Design Identities

The Jerusalem Multicultural Design Guide highlights the fact that no other city in the world has such a cosmopolitan variety of building styles and design features. Different nationalities, cultures, religious and ethnic groups have built Jerusalem for generations, and their design identities are engraved on the city’s stone walls. The grammar of Jerusalem’s rich visual language is composed of numerous details. Just as sentences are made up of words, so the city’s built heritage is composed of its functional, structural and ornamental details, as well as its religious traditions and ways of life.

The Multicultural Design Guide encompasses over hundreds of entries, with over 3,000 illustrations. Three sections are dedicated to ethnic-religious design identities – one to Jewish Design Identities, one to Christian Design Identities and one to Muslim Design Identities. The fourth section relates to 20th Century Modern Design Identities.

The illustrated Guide draws on Jerusalem’s contemporary, multicultural mundane scene, which is a living museum, one whose detailed contents are familiar only to few. Many of the city’s unique design components are anonymous, but deserving of be discovered, exposed, elaborated and explained. The Guide thus directs the untrained eye to look, understand and appreciate the many interesting details which hide in Jerusalem’s day-to-day urban chaos. The more one notices and appreciates the numerous features in the city’s fabric, the more Jerusalem’s unique character and beauty becomes apparent.

Jerusalem’s design vocabulary consists of two basic components. One facet is its functional and ornamental features; the other, design motifs that symbolize religious beliefs, ethnic traditions and changing trends of design and lifestyles. The motto “God is in the Details” derives from an idiom attributed to architect Mies Van Der Rohe, which implies that the quality and beauty of any type of product depends, ultimately, on the perfection of its details.