The Israeli Pavilion brings no exhibition to the London Design Biennale 2018

The Israeli Pavilion brings no exhibition to the London Design Biennale 2018


Israel turns their gallery into rapid-response design studio, Exposed Nerves, in an intensive cross-disciplinary exploration into how their country’s everyday life influences creative output.


Somerset House, London

4th – 23rd September 2018

Exposed Nerves at The London Design Biennale, 2018 (Photography by Ed Reeve)

Exposed Nerves at The London Design Biennale, 2018 (Photography by Ed Reeve)

September 2018: Rather than bring an installation or pre-planned exhibition to the London Design Biennale 2018, Israel will present the act of designing itself.


In answer to this year’s London Design Biennale theme, Emotional States, the Israeli Pavilion’s Exposed Nerves will be a multidisciplinary rapid-response design studio whose reflective design routine highlights identity, cultural and social issues. The studio will feature four creators at any given time, with the creative process as well as the discussions, sketches, and conclusions all on display to the public.


Led by Hila Shaltieli and managed by a team of curators from Israel’s top design institutions, Shenkar College and The Israel Museum. “The installation puts both the creators and the audience in an ever-changing emotional state because of the fragility and the delicacy of the meeting point,” says the curator Hila Shaltieli, Professor at Shenkar College, Israel. “Everyday life in Israel is tough and hectic,” she adds. “The daily routine is characterised by a lack of security, both mental and physical. There are ongoing emotional and deeply rooted political, ideological, and theological disagreements and controversies between the various groups comprising Israeli society. All of these crash into the daily routine and shake it to its core.”


This is the context in which Israeli designers create – Shaltieli continues “from the ability to work fast, to improvise, and to jump from one thing to another all the way to skipping the details and leaving work sometimes unfinished.” It therefore seemed natural to bring an evolving exhibition rather than a premeditated one. “We asked to bring the live centre of design-making to the Biennale – because this morning’s results might be irrelevant by lunchtime.”


It is due to this lacked sense of stability that the Israeli curatorial team decided to look at the design process rather than final output for 2018 pavilion. No Tradition = Agility. No Heritage = Innovation. No Set Establishment = Formation. No Set Exhibition = Process.


Exposed Nerves is spread across two rooms, The Studio, where the creators will conduct their work and The Gallery which presents the work from the previous week. Visitors will be invited to witness the evolving exhibition in various stages of completion, whilst the changing programme of multi-discipline designers question identity, cultural and social matters in real time. The Israeli Pavilion shows the emotional and professional sides of the design process and to be part of a much wider conversation about Israeli culture; offers unique, alternating and perhaps conflicting creative reactions.


Split into three weeks the gallery will host four new creators alongside two curators from different fields such as industrial and graphic design, fashion design, art, architecture, and illustration. Week 1 begins with: Nelly Agassi, a Chicago-based artist; Nadav Barken, designer and lecturer; Asaf Hanuka, a best-selling Tel Aviv-based illustrator and comic and Philipp Thomanek, architect and lecturer at Shenkar College. Week 2: David Amar, an acclaimed London-based product designer; Dekel Bobrov, a visual communications designer and Head of Graphic Design Studies at Shenkar College; Gali Cnaani, a multi-award-winning textile designer, and Pini Leibovich, a multi-award-winning industrial designer. Week 3: Maya Arazi, a Tel-Aviv based fashion designer and fashion lecturer at Shenkar College; Rami Tareef, an award-winning product designer who won Israeli’s Ministry of Culture Prize for Product Design in 2017, Danielle Weinberg, a Tel Aviv-based multi-discipline visual communications designer and Alon Meron, a London based Product Designer.


The studio will have a weekly routine based on the same structure – but taking its lead from each team’s creative process and alternating chemistry. Each morning begins with a meeting to reflect and digest the day’s work and news topics, before the designers start their individual work intersected with designer visits, the hanging of the daily work, and meet the designer sessions. Each Sunday they will host a weekly exhibition and a designer workshop.


Exposed Nerves explores the constant inconstant state facing modern Israel, forming an experimentation and exploration into multi-discipline design processes and how a country’s chaotic and improvisational character can affect its creative output.


Works will be continually uploaded onto the Exposed Nerves website where you can follow the creators’ progress throughout the London Design Biennale



Media Enquires

For press information please contact Jacob Peres Office: Kate Woosey,, +44 (0) 778 993 7790.


Notes to Editor  

Commissioning Bodies:

Shenkar. Engineering. Design. Art.

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem


Curator: Hila Shaltieli, (Shenkar College)

Curatorial team: Galit Gaon (Shenkar College), Sharon Weiser-Ferguson (The Israeli Museum, Jerusalem), Nurith Goshen (The Israeli Museum, Jerusalem)

Coordinator: Neta Konforti


Design team:

Week One: Asaf Hanuka (Illustrator), Nelly Agassi (Artist), Philipp Thomanek (Architect), Nadav Barkan (Visual Communication Designer)

Week Two: Gali Cnaani (Textile Designer), Dekel Bobrov (Visual Communication Designer), Pini Leibovich (Industrial Designer), David Amar (Product Designer)

Week Three: Danielle Weinberg (Visual Communications Designer), Maya Arazi (Fashion Designer), Rami Tareef (Product Designer), Alon Meron (Product Designer).  


Supporters and sponsors:

Embassy of The State of Israel to The United Kingdom

CBH | Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique

Stylus Media Group

Ariella and Dan Moskovich

Tollman’s Tel-Aviv


About London Design Biennale

The 2018 London Design Biennale is devoted to the theme, Emotional States. Taking over the entirety of Somerset House, including The Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court and River Terrace, it will explore big questions and ideas about sustainability, migration, pollution, energy, cities, and social equality. Visitors will enjoy engaging and interactive installations, innovations, artworks and proposed design solutions - all in an immersive, inspiring and entertaining tour of the world. A highlight on the global cultural calendar, the Biennale will see some of the world’s most exciting and ambitious designers, innovators and cultural bodies gather in the capital to celebrate the universal power of design and explore the role of design in our collective futures.


The London Design Biennale at Somerset House, London

4th – 23rd September

The Israeli Pavilion is situated in the West Wing Galleries, G5 and G6.



About the 2018 Israeli Pavilion: Exposed Nerves

In response to London Design Biennale overarching theme, the Israeli Pavilion will transform the gallery at Somerset House into Exposed Nerves, an active multi-disciplinary, rapid response design studio. Every week during the three-week biennale, the studio will be occupied by a different curator and 4 designers specialising in a broad range of design disciplines. The team will react to identity, social and cultural issues.


Visitors will witness a unique experience each week, whilst designers question life matters in real time. They will experience the emotional and professional sides of the design process and be part of a much wider conversation about Israeli culture.


Works will be continually uploaded onto the Exposed Nerves website where you can follow the creators’ progress throughout the London Design Biennale


To co-inside with the Israel’s Pavilion they will also be hosting Israeli architect and designer, Irma Orenstein who’s talk Story of Layers will speak about her unique design processes and how her cultural heritage has impacted the work she creates today. Thursday 13th September 2018, 4.30pm. Tickets available here.


About Shenkar College – Engineering, Design. Art.

Shenkar College - Engineering. Design. Art has established itself as one of the leading colleges in Israel. Every year, Shenkar's graduates find themselves in the forefront of research and the industry, exhibit their works, participate in competitions and win prestigious awards. Combining faculties of engineering, design and art is the basis of this institution’s unique multidisciplinary academics, allowing students and professors to combine cutting-edge technologies with contemporary design and artistic concepts. Each faculty has its own character, yet maintains fruitful collaborations with the other faculties, exposing students to a variety of disciplines and different fields of knowledge. Shenkar was founded in 1970 as the “College for Fashion and Textile Technology”, with the goal of qualifying skilled manpower for the Israeli industry, as well as providing it with advanced R&D services.

About The Israel Museum

The Israel Museum is the largest cultural institution in the State of Israel and is ranked among the world’s leading art and archaeology museums. Founded in 1965, the Museum houses encyclopaedic collections, including works dating from prehistory to the present day, in its Archaeology, Fine Arts, and Jewish Art and Life Wings, and features the most extensive holdings of biblical and Holy Land archaeology in the world. In nearly seventy years, thanks to a legacy of gifts and generous support from its circle of patrons worldwide, the Museum has built a far-ranging collection of nearly 500,000 objects, representing the full scope of world material culture.

The Exhibition Curators:


Hila Shaltieli – Shenkar College

A designer, curator, and lecturer of in the Departments of Visual Communication at Shenkar College, Shaltieli has a Master’s Degree (MFA) from Goldsmith's College in London, and a BA from the Department of Visual Communication at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. Having worked in the fields of advertising and advertising in Israel and London, she is now an independent designer and exhibition curator.  Shaltieli has curated numerous design exhibitions in Israel and internationally, including Human Touch, the Israeli Pavilion at the 2016 London Design Biennale, and her work has been shown in individual and group exhibitions in Israel and overseas.


Galit Gaon – Shenkar College

Galit Gaon has been a partner in professional circles that have been involved in developing, initiating, and promoting design projects in Israel and overseas for the past 27 years.  She serves as Head of the International Curatorial Design Program at Shenkar College, as well as a senior curator of Design, Cartoon, and Comics in the local and international arena, and a senior lecturer in various Israeli academic institutions.  She is a founder and former Chief Curator at the Design Museum, Holon, and founder, Director, and Chief Curator of the Israeli Cartoon Museum at the Mediatheque Cultural Center in Holon.


Sharon Weiser-Ferguson – The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

Sharon Weiser-Ferguson is Curator in the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Wing for Jewish Art and Life at the Israel Museum.  With BA and MA degrees in Art History from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and a diploma in Curatorial and Museum Studies from Tel Aviv University, she has worked at the Israel Museum since 2000.  With a special interest and expertise in the design of Jewish ritual objects, she has curated numerous exhibitions at the Museum, including Spiceboxes from Southern Germany: A Jewish-Christian Encounter (2004); Forging Ahead: Wolpert and Gumbel, Israeli Silversmiths for the Modern Age (2012); Pointing the Way: Women Design Ceremonial Objects (2013); New Sounds: Purim Noisemakers by Yaacov Kaufman (2017); and most recently, To Go: New Designs for Jewish Ritual Objects (2018).


Nurith Goshen – The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

Nurith Goshen is Curator of Chalcolithic and Bronze Age Periods (ca. 4500–1200 BCE) in the Bronfman Archaeology Wing of the Israel Museum.  She specializes in Bronze Age monumental architecture of the Aegean and the Levant, and in the relationship between society and material culture.  Her academic interest in materiality was manifested in the recent exhibition Ashkelon: A Retrospective which she co-curated at the Rockefeller Archaeology Museum, a satellite of the Israel Museum.  Nurith has co-authored several articles concerning ancient material culture, such as textile production tools, Middle Bronze Age wall paintings, and monumental architecture, and has also participated in archaeological excavations in Israel and Crete. 


Participating Designers and Artists


Week 1: September 2–10


Nelly Agassi – Artist


Agassi, who is based in Chicago, works in performance, installation, video, textile, and paper.  Her work addresses the idea of the body and notion of intimacy within public space in relation to architecture, engaging personal, emotional, and universal concepts. Agassi is a 2001 graduate of the MA program in Combined Media at Chelsea College of Art and Design, London.  She is the recipient of the Nathan Gottesdiener Foundation for Israeli Art Prize, and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art Award for Artistic Encouragement of the Israel Ministry of Science, Culture, and Sport.  Agassi’s work has been presented extensively throughout the world, including the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; the Milan Triennial; Poor Farm, USA; and at the Tate Modern, London.


Nadav Barkan – Designer and Lecturer


A designer, lecturer, and researcher, Barkan currently works as Principal Product Designer and Data Visualization Specialist at SimilarWeb.  Barkan’s recent work experience includes product design @BaconOppenheim for Google Trends.  In addition, he has held designer positions at Pentagram London, and was Director of Innovation at Open TLV.  Nadav is a senior lecturer at Shenkar College and is currently conducting research in design at UAL London under the guidance of Dr. Russell Bestley.  Nadav’s work has been featured in books, magazines, and blogs, including Print and Brand New, and his works have been exhibited at Hansen House, Jerusalem, and La Triennale Gallery, Milan, among others.


Asaf Hanuka – Illustrator


Hanuka is a comic artist and illustrator based in Tel Aviv.  Over the past ten years, he has documented his life in a weekly comic page called The Realist.  Three collections of his work have been published to date that have been translated into more than ten languages.  He is the recipient of several international awards, among them the 2016 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award.  He has collaborated with his brother, illustrator Tomer Hanuka, and writer Boaz Lavie, on The Divine, a graphic novel which was awarded the International Manga Award.  Asaf has also collaborated with several film directors and writers and is currently working with Roberto Saviano on his memoire about living for ten years under protection.  Asaf has been a teacher of illustration and comics at Shenkar for the past twelve years.


Philipp Thomanek – Architect


Thomanek, who lives, works, and teaches in Tel Aviv, was trained as an architect at the UdK, Berlin, and at the Architectural Association, London.  He worked for David Chipperfield Architects in London and TDB Landschaftsarchitektur in Berlin before co-founding in 2000, with Karina Tollman, k1p3 Architects in Tel Aviv.  k1p3 implements projects on multiple scales, including exhibition design, public institutions, commercial spaces, and private homes.  Since 2015, Thomanek has headed the second-year Studio Design course in Architecture and Interior Design at Shenkar College.



Week 2: September 10–17


David Amar – Product Design


David Amar is a graduate with distinction of the Industrial Design Department at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem, also receiving an MA in Product Design at the Royal College of Art, London in 2010.  In 2011, he founded the London-based David Amar Design Studio.  With a strong interest in materials, manufacturing processes, and cultural references, Amar works in various contexts, including product, interior, and exhibition design.  He was the recipient of the prestigious Clore Foundation Scholarship (2008–2010).  His work has been widely exhibited at such venues as the Aram Gallery London; Spazio Rossana Orlandi, London; Sotheby's London; Phillips, London; Fumi Gallery, London; Pavilion of Art & Design, London; and Salone Satellite, Milan.  


Dekel Bobrov – Visual Communication Designer


One of the leading graphic designers in Israel, Bobrov is the founder and co-owner of the Michal and Dekel Studio, with Michal Shapira, specializing in design for cultural institutions, publications, and the business sector.  He is a graduate of Vital–The Tel Aviv Center for Design Studies.  With some fifteen years of teaching experience, Bobrov has been one of the most influential faculty members at the Department of Visual Communication at Shenkar.  He has served as Head of the Graphic Design Studies program since 2008, and was elected Head of the Department in 2012.


Gali Cnaani – Textile Designer


Cnaani is a textile designer and artist who serves as Head of the Department of Textile Design at Shenkar College.  She has been featured in solo exhibitions at locations in Israel and internationally, including the Tel Aviv Museum of Art; Gallery Kyoto, Japan; and the Textile Museums in Augsburg and Bocholt, Germany, also participating in group shows at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, and the V&A, London.  In 1995 and 1998 she was awarded the Sharett Fund Prize, and in 2013, received the prestigious Andy Prize for Contemporary Art, as well as the Ministry of Culture and Science Design Award.  Cnaani works in a number of artistic techniques, including weaving, dyeing, felting, and printing, her work addressing such themes as dismantling and assembling, and the loaded cultural significance of industry and manual creation.


Pini LeibovichIndustrial Designer


A graduate of the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem, Leibovitch is an eminent industrial designer and educator, serving as Senior Lecturer in the Industrial Design Department at Shenkar College.  In 1997, he founded the Pini Leibovich Design Studio in Tel Aviv, which implements projects in conceptual product design and the development of commercial consumer goods.  He has been a participant in numerous solo and group exhibitions, is the recipient of several awards, and is represented in the collections of many museums.


Week 3: September 17–24


Maya Arazi – Fashion Designer


Maya Arazi is an Israeli fashion designer and senior lecturer at Shenkar College in the prestigious Fashion Department, ranked #6 among the best Fashion Design schools in the world by Business of Fashion.  A graduate of the Royal College of Art’s post-graduate Womenswear program in 1999, her professional experience includes fashion designer for Max Mara and Valentino in Italy, and head designer of Comme il Faut, the Israeli fashion brand.  In 2014 she established her own brand “Lev” (“heart” in Hebrew) which focuses on repurposing leftovers from the fashion industry and upcycling used garments.



Rami Tareef – Product Designer


A product designer and design lecturer, Tareef graduated from the Industrial Design Department of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem, and Zürich University of the Arts, as well as Bezalel's Master’s Program in Industrial Design.  His work has been awarded excellency prizes in Israel and abroad, including the 2013 Design Award in Industrial Design, and the Israel’s Ministry of Culture Prize for Product Design in 2017.  He has participated in numerous design exhibitions in Israel and internationally.  Tareef’s work challenges the borders between new and old, and tradition and technology, through varied design tools and conceptual paradigms, designing everyday products that represent the hybrid nature of multicultural contemporary life.


Danielle Weinberg – Visual Communication Designer


Danielle Weinberg has a BA degree in Visual Communication from Shenkar College, specializing in illustration, and is currently studying towards a Master’s degree in Visual Communication at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem.  Since 2009, she has worked as a freelancer in the fields of design, branding, and illustration.  Over the past few years, she has turned her independent business which was focused mainly on print, branding, and poster design for music concerts, festivals, and events, into a full-time studio implementing larger-scale projects for such companies as Google, Wix, and YouTube.  Since 2015, she has served as Head Designer for the Jerusalem Film Festival and the Israeli Pecha Kucha.  In 2016, she established her own clothing brand – SORRY – based on black and white typographic prints and geometrical illustrations which will shortly be marketed worldwide. 


Alon Meron- Product Designer


Alon Meron has a BA Design from the Bezalel Academy for Arts and Design and an MA from the Royal College of Arts.  Alon is a Tutor at the Royal College of Art in Design Products, teaching on the Design as Catalyst Platform, and on the Global Innovation Design (GID) Masters programmes. Alon regards himself a designer, a lecturer and an eternal learner. Trained as a product designer, he uses design as a tool to explore relationships with objects and environments.  To Alon, making is an important state of being, an essential part of being human. In the same way power is measured in horses and light is measured in candles, Alon’s design output is sometimes measured in manual labour; the act of making being key to the creative process.

Jacob Peres Office