Highlights from Jerusalem Design Week 2018


Transforming physical spaces throughout the city into a world of stimulating and thought-provoking design, the 8th annual Jerusalem Design Week 2018, organized by the Design Center of Jerusalem, showcases dozens of exhibitions, installations, film screenings, live performances, and visual experiences by more than 150 Israeli and international designers working along the 2018 theme of “Conserve.” Curated by Tal Erez (designer, researcher and curator) and Anat Safran (designer, curator and artistic director), the theme of the Jerusalem Design Festival 2018 re-examines the idea of conservation and conservatism and the role design plays therein through the prisms of society, environment and culture.

Jerusalem Design Week 2018 explores the idea of conservation and the ideology of conservatism
Jerusalem Design Week 2018 explores the idea of conservation and the ideology of conservatism

Jerusalem Design Week 2018: Conservatism as an Ideology

The festival will present three recurring subcategories: The Library (embodying the ideas of conservation and culture), The Market (examining the relationship between conservation and society) and The Garden (focusing on conservation and environment). “The theme emerged from a growing feeling that on one hand we are increasingly uncertain about our influence on the future, and on the other, in all facets of life, find more and more comfort in the persistence of the past. The obvious disciplinary manifestations of this is conservation as a mechanism and conservatism as an ideology,” says Tal Erez, adding, “However, when we broke those terms down to see how they can relate to design and function as a brief, we understood that more often than not, conserving — or prolonging the past — is one of the more radical actions we take. That, we felt, was already an interesting starting point for a design week.”

Highlights from Jerusalem Design Week 2018

The Human Conservation Project, the main exhibition of the Jerusalem Design Week 2018, will explore the human effort to conserve its own existence, both as a cultural and biological endeavour. Taking place in the historic Bezek Building, the project will analyze the mechanisms we install to uphold and prolong our physical existence, memory and identity during and after our lifetime. The International Teams Program pairs Israeli and International designers to create five new projects under the themes of Mind, Body, Us, Collective Mind and Collective Body. Also part of the main exhibition is The Graham Project, which re-designs the human body to withstand car-crashes better, acting as a catalyst for conservations and educational tool showing us what we might look like if we were built to survive on our roads and a reminder of just how vulnerable our bodies are when speed and impact forces are at play.

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Jerusalem Design Week 2018 explores the idea of conservation and the ideology of conservatism
Jerusalem Design Week 2018 explores the idea of conservation and the ideology of conservatism: The Graham Project

“Salt Repast,” a live Performance by Michal Evyatar and Carmel Bar on opening night, June 7, in the Garden of Hansen House, featuring fifteen tons of salt that will be formed into a white archaeological site and embedded culinary ingredients will be chiseled out throughout the night by performers. “Salt Repast” chronologically exploring recipes from the Mediterranean and food conservation culture from Ancient Roman times to today.

Flag Exhibition – An exhibition at the Alliance House that seeks to reevaluate the role and meaning of Israel’s flag in 2018, through the work of Israeli artists who raise questions about the original depiction of the flag after seven decades. The exhibition invites us to examine current issues in the face of past values. Each flag carries importance in itself and together the flags produce a relevant and fresh statement about Israel. Each flag is inspired by either the concept of future, independence, heroism, war, peace, democracy, brotherhood and culture.

“What would you choose to preserve in Jerusalem?”

Curated and produced by three young designers Shir Senior, Amir Argov and Yiftah Gazit, the “Pro Jerusalem Society (PJS) – 100 Years of Preservation Exhibition” explores the establishment of The Pro Jerusalem Society by the first British Governor of Jerusalem in 1918. The society created an urban preservation plan representative of all religions in the city, artists, planners, government officials and citizens. During its four years of existence, it shaped the city of Jerusalem as we know it today. The historical exhibition reveals an unfamiliar chapter in the history of Jerusalem, and offers a new look at the city’s next 100, identifying Jerusalem personalities with the question: “What would you choose to preserve in Jerusalem?”. The answers will accumulate to a wide knowledge base on the views of Jerusalemites on their city. The exhibition opened at the Hansen House on June 7.

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The Future Rooms: Five leading design academies will create unique spaces at Hansen House exploring the future of design, including Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Art’s Fashion Department; HIT’s Industrial Designer Department; the WIZO – Haifa Graphic Design Department, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design’s Fashion & Jewelry department; and Muthesius University of Art and Design Industrial Design Kiel, Germany.

Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design Exhibition: A formerly undisclosed building on the Hansen House grounds will be revealed for the first time to host an exhibition curated by the students of the Academy’s Design Masters Program, led by Maya Dvash (Chief Curator of Design Museum Holon).

The Garden Exhibition: Held in the former laundry quarters of Hansen House, the exhibition will explore design’s relationship with nature. Dutch designer Diana Scherer will present her unique process of “grass weaving,” as part of her Jerusalem residency program and artist Maya Ben David will present a series of Ikebana-inspired floral arrangements that combine 3D scanning and flower printing, exposing and exploring how natural materials can be conserved and infused with modern technology into distinct design pieces.

Jerusalem Design Week 2018: Crafting Contemporary Design

As part of the Jerusalem Design Week’s Small Business Program, nine young Jerusalem-based designers will be paired with expert Jerusalem artisans of old-world crafts to produce contemporary products that will be exclusively sold at the festival, including industrial designer Bar Horowitz’s “Blind Brooms” project cooperation with the broom factory of the Arab Blind Association created aroma diffusers. The unique collaboration will include the creation of brooms made of natural fibers with layers of scent from natural ingredients and which will be used to benefit those organization members, and will be displayed at Hansen House from opening night.

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Taking place between Bezek Building and Hansen House, “Galit Gaon’s Salon,”featuring the director of the program for curatorial studies in design at Shenkar hosting designers, curators and artists for two days of open meetings and discussions. Talks will revolve around the design of healthy and unhealthy creations; about raw materials, thoughts, sketches and errors; about the way in which we look backwards while we are moving forward; talks about time and place, about the choice to remember and the right to forget. The discussions will be held throughout the Jerusalem Design Week and will include experts, guests and participating designers, who respond to the multitude of projects being presented during the 2018 Jerusalem Design Week.

Jerusalem Design Week is underway between June 7-14 at Hansen House, a former Ottoman leper hospital transformed into Jerusalem’s leading contemporary art space, the historic Bezek Building, The Jerusalem Theatre and Alliance House.


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