Designers in conflict | Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem

Designers in conflict

Total Hours
Semester B
Course Day
Time 12:30 - 14:00

Design in general, and visual communication design in particular, is a field with a split personality, subject to constant tension between loyalty to the client and loyalty to the designer's self-expression as an independent creator. The poster, the book, the app and the clip are social phenomena, products of a process that takes place between people, the tip of an iceberg of complex and charged human relationships, loaded with interests, passions, worldviews and creativity. In the friction created between organizations that have economic interests and value choices and between individuals with social and political sensitivities and artistic ambitions, the ethical questions that trouble designers are born.

We are in the midst of a culture war. Within Israeli society there is a deep disagreement about the values, character and vision of the Jewish-democratic state. Art, design and communication are the stage on which and through which the poignant debate is conducted. It seems that the main art and design schools in Israel have answers mainly from one side...

The question is what is our role in this conflict? Are we required to be spokespeople for others or rather to express our own position and taste? And if we express our opinion - what in the curriculum of the art and design schools gives us the tools to formulate a position on moral and political issues? What do we really know about international relations, religion, economy, welfare, education or the environment? Do we form our opinion Through in-depth study, discussion and the weighing of alternatives, or do we only feed on one position and hardly ever imagine that it is possible to think otherwise?

Ethics is the consideration of the effect of certain actions on people and the world. The purpose of the course is to learn how our design products and those of others affect people's lives - their worldview, their self-image and their personal and political choices. Through watching films, analyzing design products, talking with guest creators, reading articles and discussing in class, we will find out what is the connection between aesthetics and ethics; What are the ethical dilemmas involved in the act of design and what are the possible solutions; What are the values on which we base our interpretation and judgement of a text, an image or a product and above all - where did we draw these values ??from, and are we brave enough to challenge them.