The Best Art to See at Jerusalem Design Week

Photos: Dor Kedmi

New and innovate design takes center stage in one of the world's oldest cities. 

Though it’s known as a perennial landmark of ancient splendor, this week Jerusalem will transform into a center of contemporary beauty when the seventh annual Jerusalem Design Week touches down in spaces throughout the city. A non-commercial event showcasing more than 150 leading Israeli and international designers, it’s host to dozens of exhibitions, installations, live performances and other visual experiences all taking place amidst four main venues, including the Hansen House, a former leper hospital from the 19th century which has been turned into Jerusalem’s preeminent center for design, media and technology.

The theme of this year’s fair is one appropriate to its setting: “Conserve.” Artists have been asked to consider conservation and conservatism not as static concepts centered around merely preserving the past, but as ways to actively engage with it, taking ideas from throughout history and finding new ways to incorporate them in the present. Projects on display will thus fall under one of three organizing categories: The Library, focused on ideas of conservation and culture; The Market, spotlighting the relationship between conservation and society; and The Garden, focused on conservation and the environment. Among the diverse works on display, many of which engage with technology as well, highlights include Commonplace Studio’s A Cabinet of Wonders, an interactive “information machine"; Sophie de Oliveira Barata’s “Alternative Limb,” exploring the use of prosthetics as stylized art pieces; Dutch designer Diane Scherer’s exhibition of her “grass weaving” process; Maya Ben David’s Ikebana-inspired floral arrangements made using 3D-printing; and much more. (June 7-14; jdw.co.il )