Jerusalem Design Week 2023 examines real or imagined ‘Lies and Falsehoods’ in design

25 May 2023

Jerusalem Design Week returns for its 12th edition from 22nd–29th June 2023 at the historic Hansen House Center for Design, Media and Technology.

Jerusalem Design Week 2023 examines real or imagined ‘Lies and Falsehoods’ in design

Jerusalem Design Week returns for its 12th edition from 22nd–29th June 2023 at the historic Hansen House Center for Design, Media and Technology. The flagship event of Hansen House, and Israel’s leading design event, Jerusalem Design Week 2023 will build on its previous successful editions. Showcasing a wide range of unique exhibitions, installations, and projects, the event welcomes the participation of both Israeli and international designers.

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JDW 2023 theme is “Lies and Falsehoods”

Even if lies and falsehoods have accompanied human civilization since time immemorial, it seems today they are proliferating at unprecedented levels. The digital age brought with it a comprehensive challenge to the concepts of trust, authenticity, and truth. Fake news, deep fake videos, false images, and disinformation have become commonplace phenomena. And while a significant part of this world of lies and illusion exists in the digital realm, it is projected from the screen outwards. The post-truth era has conquered both digital and analogue reality. Not only has the search for truth been abandoned, it feels that even if we find it, we are no longer sure of its worth. Illusions, on the other hand, prove their financial, social, and political efficiency each day anew.

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The designer’s work oscillates between reality and fiction. On the one hand, there is the constant expectation to produce a dazzling spectacle, the longing for beauty, and the impetus to generate a desire to maximize profits. On the other hand, current design practices have been focusing more and more on establishing transparency, building trust, and taking responsibility.

Jerusalem Design Week 2023 examines real or imagined ‘Lies and Falsehoods’ in design
Photo credit: Jerusalem Design Week

The 2023 Jerusalem Design Week sets out to examine and celebrate the role of the designer in these contexts. It seeks to do so through works that explore the importance of illusion—that conceals and deceives, creating parallel realities—alongside works that deal with disclosure and honesty, examining the possibility of truth and authenticity, despite the abundance of lies and falsehoods.

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For one week, the interior and exterior spaces of Hansen House will be filled with dozens of installations, performances, shows, exhibitions, and projects, from all design disciplines—most on display for the first time. Among them, international and local design and architecture groups will create captivating immersive spaces: HQ Architects will cast an imposing and deceptive shadow on the façade of Hansen House; Barcelona-based MEATS ELISAVA research group will take over the new hospice courtyard, with light projections and thick fog creating a space that wavers between tangibility and immateriality; Istanbul-based group Nohlab will use animation and sound to transform the attic into a parallel world; textile designer Tamar Nix will fill another space with the softness of clouds using textile; and Studio Ma will invite visitors to linger in a synthetic garden of disrupted urban nature in the patio. Fashion label, HOLYLAND CIVILIANS, will lead an edgy production installation using a performative print workshop, where they will offer t-shirts for their devotees to purchase; photographer Ella Barak and illustrator Nadav Machete’s automatic photography set, Photo Barak, will offer visitors the opportunity to have their photo taken as a souvenir of the impending end of the world; and an avenue of prophets and prophecy generator booths will be set up in the courtyard, offering visitors truths and lies about their past and divined future.

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Once again, JDW features unique exhibitions and collaborations between creatives, cultural institutions, and bodies of knowledge. Designer Shahar Kedem leads a collaboration with the Museum of Natural History in Jerusalem, curating an exhibition where local creatives respond to the practice of taxidermy, domesticated nature, and the complex human-nature relationship. Dr Johnathan Ventura and Galit Shvo curate an exhibition that focuses on conscripted design, exposing how objects and consumer goods serve as mechanisms for propagating social messages. Graphic design group TYPOMANIA will bring together designers from all over the world in an exhibition of posters that respond to the question of truths and lies by using the colours black and white. The academies and research spaces of Hansen House will operate in the format of seductive window displays, and more exhibitions and events throughout the premises will address manipulations and magic tricks in design, propaganda, human-machine, and more. 

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This year, the “Matchmaker” project will focus on Jerusalemite urban myths, under the direction of the new matchmakers, Noa Rich and Yohai Alush. The project will connect Jerusalem-based designers, tour guides, and storytellers, who will respond together to iconic buildings throughout the city, creating new and surprising souvenirs for sites, people, and the stories they hold.

Each year, JDW focuses on commissioning and supporting new works and acquiring the public resources needed to support non-commercial design projects. The projects detailed here are just a few of a wide range of projects, installations, exhibitions, and performances that comprise the mega-exhibition that is Jerusalem Design Week.

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Official Name: Jerusalem Design Week

2023 Jerusalem Design Week Team 

General and content directors: Smadar Tsook and Ran Wolf, Ran Wolf Company  

Curators: Dana Benshalom, Sonja Olitsky, and Dr. Jeremy Fogel

Dates: 22nd–29th June 2023

Where: Hansen House, 14 Gedalyahu Alon St, Jerusalem, Israel

Opening Times:

  • Thursday 22nd June: 7:30 PM - 11 PM
  • Friday 23rd June: 10 AM - 4 PM 
  • Saturday 24th June: 10 AM - 11 PM  
  • Sunday - Thursday 25-29th June: 4 PM - 11 PM
  • Free Entry