Design in Israel
From the Eli Gross Archive

Design in Israel

The field of design in Israel touches all areas of society, from the daily life of the citizens to local industry. Design contains within it a variety of specializations, the main ones being product design for individuals and for industry, interior design, environmental design, textile design, jewelry design, fashion design, image design, print design and visual communication.

In Israel, the design field developed along three main axes: the first was the establishment, in the early 20th century, of institutions for the training of artists, professionals and later, industrial designers. These institutions formed the infrastructure for the academic institutions teaching design in Israel today. Concurrently, on a parallel axis, individual and family-owned manufacturers promoted local design, the latter relying on the professional knowledge, designs and traditions they had brought with them as new immigrants from their countries of origin. The third axis—the designer as manufacturer of a mass production model—dates to the mid-1950s, and with government encouragement led to the establishment of mechanical production industries, mainly in development areas.

These key axes are reflected in the National Digital Collection of Design Archives, which houses archives of designers from a variety of design fields. In each of the archives, one can find sketches, sample materials, personal, professional and business correspondence between manufacturers and suppliers, newspaper clippings, policy documents, historical photographs and recent photographs documenting the archive collection activity. The archive materials provide a unique glimpse into the work processes behind the final product and the various actors that influenced the development of the design field in Israel.