In October 2022, the German development organization GIZ offered an assignment regarding a collaboration with Bethlehem Fair Trade Artisans. After a long and sometimes incomprehensibly complicated application process, I ended up, to my great satisfaction, landing the assignment. This also became a wonderful opportunity to gather FairTrade Designers others members; Pil Bredahl and Liselotte Risell and to invite a guest designer Katinka Sol to be the dream designteam for this project. In January 2023, I traveled to Frankfurt to do research at the Ambient Fair and personally meet and spend time with the founder of BFTA; Suzan Sahori.
After the fair, a longer series of online meetings and email dialogues started with the aimed of clarifying BFTA’s needs, the artisans’ material areas and level and, and in extension of this, – to decide the material area to work with and which methods were best suited to our collaboration.
In June 2023, it was finally time for the long-planned trip to Bethlehem at the West Bank. As the project manager, I had assembled the dreamteam of designers and the trip was planned, for us constantly to be two designers on site to facilitate the workshop, explain the design proposal we had brought, working on drawing new designs and to start and supervise the preparation of prototypes of the new designs.
During the three weeks on site, we held a joint workshop for all the participating artisans and we visited the participates workshops and spent time together with the artisans to develop and discuss appropriate production methods, trying to achieve as much as possible and getting as far as possible with all prototypes in progress while on site.