Disarming Design from Palestine is an inclusive design label incorporating projects designed and developed by local and international artists, designers and students. The label includes a diverse collection of functional items providing an alternative Palestinian narrative, challenging stereotypical production of the souvenir, and providing a self-sustainable space of creation for both young and established artists and designers. What does it mean to live in occupied territory? How is aesthetics related to a conflict? Disarming Design will distribute and promote the commodities in a traveling exhibition and on-line store. As a whole the collection underlines the creative, poetic and intellectual potential of Palestinian artists, designers, entrepreneurs and craftsmen. The project aims to catalyse the development of design as a discourse in Palestine, stimulate the local economy, and eventually also leading to a design program that will be taught at the International Art Academy Palestine.

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BACKGROUND
In 2007 ICCO (Dutch inter-church organization for development cooperation), the International Academy of Arts Palestine and designer Annelys de Vet organized a workshop to develop the awarded ‘Subjective Atlas of Palestine’. This publication has created a different perspective about Palestine and its people, causing vibrant debates and visual dialogues on Palestinian identity.  In 2012 the International Academy of Arts Palestine, Annelys de Vet and the Sandberg Instituut Amsterdam embarked on a new project under the title ‘Disarming Design from Palestine’, supported by ICCO, GIZ and UNESCO.

 

FIRST EDITION 2012
In September 2012, a two weeks workshop was hosted and organized by the International Academy of Art Palestine (IAAP) and held in Ramallah. It was attended by students from IAAP, Sandberg Instituut Amsterdam and Palestinian designers, artists and artisans. The workshop was orchestrated to introduce both local and international participants to existing crafts, and build bridges of collaboration through a cultural think tank and a collective visual and conceptual development of projects.

In November 2012, the IAAP participated in the first Palestinian art biennale Qalandiya International 2012. In 2013 the project will be exhibited at the 7th Triennial for Design in Genk (B).