Light and dark

Truth and lies get creative treatment at Jerusalem Design Week

Former leper hospital Hansen House shows off recent renovation and works of 170 designers and architects at 12th annual event

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

From the upcoming 12th Hansen House Design Week in Jerusalem, June 22-29, 2023, by Esmee Willemen. (Courtesy: PR)
From the upcoming 12th Hansen House Design Week in Jerusalem, June 22-29, 2023, by Esmee Willemen. (Courtesy: PR)

Jerusalem’s Hansen House will open its 12th Design Week this weekend, with the theme of “Lies and Falsehoods” in arts and culture, politics and design.

“The role of design in fake news, deep fake, fake images and disinformation is real, it’s the place of the designer to fix things,” said Ran Wolf, Hansen House’s director.

To that end, this year’s Design Week will engage in examining and celebrating the role of the designer through works that research the importance of illusions, pieces that hide and conceal and offer opportunities to find truth and authenticity, said Wolf.

Some 170 designers will participate in this year’s show, which is running from June 22 to June 29, with most of the works commissioned specifically for Design Week.

“They’ve worked six to nine months on their Design Week exhibits and that’s part of the excitement,” said Wolf.

A visiting design group from Barcelona will screen shows of light and darkness in the Hansen yard; a Turkish design group is bringing sound and animation to the roof; an Israeli textile designer will fill one of the Hansen spaces with soft cloudlike fabric while another group is creating a synthetic urban garden.

Maya Kaplan’s ‘Bound to Move’ for the upcoming 12th Hansen House Design Week in Jerusalem, June 22-29, 2023. (Courtesy: PR)

Most of the action takes place at Hansen House, the former leper hospital and landmarked complex in Jerusalem’s German Colony neighborhood, which recently underwent a renovation, with other events taking place at the Caron Theater, the nearby Nature Museum, and several other spaces downtown.

“It’s an event that makes you look at Jerusalem differently,” said Wolf, adding that the audience often comes from Jerusalem and outside the city, with a mixed crowd of East and West Jerusalemites, including Arabs and Jews, religious and secular.

“We’re also different from other Design Weeks,” added Wolf. “We’re less commercial, we’re not furniture stores and kitchen design, it’s by us and it’s all public. The designers get paid and entrance is free and we want to protect that.”

For more information and a detailed schedule, go to the Hansen Design Week website.

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