To understand the world of design in Israel, you have to look at it from the perspective of the country and of design within the business world. Design in the process of product development and manufacturing has become significant. Many countries understand that it is not enough for the customer that a product is functional and easy to operate, but that it also needs to be well designed, to look good in its environment and to transmit the customer’s / user’s values as well. Israel was founded with efforts being concentrated on defense, social and economic capabilities. Design had no room or privilege within the process of founding the state; architecture, agricultural and industrial products all served a single purpose, serving the country and the public quickly and easily. Although in 1967 there was the first official a design week and there has been design activity throughout the years, these gained no permanent standing in Israeli consciousness. There are however many products despite the lack of government support that have being driven by Israeli design effortsthat have even included an automobile manufactured in Israel – the Susita.
From the 1970s, the influence of design crossed over to academic institutions. Bezalel in Jerusalem, Shenkar in Ramat Gan, and the Holon Institute of Technology in Holon were and continue to be the leading institutions for design studies. Despite design efforts within the academic sector has existed over the years, Israel’s design ideas and efforts had no great influence and most design plans / styles were imported or influenced by what was happening in other parts of the world. However in recent years, the flow of design has become two-way, and Israel not only exports designer products but also imports knowledge and talent. Design students and lecturers are part of an academic lineup of many institutions in the world with Israeli designers are now participating in and winning international competitions, appear in design magazines and books and are employed by international companies. In 2014, Israel was chosen to be the host country for the design exhibition in Barcelona titled “Thinking outside the box – design from Israel”.
In Israel today, you can find modern design galleries, design fairs and even a design museum, the first in Israel that is located in the town of Holon. During the year, there are diverse design exhibitions, which include the design month (the month varies and should be verified before planning any visits), during which there are exhibitions, study days, visits, retrospectives for leading designers and many other activities. The widespread design activity today does not stop in the private sector but has finally returned to the public sector. Today, the Ministry of Economics has launched a program to encourage industrial design in Israel. These programs are aimed at encouraging local industry to employ designers by giving scholarships, support tracks for development and implementation of design ideas, programs for increasing awareness of the importance of design in industry and awarding prizes to industrial designers.
A number of international designers whose designs may be found in museums and galleries have hailed from Israel and they are represented by many businesses. Famous Israeli designers include international designer and architect Ron Arad, who has won, among other achievements, honorable membership of the Royal Society of Arts in Great Britain, and has been awarded the London Design Medal. Ayala Serfaty, one of the most successful Israeli product designers, whose designs are regularly featured in s in Miami, New York and Milan has starred in exhibitions worldwide. Ayala Serfaty set up Aqua Creations, a prestigious lamp and furniture design brand that is recognized the world ove.. Yael Mer and Shay Alkalay have enjoyed are considered meteoric success, and who’s design work is supported by the British furniture design company Established & Sons., In 2009, the highly regarded magazines Wallpaper and NYTimes Style Magazine crowned them “Designers of the Future 2009”.