Israel abounds with creativity that is a combination of thinking outside the box, chutzpah and daring to break boundaries and the status quo. Many young hopefuls can choose out of a range of design schools, some of which have an excellent international reputation. These school shave produced Israeli designers of world renown, such as Ron Arad, Ezri Tarazi, Alber Elbaz, Dorin Frankfurt, Moshe Gershoni and many others. Alongside the leading academic institutions there are also smaller institutes that offer diploma studies and courses on design. Most institutions offer internships and studies in industrial design, fashion, architecture, interior design, product design, jewelry and more. We have chosen to focus on three academic institutions that are located in three major cities in Israel: the Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem, WIZO in Haifa and Shenkar College in Ramat Gan. Alongside these there is also the Holon Institute of Technology, which is affiliated with the Design Museum Holon:
Bezalel is one of the oldest academic institutions in Israel, founded in 1906 and is considered the country’s national design and art institution. Located in Jerusalem on Mount Scopus, it has more than 1,500 students in various departments. Bezalel has an international reputation and many of its graduates from the various design and art departments have become leaders in their field. Besides undergraduate degrees, Bezalel also offers advanced degrees that are intended to turn students into agents of change in the world through the use of design tools. In the best of tradition in the world, Bezalel also holds alumni’s exhibitions that are open to the general public who are invited to see the future generation of designers, trends in design and contemporary solutions to existing problems. Famous Bezalel graduates include: designer Ron Arad, lighting designer Ayala Serfaty, Yael Mer and Shay Alkalay.
The Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, was founded in 1970 and is located in Ramat Gan. The wish of the institution is to train its graduates to be not only good designers but also to offer unique technological solutions. The fusion of engineering studies with design and art allow Shenkar students to combine and advance modern design concepts with trailblazing technologies. Shenkar has approximately 2,400 students in its various faculties of design and engineering, including textiles, fashion, jewels, industrial design and others. In 2010, Fashionista Magazine ranked the school in 15th place out of the list of “the world’s 50 best fashion schools”. One of the college’s most famous graduates is fashion designer Alber Elbaz, the art manager of the Lanvin fashion house since 2001.
WIZO Haifa Academy of Design and Education
WIZO Haifa, established in 1971, aims at training its graduates to work in design professions while combining education study disciplines. The school is located in the German Colony in Haifa, by the Bahai Gardens, and offers undergraduate degrees in visual communications, architecture, photography, media and cinematography, fashion design and business management. The institution is planning to launch a unique graduate degree program called education in design. The distinguishing feature of the institution is not just training graduates for a professional life but also training them as agents of change; teacher-designers or designer teachers. As the president of the institution, Prof. David Alexander, calls them, graduates are “cultural architects” who are committed to change both in their practice and community life.