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Humanitarian and design: meeting & converging – FDW21

Humanitarian Designers organised the conference "Humanitarian and design: meeting & converging" during the France Design Week 2021. A moment for our community to meet in-person for the first time.

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Humanitarian and design: meeting and converging

In 2021, we organised our first conference during the France Design Week. Our goal was several: 

  • to unite our growing community around an accessible project;
  • to create a place for discussions between designers, aid workers, researchers, innovators, and students;
  • to meet in person.


In this process, we would like to thanks the volunteers: Charlotte Noël du Payrat, Thomas Jäger, Cédric Fettouche, Catarina Batista, Loïc Lallemand, Clémence De Rosier, Maïlys Duchamp, and Gwenn Descamps.

Programme complet humanitarian designers france design week

Charlotte du Payrat & Thomas Jäger, Humanitarian Designers

Charlotte du Payrat has been our amazing host during this two-day conference. Since her Master’s degree in Intercultural design with l’école de design, she has been active for several years with associations in Greece, Spain, and France. She is now a freelance designer with a strong interest in low-tech solutions, circular economy, social challenges, facilitating workshops, service and strategic design.
Thomas Jäger has been working in Greece with various grassroots NGOs, including Habibi.Works, since 2018 and also applied his experience on emergency and social projects in Lebanon and Equatorial Guinea.
Now employed as a strategic social designer with a leading German design agency, he continues to develop projects with Humanitarian Designers and most lately coordinated our educational seminar with the Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach in Germany.

Driss Agoune, Cité de la Solidarité Internationale

Driss Agoune was the Communications Officer of the Cité de la Solidarité Internationale (CSI) since 2019. Before that, he was in charge of the communication for “France Volontaire” in Madagascar for about three years.

The Cité de la Solidarité Internationale (CSI) is a cross-border platform supporting international solidarity actors in a logic of enabling partnerships. It also provides information on career paths and professions in solidarity with, in particular, its trade fair “Soliway” which takes place every year around September in Annemasse (Greater Geneva region) and online.

In this video, Driss explains what is humanitarianism: where does it come from, how it is organised, who are the actors, etc.

Cédric Fettouche, Humanitarian Designers

Cédric Fettouche works as a Design strategist and Community manager at the European Commission, for the New European Bauhaus initiative. He founded the NGO Humanitarian Designers in January 2021 to bridge the gap between the design and humanitarian sectors.

Passionate about design and societal challenges, he strives to experiment his committed vision into new sectors, and share his learnings back to the design communities.

In this video, Cédric shares personal tips for designers willing to match their jobs with their personal values: from students, to junior designers or retraining designers, he pushes to keep a strategic approach in their communication.

Amel Benzerga, Common Thread

Amel Benzerga is a Behavior Change Researcher and she was present at our event to tell us more about her journey as a behavioral designer and researcher at Common Thread. With training in psychology, language, sciences, and public policy, Amel gets right to the heart of understanding people’s behaviour. She is driven by a motivation to design health policies that can truly improve people’s lives.

Common Thread is a globe-spanning team of behavioural scientists, public health experts, communicators and designers. They bring a people-first approach to solving the world’s toughest public health problems. Common Thread is known for taking the best of human-centred design (HCD), behavioural science, and anthropology to understand the challenges that work with before building clear, elegant and appropriate solutions.

Geoffrey Dorne, Design&Human

Geoffrey Dorne is an independent designer working since 2007 on projects that are resilient and committed. He is the author of and the founder of Design & Human, an independent design agency in which he carries out graphic, digital, interactive projects whose goal is social, civic and environmental engagement with the aim of promoting the diversity of living things: human and non-human.

In this video, Geoffrey shares some of his projects:, Refugeye, We are not weapon of war, Respect zone, Singa, Water Right Makers, UNESCO, Bibliothèques Sans Frontières, and TechReef.

Michel Maietta,

Michel Maietta is an expert in foresight, strategy, and organizational design with two decades of experience in the humanitarian and development sectors.
IARAN is a collaborative center of humanitarian and development professionals, which activates strategic thinking and actions to build a better future for and with people in need.

In this video, Michel presents his research “Strategic Planning in the humanitarian sector: a manual to foresight and futures-focused thinking” and how designers could play a role in this changes.

Brigitte Borja de Mozota, Designence

Brigitte Borja de Mozota has more than 35 years of experience in the academic field and the research of design management. Author of the book Design Management, founder of the agency Designence, co-founder of several networks in Europe, working as editor on academic reviews, she continues to explore and share her experience to designers.

In this video, she discusses with the audience on the necessary designers’ skills for the 21st century.

Imke Plinta, UNIDO

Imke Plinta is a German graphic designer, urbanist, design consultant, teacher and curator; initially
graduated in visual communication and in design culture, she became teacher at the HEAD – Genève, University of Art and Design and ECV Creative Schools & Community Aix en Provence. In 2011, she co-founded Civic City with Vera and Ruedi Baur with whom she conducted many projects up to 2015. She now works with Giulio Vinaccia as a design consultant for UNIDO on projects with a focus on craft as a tool for development in Algeria, Palestine, Madagascar where she also participated in creating a Master’s degree in design.

In this video, she shares her different projects with a focus on her project during the “Marseille European Capital of Culture 2013”.

Kilian Kleinschmidt, IPA Switxboard

Kilian Kleinschmidt has more than 35 years of experience on the ground in the sectors of humanitarian response and international development, as well as political and regional cooperation. He went on missions in countries such as Jordan, Pakistan, South Sudan, Somalia, Congo, Sri Lanka, Kenya, and Bosnia.

From 2013 to 2014, he was in charge of Za’atari camp, the largest Syrian refugee camp in the world, in North Jordan. His work, as UNHCR employee, became a symbol of innovation in the management of refugee camps and he became known under the name of “Za’atari mayor”.

He is now the founder of the company “Innovation & Planning Agency”, also known as IPA Switxboard, implanted in Austria, Tunisia, and the USA. His goal is to identify new opportunities in disadvantaged regions of the world and enable the locals to their own development by connecting them to worldwide partners.

In this video, he shares about his experience and vision of the humanitarian sector.

Yara Bou Akar, Rianne Doorneweerd, Butterfly Works

Butterfly Works is a social design studio pioneering the use of co-creation and design thinking in international development. The presentation is made by Yara Bou Akar who is a design researcher eager to explore the role of design for marginalised communities; and Rianne Doorneweerd, ongoing Project Navigation at Butterfly Works.

Albane Buriel, independent

Albane Buriel is a PhD candidate at Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC). She is specialised in humanitarian action, artistic practices, and education in conflict zones. Recently, she was a consultant for Syrian and Iraqi-based NGOs where she trained professionals from protection and education clusters.

In this two videos, she introduces the bases of the humanitarian sector and of education in emergency situations.

Joumana Chahal Timery, ESUIP

Joumana Chahal Timery is the co-founder and director of Ecole Supérieure Internationale de Paris (ESUIP). Researcher and teacher in the cultural heritage sector as well, she is the president of Patrimoine Tripoli Liban, association for Lebanese Heritage.

This association works on the Baladi project, focused on offering trainings in the arts and heritage sector for the unemployed looking for a career change. The Baladi project and Patrimoine Tripoli Liban mentors them with the support of designers, from concept to distribution of their product.

L’École Supérieure Internationale de Paris and Patrimoine Tripoli Liban collaborate in particular on the Master’s degree “Cultural Heritage Management”.


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