Ancient city. Contemporary design practice. Jerusalem’s inaugural week-long design festival foregrounds once more Israel’s conceptually confident and steadily growing design scene.
Everyone’s doing it. As design as a recognisable commercial and cultural activity continues to grow globally, eminently marketable and endlessly consumable, city after city seems to be launching a design week. Jerusalem is no exception. 25 November to 4 December sees the first Design Week in Jerusalem (with its interesting syntax), organised by the Jerusalem Center for Design, which features the types of events you’d expect from such a festival: a conference, an exhibition, a design competition and, naturally, the obligatory closing party.
Curated by Israeli product designer Tal Gur, known best for his lighting designs in plastic, and conceived by young Israeli designer David Keller (both of whom are graduates of Jerusalem’s respected Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design), ‘Time 02’ is a group show that takes as its conceptual starting point the culturally rich, but politically complex, city in which it appears. Located in the basement of the former 19th-century Hansen Hospital, which was established to treat lepers, a different kind of support is at work here: the exhibition offers a platform to graduates of the country’s various design departments.