Flowing; No Man Is An Island: Jerusalem Design Week

By Jo Phillips

No man is an island. We can’t thrive when we isolate ourselves from others.

‘Islands’ – This is the theme this year for Jerusalem Design Week. How topical? How do we respond to global shifts towards inward looking nations?

Well, this year, the design week is an exploration of design as a bridge between social, political and cultural boundaries.

This is the 6th annual Jerusalem Design Week. Last year, there was an unprecedented 10,000 visitors, and this year looks to break that record. This time, there are more than 100 designers including 25 international designers. As is common for a design week, the events are dispersed throughout the city, meandering around, interjecting important innovation through the character of the historic capital.

Artistic Director of the week, Anat Safran suggests that their goal is to create a multi-channel platform for designers from all disciplines to express their creativity by embracing the power of design to transcend international borders.

What’s on?

One of the main exhibitions is the ‘Design Arenas’ (Themed Islands)

Part of the main exhibition at the Telephone Exchange Building, three prominent Israeli deisgners are overseeing the themed islands – Fashion, Visual Communication and Product Design. The layout places the designers at the head of their respective programmes, allowing them to create conceptual yet working spaces of production.


For the Fashion Island, avant-garde Tel Aviv based fashion collective the Muslim Brothers are showing a giant wardrobe containing various pieces of clothing, each made of different fabrics and textiles which visitors will be able to wear as they walk around the exhibition. In this way, the audience are incorporated into the artwork and function as another element on display.

Product Design Island Demo_opt

Led by two of Israel’s leading graphic designers, Guy Saggee and Michal Sahar, the Visual Communication Island will transform an industrial space into a real time news desk. They will collect daily design week info and compile it into a newspaper, designed and printed on site. At the end of the week, the issues will be combined and will function as the yearly catalogue of the week.

Visual Communication Island Guy Saggee- Image Credit Jerusalem Design Week_opt

The Product Design Island is spear-headed by Itay Ohaly who explores the notion of the lonely island. In this way, designers must work with very limited resources to create. At the end of the week there will be a public auction, where all the items created on the island will be sold off.

Other exciting exhibitions include The International Teams Programme, the Academies Island, the Local History Programme.

Jerusalem Design Week runs from the 8th of June until the 15th of June.

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