Masters Programme Disarming Design
ماجستير معهد ساندبرج

sandberg instituut amsterdam

September 2020 — June 2022
Keywords: Collaborative, Design, Networks, Palestine, Pedagogy, Resistance

Disarming Design is a two-year Master’s programme at the Sandberg Instituut Amsterdam committed to design practices in situations of oppression acting on the overlap of design, crafts, community and politics — starting september 2020. It derives from the long-term collaboration between the Design Department and the thought provoking design platform ‘Disarming Design from Palestine’.

DISARMING DESIGN aims to define what is needed to enhance the social, political and emancipatory impact of design and challenges the designer’s role in oppressive power. The programme will explore how design can be a vehicle for political resistance and solidarity and will equip the students with tools to develop community driven platforms on design learning. They will be introduced to a rich network of engaged creative actors and cultural institutes, to invest in long-term networks that help to establish new educational design platforms with a pedagogy of dignity.

Building upon the relations and involvements of the full team, we will explore how design can be a vehicle for political resistance and solidarity and how to counteract oppression and injustice through the act of design. We are interested in what ways design practices can inform strategies to set up sustainable positions in politically and geographically violated societies. In parallel, we want to experiment with educational models that stimulate such practices, and set up alternative platforms that reinforce the artistic, experimental and economic independence of designers. With an indispensable input of the participants in shaping the programme, we build collective methods of mutual learning and exchange, develop vocabularies, ideas and common projects.

The programme focuses on the artistic work of the participants in finding tools and strategies for resilient, collaborative and sustainable positions, with the aim to establish alternative educational platforms for design.

The course provides an independent environment for study, practice and research. It offers space for selflessness, vulnerability and unpredictability. The programme is set up as a studio-space led programme where you work on both collective as individual projects and get feedback by the tutors on your practice. The curriculum evolves on the initiatives, collaborations and developments of the students; they are actively involved in organising and leading different parts.

The students are practitioners with a non-canonical practice, from which several have lived under the weight of structural oppression and are determined to counteract it. Students have an ability and interest in collaborative work, situated learning, crafts, poetry and in creating politically driven, experimental practices dedicated to use the space of design as a multiplier of interventions where they are most needed today. The multiplicity contributes to diversifying the issues and actors involved in every collaborative project that happens within a social, political, cultural, economical, environmental, and pedagogical context.

More information


As the postgraduate programme of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie Amsterdam, the Sandberg Instituut offers Master Programmes in Fine Arts, Interior Architecture and Design.

The five Main Departments aim to deepen the practices of artists, designers and critics. In addition, the Temporary Programmes reflect on specific urgencies in society and the arts, and the Hosted Programmes focus on collaboration with other institutes. Sandberg Instituut’s Main Departments are Critical Studies, Design, The Dirty Art Department, Fine Arts and Studio for Immediate Spaces. An average of only twenty students per programme allows each course to be flexible and open to initiatives from students and third parties. The course directors, who are prominent artists, designers, theorists and curators with international practices, invite tutors and guests who are able to challenge the students to critically reflect on their profession, their work and their progress. The two-year Temporary Programmes are developed according to urgent world issues.

Visit the website of the Sandberg Instituut


Head of programme: Annelys de Vet (NL/B)
Coordinator: Francisca Khamis (CL/PS)

Tutors: Rana Ghavami (NL), Lara Khaldi (PS), Yazan Khalili (PS), PING (Agustina Woodgate (AR), Miquel Hervás Gómez (ES), Sascha Krischock (DE)), Huda Smitshuijzen-Abifares (LB/NL), Jonas Staal (NL), Annelys de Vet (NL/B)

Guest tutors: Flavia Dzodan (AR/NL), Foundland (Lauren Alexander (ZA) & Ghalia Elsrakbi (SY)), Pascal Gielen (B), Jeanne van Heeswijk (NL), Nat Mulller (NL), Marina Otero (ES), Bahia Shehab (EG/LB), SulSalSol (Hannes Bernard (ZA), Guido Giglio (BR)), Julien Thomas (CA), Petra Van Brabandt (B) and others