The Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem, has been invited to be part of a select group of just 14 academies from around the world that will be exhibiting work at the 4th International Festival of Design, in Lodz, Poland, between the October 14-31 this year.
Each year at the festival, international artists and designers come together to present their work and participate in a forum in which ideas are exchanged about the cutting-edge of design. An integral part of the festival is the Review of Polish and Foreign Art Schools. The review involves a select group of exceptional international arts and design academies that are invited to exhibit their output and establish co-operation between schools, lecturers and students. Competition for exhibition space is fierce.
Academies apply to be part of the review and the organizers choose to invite those who they consider have submitted the best proposals and work.
This year, Bezalel joins academies from Europe, Asia and the Far East, and will be exhibiting work by students and graduates from its department of Industrial design. The exhibition is called "From Material to Object". It includes final year students' work, plus work from a recent project inspired by Bezalel's proximity to the unique environment of the Dead Sea.
That project, nicknamed “Low Tech on the lowest place on earth”, encouraged students and lecturers to set aside the high technology of their usual work and use local technology and materials. This approach brought them in touch with the history and the resources of the locality in which they work, built upon their improvisation and resourcefulness, and highlighted the design values in each one of us.
One of the central parts of the project was a workshop in which students were challenged to build stools using a variety of local materials. Each student interpreted the "stool" concept in their own way, to create a unique object. The finished work was subsequently displayed at the Israel Museum, among other places, where it was greeted with great interest.
This selection of Bezalel's work is being curated by Omri Ben Artzi, who graduated from the Academy in 2009. "I'm delighted to be working with the Bezalel Academy to bring our best design talent to this wonderful festival. It's a great opportunity to show the design world the depth of talent, innovation and imagination that Bezalel produces," he said.
Liv Sperber, Director of International Affairs and Resource Development at Bezalel added: "This is a significant invitation for Bezalel. At the festival we will take our place amongst an international group of design academies, and we will showcase our output to leading figures in the design world.
"Bezalel's involvement in this year's festival is a testament to the quality of the work that our industrial design department produces, and it reinforces the academy's status as one of the leading institutions of its kind in the world. We are proud to be invited and we are excited to come to Lodz and participate in this important exhibition," she said.
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