The world is in political turmoil. New conflicts arise almost by the day. Furthermore, war in remote areas seems to have deep consequences for our own, westernized world. Information tactics and technological innovation from a warfare context reach our cities with drones and privacy impeachments. This asks for a new engagement of designers. But how do you interfere as a designer in these political processes? How can a design contribute to a more peaceful environment? How do you keep free from biases? This edition of Design Matters will explore the consequence of conflict for the practice of architects, product developers and graphic designers.
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Annelys de Vet is a graphic researcher and cultural designer, and runs designstudio DEVET in Brussels. She also works as a curator and is head of the Design department at the Sandberg Instituut Amsterdam. She is the initiator and designer of the Subjective Atlasses (of Palestine, Serbia but also Fryslân) that maps countries and regions from individual perspectives. Recently she has set up the project Disarming Design from Palestine. This is an inclusive design label that presents functional products from Palestine, that provide an alternative narrative from what you might usually find in the high street. The goods are developed, designed and produced by contemporary designers, artists and students in Palestine and abroad in collaboration with local artisans and producers. The first collection will reach the market next month.
Malkit Shoshan is an architect/designer living and working in Amsterdam. She is the founder of the architectural thinktank Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory (FAST). Also she is author of the award-winning book Atlas of the Conflict: Israel–Palestine. Her most recent project Drones and Honeycombs aims to increase understanding of civil and public space in times of war and reconstruction as well as far-reaching technological and social change. She investigates the moral and legal implications of the use drones in war and peace.