Islands at Jerusalem Design Week
From June 8 to 15, Jersualem Design Week this year seeks to open a conversation about cultural exchange and tolerance that transcends our sociopolitical islands.
Taking its cue from the increasingly insular disposition of countries, communities and individuals, this year’s Jerusalem Design Week’s theme is ‘islands’. As immigration and nationalism have increased, and safety and security is replaced with an atmosphere of anxiety, these islands have manifest as an increased yearning for belonging and familiarity rather than the unrelenting urge for globalisation.
“Our goal is to create a multi-channel platform for designers from all disciplines to express their creativity by exploring a yearly theme. The complexity of the place we live and work in, combined with an effervescent creative energy is a fertile ground for an extraordinary and unique design experience,” explained artistic director Anat Safran, who with chief curator Tal Erez and manager Ayelet Dro, invited over 50 Israeli and international designers to create works in locales across the diverse neighbourhood of Talbiya from June 8 to 15. These are intended to open a conversation on how design can encourage cultural exchange and understanding.
Jerusalem Design Week is organised by Hansen House, the Centre for Design, Media and Technology built in a former telephone exchange. Hansen House will host the main exhibition, which will include three interactive exhibitions as ‘islands’. An avant-garde fashion collective from Tel Aviv, the Muslin Brothers have developed a giant wardrobe with various textiles and fabrics, and visitors will become part of the Fashion Island by wearing items. Graphic designers Guy Saggee and Michal Sahar will be producing a daily Jerusalem Design Week newspaper from the Visual Communication Island, with a variety of design collaborators and production techniques. Exploring resource scarcity, the Product Design Island by Itay Ohaly will entail designers using what is at hand to fill the space over the course of the week, which will culminate in an auction.
The second part of the main exhibition entails the International Teams Programme of collaborations between Israeli and international designers. These include Israeli-Druze product designer Rami Tareef and Netherlands-based designer Maurizio Montalti developing a project that explores the concept of borders; as well as Israeli interactive designer Matan Stauber’s interactive community interface made with illustrators Yaniv Torem (Israel) and Bee Grandinetti (Brasil). A collective of some 27 designers of various discplines and nationalities, the Fictional Collective’s installation represents their ethos as a networked island. The ephemerality of news in a networked world is explored by Israeli curator, interior and product designer Erez Nevi and French graphic and product designer Marlene Huissoud. Drawing attention to the Larsen C iceberg, is Israeli ceramicist and curator Jonathan Hopp, and Danish information and graphic designer Peter Orntoft.
Students from Israel’s top design schools will show their work at the Nature Museum. The annual Local History exhibition will this year celebrate curator Izika Gaon (1938-1997).