Asufa | Fancy Haggadah?! Hell, Yeah! | March 19.15

  • Unless you are Jewish, you probably didn’t even realize that Passover is just around the corner. AND, I don’t blame you!
    Ummm… Full disclosure: Passover isn’t one of my favorite holidays. However, since it first started three years ago, I’m super excited about Asufa‘s brand new (and oh so fancy) addition of the Haggadah.
    The concept is simple: each designer is given a text segment from the traditional Haggadah and is assigned to design a spread.
    What I love most about it is the fact that each year the Haggadah is filled with new designers and illustrators. And since we have lots and lots of crazy talented peeps in our tiny Israel, it feels so good to flip through the pages and find new talent.
    It’s seriously my favorite thing to do in April. I always get excited to find out who made the cut this time around and I must say that Lior Yamin, one half behind Asufa and the editor of the Haggadah, never disappoints!
    In case you are wondering, you can find out more about last year’s Haggadah, right here.
  • {Illustrations (from top to bottom) by: Ori Toor, Ovadia Benishu, Enosh Bar-Tur, Noa Kelner, Tahel Maor and Hen Macabi}

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Nirit and Avi Berman | Let’s Play! | March 5.15

  • I love it when designers don’t take themselves too seriously and from time to time like to mess around with their creations. Nirit and Avi Berman are two of these people.
    Usually, the two deal with high end jewelry and stacks of gold are their everyday reality.
    In their Disrupted Collection, Nirit and Avi took some of their classic (or should I say iconic) jewels and made them go through “forced” disruption.
    Wrinkling, pressing, cutting, stretching, and working with simple raw materials. They all created a new aesthetic and expanded the concept of beauty.
    I especially love the Spread ones. For some reason, it makes the gold look and feel more accessible and playful.
    On a side note: I wish the two would open an adult after school class, for people to come, play and have fun with piles of gold!

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Shira Keret and Itay Laniado | Wanderlust Vases | March 2.15

  • It’s no secret that I’m one of those who have a never ending wanderlust in their bones. In fact, the minute I’m returning from a trip, my mind is occupied with choosing the next destination.
    When I laid my eyes on Shira Keret and Itay Laniado‘s Scape Vases, I had the feeling that these two know exactly how it feels to have a constant wanderlust. Shira and Itay created a series of panoramic vases, where each is a homage to a different place in the world.
    The two used Caesarstone‘s new stone collection, a collection which was designed to mimic natural stone. The idea behind the vases began with them wanting to represent nature and see how they can express it through objects. And so, they decided to design an object that imitates an ideal representation of nature. That’s when the vases came about.
    “we collected images that show nature at it’s most magnificent display… An enhanced and improved image that can easily replace the origin in our memory. We used water jet cutting to recreate the horizon as a meeting point between two surfaces in the vases, each surface represents a simplified block of nature – water, mountain, sky, etc.”
    I don’t know what about you, but I can sense a wanderlust in the air.
    This project was designed for GamVeGam group exhibition, curated by Designspace and commissioned by Caesarstone.
  • {Photos by Daniel Shechter}

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Palm & Olive | Flat Volume | February 25.15

  • My new favorite obsession is called Palm & Olive and it’s everything I could ever wish for the office supply (and in particularly pens on top of pens on top of pens) hoarder that I am.
    Leather accessories for my fancy pens? How can I resist?!
    The ladies behind this minimalistic heaven are industrial designer Daniela Bekerman and graphic designer Maya Cohen. While one (Daniela) lives in Tel Aviv and the other (Maya) is in Madrid, they don’t let the distance or the time difference disturb the fanciest collaboration ever.
    Together they blend different disciplines and design items that create a dialogue between two and three dimensions.
    In their first collection, the two mainly focused on their relationship to volume. When not used, the objects are flat but get depth and shape while functioning.
    The thing I like most about these accessories is the fact that the girls don’t use any sewing, only cutting and even then, the cutting is barely visible.
    The object is actually the spread itself. How brilliant is that?!

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Ohad and Itay Benit | Blocks of Moving Colors | February 9.15

  • It’s hardly a secret that I’m one of Ohad Benit’s biggest fans. I also can’t believe that I’m saying this out loud, but I kinda feel like we are Insta-pals. Like for real. AND… you have no idea how happy (and even special) it makes me feel.
    Anyways, enough about me. Ohad’s latest creation (with the help of his rockstar photographer brother, Itay Benit) is “Do Touch”, a fashion editorial for one of Israel’s daily newspapers, Haaretz, in which he art directed his photographer brother Itay, the makeup artist Revital Darom and his oh-so-dreamy model, Sivan Levy. Needless to say that I was blown away by his sensitive eye and vulnerable heart.
    “Whilst the sun wanders through the sky, the street gathers shadows and darkness. The buildings and the people inside transform and react with their dress and presence.
    Transition of structure, forms, color, urban graphics and bustle of the street, on a fine line between being industrialized and rigid to a certain dark smeared fragility.”
    As you can see, this guy has a way with words, as much as he has a way with silent but mesmerizing images. Oh and the brilliant fact of them all is that Ohad is an industrial designer by trade but then again, this guy CAN DO IT ALL! He is that good and his mind is that wicked.
    On a side note: If you haven’t checked his Instagram feed, now is the time to leave whatever you are doing and just head over there, for a breeze of minimal coolness.
  • {Photos by Itay Benit}

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Interview | Andrey and Shay | Industrial Dream Team | February 4.15

  • Today’s post was supposed to be published ages ago but life got in the way. Anyways, I’m super excited to finally have you read my interview with Andrey Grishko and Shay Nifusi. These two are two of my favorite young industrial designers and I’ve been eyeing them ever since they graduated in 2013.
    Shay’s graduation project made me believe in industrial fairies. Seriously, the guy knows a thing or two about pure minimalism and refined styling. And Andrey? He knows a lot about how to get things done. To actually get them to work in real life and not just on paper. I guess you can call them an industrial dream team. With each new project, I can easily sense from miles away that they are the ones behind it. It’s crazy to think that with only two years under their belt, they established their own unique and spotless handwriting.
    Okay. Now that you know that I’m obsessed with everything AndreyAndShay, I’ll be leaving you with these two. I’m sure you gonna love their creations as much as you’d love these two fun and bright humans.
  • I’d love to hear about your journey, how it all began.
    We met on the first day of the first year of our design studies at the Industrial Design Dept. at Shenkar College. Andrey approached me (Shay) and said: “Hi! I’m Andrey” and I replied “Hi! I’m Shay”. Best friends since that moment.
    Where do you live, what do you like about it and how does it affect your creations?
    We both live and work in Tel Aviv. Really loving it. The best part of it is that it offers us a large range of professional craftsmen, workshops and raw material importers. Plus, We love the cities nightlife and, coffee places and great food.
  • What are the advantages/disadvantages of being an Israeli based designer?
    The world is starting to get really intrigued with Israel’s (Or better yet, Tel Aviv’s) culture just now. It’s good because it puts us in somewhat of a spotlight.
    I’d love to here about the collaboration between the two of you. How does it work and who does what?
    We really do everything together. We try not to play a role. But, if we can cut it roughly then Andrey likes doing lots of the mechanical engineering jobs and I like the styling and shaping areas. Andrey likes to carefully plan all his moves and do everything right the first time. I do everything ten times. We work differently and that’s how we turn every stone along the way to get to the best result with our designs.
    What led you towards opening your own studio right after finishing design school? Did you consider working for others first?
    AndreyAndShay has been happening since 2011. We like making things together and pushed ourselves to design products during after school hours as well. When we graduated college we both worked for different design studios, believing it can make us more professional in the mass production field.
  • What makes you different from other Israeli designers?
    Actually, Being “Israeli designers” is not something that keeps us busy. There is no code for what Israeli design means. It’s done here in Tel Aviv but we don’t think about it when we shape things.
    Which materials do you work with?
    Everything that comes to hand.
    I’d love to hear about your work process.
    Hmmm… I think it’s different with each projects. There are times it’s engaged by a manufacturing technique that we play with and other times it’s by an idea that pops in our mind and we discuss it sketching lines on a piece of paper. It’s always accompanied with lots and lots (literally- mountains!) of mock ups.
    What does a normal day in your life look like?
    It depends on the project status. It can be a day of producing the products by ourselves, making mock-ups in our workshop, working on the computer or biking around town looking for the right manufacturers for our designs.
  • I was blown away by your graduation projects. Can you share a little bit about the story behind them?
    Thanks! We really wanted the outcome to be the real product (not a model of). It made us create new ways of producing brushes, stools and lamps. We’re both very pleased with how things turned out.
  • Is there anything in particular that fuels your creativity as designers?
    The cocktail break during lunch with our friends in the studio ;)
    Can you tell me which designers inspire you?
    The list is too long: Sam Hecht’s and Kim Colins’s Industrial facility, Max Lamb, Big Game, Konstantin Grcic and so on…
  • What about some web sites and blogs that you visit when you’re in a need for a boost of creative inspiration?
    Lots of style oriented tumblrs and Instagram users when we need to take our eyes up from the table. At the moment, we’re into Elliot Tebele’s Instagram (@fuckjerry). So Funny!
    Are there any up and coming designers that you like at the moment?
    Almost anyone who graduates from Switzerland’s ECAL.
  • What was one of your biggest lessons learned since starting out?
    What do you find most rewarding about your career?
    We do what we love. What more can a person ask for?
    What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
    Still waiting for it.
    Israel’s best kept secret?
    No secrets here. It’s all out there.
    What are you working on right now?
    We’re currently working on a restaurant with our friend Tomer Botner, the man behind Florentine Kitchen Knives. Can’t really talk about it yet but we’re working on everything that’s going to be out on the table. We like having Tomer as a such close friend and enjoy mixing business and pleasure with him.
  • What’s next? What is your dream?
    We aim to work with the companies that we look up to. Basically, to keep on doing.
    And finally, please share with us something nobody knows about you.
    Shay is very superstitious and Andrey has a black cat ;)

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My San Francisco Break | Our Second SFversary! | February 2.15

  • January 18th 2013 was the day we hopped on a plane and 16 hours later, we found ourselves in San Francisco.
    Fast forward to January 2015, we are celebrating our second SFversary, and boy, a lot has changed since we first arrived.
    But one thing that hasn’t changed and will never change is my love for finding new spots for yummy food and re-visit my all time favorite coffee shops.
    I love the fact that in any given week, you can find a new fancy coffee shop (or tea house, or ice-cream bar…) that will make your heart smile and end up as a memorable insta-moment.
    I thought that it would be fun to name a few of my favorite spots so I could keep track on them. After all, you can’t have too many lattes in a day or too many ice-cream scoops on a cone. Right?!
    So, here goes (in no particular order): Smitten Ice Cream (made to order ice-cream? duh!). 20th Century Cafe (you should order every single dish but start with the smoked salmon bagel and the Russian Honey Cake). Craftsm and Wolves (the most beautiful pastries. everrrrr). Charles Chocolates (hello s’mores heaven!). Humphry Slocombe (the most outrageous flavors). Saint Frank Coffee (these guys are super serious about their coffee making). Hollow (just head over there. you won’t regret). Hollow (small but cozy and beautiful in it’s simplicity. Just go!). Bar Tartine (don’t leave before you tried their Smoked Potatoes with Black Garlic and Ramp Mayonnaise). Nopa (brunch. brunch. brunch and then brunch all over again). Central Kitchen (ummmm… their plating is everything). Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen (I’m Jewish after all… but seriously, don’t leave their Babka behind ). Souvla (Frozen Yogurt with Baklava Crumbles & Syrup. I kid you not!). Front Café (Affogato. Affogato. Affogato). Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous (English Black Tea ice-cream does exists). b. patisserie (Chocolate Banana Almond-Croissant for the win!). Dandelion Chocolate (everything made out of chocolate. what’s not to like?!). Dynamo Donut (their flavors are above and beyond magical). fifty/fifty (pretty. pretty. pretty). and… Samovar Tea Lounge (you want to go straight to 411 Valencia Street before trying any other location).
    Okay. I think that’s about it. I hope you are still here with me…
    If you happen to see me at any one of these happy places, don’t hesitate to say hello! And… if you can think of some places, that I missed or should defiantly check, please share them with me.
    I’m going to leave you with my growing #MySanFranciscoBreak hashtag and me, with a heart filled with lots of happy memories and many dreams (and yummy spots that need to be explored) in the next year.
  • {Photos by me}

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Sholi Strauss | Piglet Kettles Can Exist | January 27.15

  • I have mixed emotions with kettles. I mean… we all use them but since moving to the US, I found out that their kettles aren’t my kettles. And so, when I found out about Sholi Strauss’ experiment with kettles, 30 of them (to be precise), my heart started singing. Apparently not much has changed in the world of kettles for the last thousand years and that’s exactly why Sholi decided to do something about it.
    Sholi’s mini kettles keep their functional parts: container, handle, spout and sometimes lid. His design isn’t asking to create a new functional kettle. In his own (sometimes hilarious or even cynical) way, Sholi comments on the old designs while using culture, storytelling, imagery and imagination as his main tools. And the outcome is a series of 30 (!!!) 3d printed mini kettles.
    In case you are visiting Israel, you can find them all at Sholi’s solo exhibition “Rattle The Kettle” at The Corinne Maman Museum of Philistine Culture in Ashdod.
  • {DesignBreak found Sholi here}

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