WHO WE ARE
Disarming Design From Palestine aims to spread alternative narratives about contemporary Palestine and reflect upon the function of creative practices in situations of conflict. The design label presents and sells useful goods from Palestine, designed by contemporary designers and artists in collaboration with local producers and artisans.
During several create-shops the participants designers, artists and students in an enriching design dialogue with small emerging businesses and international colleagues. They develop new useful products out of existing production processes, which feeds innovative ideas for crafts production, giving another dimension to the traditional representations of handcrafts.
The project focuses on the development of local design and production capacity through creative processes. By stimulating interdisciplinary working relationships new artistic models are empowered. Art and design are deployed as powerful tools that allow serious discussions within a community about the political, social and cultural realities. It approaches design as a platform for discourse. How can creative practices contribute to a more sustainable society and human-centered economy?
The collection of products is presented and sold locally and internationally through pop-up shops, exhibitions and a web shop.
Disarming Design from Palestine is registered as a Palestinian non-profit company in Ramallah (PAL), and as a foundation in Rotterdam (NL). They work in collaboration with the International Academy of Art Palestine, Sandberg Instituut Amsterdam, Al Ma’Mal foundation Jerusalem, Alhoush (Jerusalem, Ramallah Muniipality, Bethlehem Fair Trade Artisans, Eltiqa group Gaza and WIELS in Brussels. Together with Palestinian and international designers and artists new useful products are developed in collaboration with Palestinian producers in the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza. Local resources and existing production methods form the focus of production. The items are sold on the local market, and the Dutch based Disarming Design Foundation with a warehouse in Belgium takes care of the international distribution. Producers are paid according to fair trade standards and Palestinian artists and designers receive royalties for the sales of their products. Any profit that would be made by the sales will be invested in the development of new designs through the organisation of yearly create-shops in Palestine.
Disarming Design From Palestine was founded in 2012 in collaboration with the International Academy of Art Palestine (Khaled Hourani), on request of and supported by the Dutch ICCO (Mieke Zagt). The latter asked designer Annelys de Vet (NL) in 2011 if she could propose a way how to support the sales of Palestinian products in the Netherlands and beyond, on which de Vet proposed a design label that would develop and distribute contemporary design from Palestine, narrating about the conditions of daily live, made with existing production methods. Together with many Palestinian artists and designers, this concept has been in implementation and is developed in close collaboration with the International Academy of Art Palestine.
In 2014 Sami Khaldi joined the team as a project coordinator and under his supervision the project became independent and was registered as a non-profit company in Palestine and a foundation in the Netherlands. Mohammad Saleh joined the team in 2015 as executive director and sustained the organisational structure. We reached a wider representation and audience, through increasing number of exhibitions and pop up shops (locally and international). Amongst others, the project has been exhibited in and at Qalandia International 2012, 2014 and 2016, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (NL, 2014), Art & Film festival Eyes on Palestine (B, 2014, 2015, 2016), Design Triennial Art & Conflict (B, 2014), Paris Off Print (F, 2014) , French German Cultural Center Ramallah (2016) and Domestic Affairs (Doha, 2016).
In 2016 Solutions Business and consultancy conducted an extensive business & marketing research, which cristallized our way forward and how to become self sustainable in the upcoming 3 years. In 2016 we have launched our website and on-line sales-platform, developed by the Ramallah based IT company OVIA.
We would like to express our deepest gratitude to the following people for their enriching input, advice, motivation and support:
Khaled Hourani (artist), Tina Sherwell (director academic program IAAP), Sally Abu Bakr (Acting Director of Culture and Social Affairs Directorate, Ramallah Municipality), Al Ma’mal (Aline Khoury, Jumana Abboud, Jack Persekian), Solutions Consultancy (Iyad Judeh, Rana Ayed, Yazid Irshaid), Oksigenlab (Vincent de Conink), the Netherlands Representative Office, Ramallah (Wijnand Marchal, Wadi Razzouk), Consulate General of Belgium in Jerusalem (Jan de Pauw), Mohammad Abusal (artist), Sam Bahour (consultant), Benji Boyadgian (artist), Jean E Calder (Open Studio/ Red Cressent Hospital, Khan Younis), Chris Dercon (previous director, Tate Modern), Hans Heijs (Programme Manager International Programme ICCO), Lara Khaldi (curator), Yazan Khalili (artist), Reem Shilleh (curator), Bayan Shbib (actress), Ingrid Rollema (artist), Ahmad M. Uwaidat (Al Markaz for Development & Marketing Consultancies, PS), Hildegard de Vuyst (dramaturge), Mieke Zagt (human rights activist) and all artists, designers and artisans that participated.
- Annelys de Vet
Co-foudner & Artistic Director
- Raed Hamori
- Ghadeer Dajani
- Mohamed Abusal
- Wisam Horani
Sales & warehouse coordinator (Belgium)
- International Academy of Art Palestine (Ramallah)
- Al Ma’Mal Foundation (Jerusalem)
- Bethlehem Fairtrade Artisans (Bethlehem)
- Ramallah Municipality
- Eltiqa Group (Gaza)
- Open Studio, of Red Crescent Society (Khan Younis)
- Sandberg Instituut (Masters Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam)
- Darat al Funun, Amman
- Amman Design Week
- WIELS, center for contemporary art, Brussels
- Design Museum Ghent
- Eye on Palestine, arts and film festival (B)
- Nieuw Dakota, art space (Amsterdam, NL)
- Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (Rotterdam, NL)
- Onnomatopee (Eindhoven, NL)
GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY
Lutfia Rabbani Foundation
[2012 – 2015]
Representation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the Palestinian authority 
GIZ, German Cooperation
Creative Industries Fund NL
[2013 & 2016]