and cultural technical talent which can’t be found elsewhere. We realize that their business can’t sustain itself without actually dealing with a production line of products.