Infrastructures For Solidarity Through Design

Symposium & Workshop | Annelys Devet, Sulaiman Saleh, Siwar Krai(y)tem & Rasha Dakkak, Trees Candaele (Femimain) and Ratib Bakri. | 2023-10-5 | 5-6 Oct, 10:00 - 17:00 | Pianofabriek, Brussels (Rue du Fort 35, 1060 Saint-Gilles
Infrastructures For Solidarity Through Design


We invite makers of the future, young designers and students, to a two-day workshop around the ecosystems of design projects; how is the relationship between locality, materiality, conditions, economy and narrative? How can designers develop sustainable and fair models for these? During two engaging days we want to provide insight into how politics, production and language are connected, and how designers have, and play, an active role in this. Based on our experiences in Palestine and the input of the participating designers and students, we explore these questions to develop collectively a situation specific ‘Fair Glossary’.

With: Annelys Devet, Sulaiman Saleh, Siwar Krai(y)tem & Rasha Dakkak, Trees Candaele (Femimain) and Ratib Bakri. For: Design students, practitioners and artists (25 places available) When: Thursday 5 and Friday 6 October at PianoFabriek Brussels (as part of ‘De Week van de Fair Trade‘). Free of charge


Apply via this link.

Workshop programme

Thursday 5 October, 10:00 - 17:00

  • 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, 10:00-17:00

  • 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’

Workshop hosts (bios)

Annelys Devet is a Belgium-based designer, researcher and educator. She co-founded the publishing initiative Subjective Editions, mapping regions from inside out, as well as the thought-provoking design label Disarming Design from Palestine. She was the course director of the Design Department at the Sandberg Instituut, Amsterdam, Master of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie (2009–2019) where she founded the temporary master’s programme Disarming Design (2020–2022). De Vet currently holds a position as PhD researcher at ARIA (Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts) where she conducts a practice-based study on participative design approaches that engage in social and political struggles.

Sulaiman Saleh is a communicator and researcher with a focus on international and intercultural communication. He was a lecturer at Jonkoping University (Sweden), teaching students in Media and Communication, and Global studies. Born in Gaza, studied in Malaysia, worked in Sweden,and currently based in Belgium, he is an active member of Cinema Maximiliaan and works as a coordinator for the Disarming Design project.

Rasha Dakkak is a Palestinian researcher and maker with publishing and curatorial initiatives alongside working in art and design education. Her research and artistic practice center on the interplay of language, imagery, and education as nuanced soft power tools, disclosing the subtle yet potent dynamics that underlie the creation of canons and narratives and influence the formation of knowledge and its accessibility. She was formerly trained in visual communication and holds graduate degrees in fine art and design from Sandberg Instituut in Amsterdam and The FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Basel.

Siwar Krai(y)tem is a multi-lingual designer, researcher, writer and artist based between Beirut and Amsterdam. Her research and artistic practice focuses on multilingualism and language in times of transformation, as well as the construction of society through language. Since May 2021, she co-curates the platform Latlateh (arabic for unmeaningful chatter), an encounter-based platform which focuses on language and the power plays embedded in language, semantics, translation, and the daily conversation. She is currently a participant in Mophradat’s New Agents Program as well as co-coordinator at the Sandberg Instituut’s design department where she was a recent alumni from the temporary program ‘Disarming Design’. She recently published a zine with publisher Unformed Informed, entitled ‘Arabic is still in my quotian, yes it is’. She is also part of the BAK Cell, Utrecht, in the Fellowship for Situated Practice. During the fellowship, she questions whether it is possible to be in alignment in a multi-lingual world.

Trees Candaele is coordinator of PIOW projects at PianoFabriek Brussels, from where she founded the Moroccan design label Femimain. Femimain is a socio-economic project that aims to strengthen the social and economic position of women in Morocco.

Rateb Bakri is a young (currently Dutch based) Palestinian landscape architect interested in the transformative potential of architecture to benefit communities and individuals alike. He has been an active member of the Disarming Design community in Birzeit (Palestine) as an exhibition designer, a talent he will activate during the workshop at the Pianofabriek.


As an independent non-profit project Disarming Design from Palestine (DDFP) 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.