COMMUNITY Building Hosh Jalsa
In 2018, Disarming Design from Palestine established the community-based learning and action space, Hosh Jalsa, located in the heart of the Old City of Birzeit.
The space consists of a social café, design library, a flex workspace, Disarming Design gallery, our office and in addition we have guest rooms for residencies. We see this place as a knowledge centre and social space in relation to contemporary design, with an inspiring program of lectures, debates and other meetings around design. Hosh Jalsa is a location where the local community can participate in events; where producers can meet and collaborate with the Palestinian design community; where students from the Birzeit University can join or host workshops and international designers can set up a residency. This is our alternative school of design.
We want to develop the conditions for a learning experience that focuses on economic, political and artistic independence. How can artistic action in a suppressed reality be used to develop new knowledge? How can designers actively co-design the emancipatory and social impact of a design? What are the conditions, and potential for this in the Palestinian context?
This heritage building was built in 1885 (according to the milestone on the top floor), and was the residence of the Nasser-family, including the former mayor of Birzeit Tawfiq Nasser. The building was designed according to Palestinian architecture of a court yard surrounded by two floors with rooms and terraces. The building has been demolished partially during WWI and WWII, and has been renovated in the year 2010 by Riwaq Foundation, and was put to use as a public space for society enterprises.
You can find us in the historic city of Birzeit at Municipality Road 24. It’s 10 minutes driving from Ramallah, or by service step out at the Latin Church and walk 50 meters to the right.