‘Islands’ of ideas at Jerusalem Design Week
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‘Islands’ of ideas at Jerusalem Design Week

Exhibits of Israeli and international designers will be on display June 8-15 at locations throughout the capital

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

A reverse Lego system created by Ronen Bavli of Studio Magenta for the sixth Jerusalem Design Week. (Courtesy Lee Zakai)
A reverse Lego system created by Ronen Bavli of Studio Magenta for the sixth Jerusalem Design Week. (Courtesy Lee Zakai)

The sixth annual Jerusalem Design Week opens June 8, bringing contemporary Israeli and international design to several locations around the Talbieh neighborhood of the city.

The week is the culmination of work taking place all year long at Hansen House, the former historic leper colony turned into a center for design, media and technology. This year brings the event to five locations, with exhibits created by 120 designers, including 25 international designers. It drew an unprecedented 10,000 visitors last year.

“It’s really a platform for new design and projects,” said Anat Safran, the event’s artistic director.

Besides the Hansen House in Talbieh, exhibits will be on display at the nearby Natural History Museum and the long-empty Bezeq telephone company offices as well as at businesses on nearby Aza Street.

“It’s for wide swaths of the public, and also to promote Israeli design,” added curator Tal Erez.

Anat Safran, Ayelet Dror and Tal Erez, the artistic director, producer and curator of Jerusalem Design Week, June 8-15, 2017 (Courtesy Itai Banit)
Anat Safran, Ayelet Dror and Tal Erez, the artistic director, producer and curator of Jerusalem Design Week. (Courtesy Itai Banit)

This year’s theme focuses on designers in the age of information and how it affects daily lives. Several “islands” have been created to reflect on the tendency of nations, communities and individuals to look inward, said Safran.

There’s an island of fashion, visual communication and product design at the Bezeq building, led by the Muslin Brothers, an avant grade fashion collective that will create a giant wardrobe of clothing for visitors to wear while exploring the exhibition.

At the visual communication island, graphic designers Guy Saggee and Michal Sahar will transform one of the industrial spaces into a news desk and newspaper, designed and printed each day with a changing team of designers.

The product design island explores the limited resources designers have to use, and designers will take turns creating new products, with a final public auction selling the items produced.

There’s also an international teams program, with pairs of Israeli and international designers working together on an exchange of ideas over recent months and during Design Week.

Some of them will exhibit their joint works in the island of local history at Hansen House, in an exhibition created by designers as a response to five iconic exhibits at the Israel Museum.

One of the joint exhibits created by Israeli and international designers for Jerusalem Design Week; a carpet made of crayons (Courtesy Boudewijn Bollmann)
A carpet made of crayons, one of the joint exhibits created by Israeli and international designers for Jerusalem Design Week. (Courtesy Boudewijn Bollmann)

Hansen House will also host a pop-up store of designers’ works, creating a hub for visitors and a connection between the conceptual and actual products created for real-life use.

Over on Aza Street, a short walk from the Talbieh neighborhood where most of the design islands are located, eight local designers from illustration, industrial design, ceramics, glass, textiles and fashion have teamed up with half a dozen local businesses to change and redesign their appearances for the week.

The Design Week launch takes place on Thursday, June 8, at 7:30 p.m. until 11 p.m., with opening of exhibitions, street performances, music and live shows on Chopin Street, where the Bezeq House is located. There will be a children’s “island” opened on Saturday, June 10 at Hansen House with activities for the whole family.

June 8-15, 12 p.m.-10 p.m., Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

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