Bonbons and Noodles by Ana Kras
For a little while now, we have been following a talented artist from Belgrade, Serbia, Ana Kras, and we were more than happy when she agreed to join our blog and answer our questions. From furniture maker to decorator, illustrator to bookmaker, and videographer to photographer, Ana is definitely an artist in all ways.
From childhood Ana was, already, surrounded with all kinds of art and media from her parents, and she even created two magazines at the age of eight. She suffered the pains of war during her childhood, and after graduating from the University of Applied Arts in Belgrade she moved to the United States.
Ana first arrived to Los Angeles where she was photographing folk singer, Devendra Banhart, for a European Magazine. Within five minutes the pair fell in love with each other, and soon after moved to Manhattan. Ana and Devendra currently live in the Lower East side of New York where she also works from her studio.
Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? How old are you?
I am from Belgrade, Serbia. I was born there in 1984, grew up there, and moved to USA about 3 years ago.
What and where did you study?
I studied Interior Architecture and Furniture Design at the University of Applied Arts in Belgrade.
What do you like the most about where you are from?
I love people from Belgrade, my friends and my family, and speaking in my language. I adore Cyrillic alphabet. I love the pace of Belgrade; it’s mellow but not boring, I like that it’s original with certain underdeveloped areas. And of course I also love the food.
When did you arrive to New York and why?
I arrived a year and a half ago from Los Angeles. I moved to Manhattan because I wanted to feel the life of a real city, unlike Los Angeles – in which I never felt the city life.
Can you tell us a little about your design?
I don’t know what to say about my design. I try to make things that are simple and practical, like to use very standard materials in old fashion ways and play with little details.
Production/materials/ and where do you work?
I work in my studio in Manhattan. I mostly use wood, metal, and textiles and some things I make with my bare hands while others I have built for me by carpenters.
Where can we see your design?
On my website, in my studio, and in a few public places that feature my work, such as Nanashi Restaurant in Paris.
Do you have a gallery?
No, I am not represented by a gallery.
What do you like the most about your work?
I like that I get to do what I enjoy doing the most.
You collaborate with many people…can you tell us with who, where, and how do you meet them?
I usually collaborate with my friends, or people who ask me to collaborate, and then we become friends. At the moment, I am collaborating with Pablo Limon and I have previously collaborated Confetti System, Super Sunglasses, Petar Savic, Devendra Banhart, and Marija Strajnic.
Where do you seek inspiration in your everyday life?
Absolutely everything is an inspiration. A nice word, an ugly word, a shape, anything that brings out emotion in me, brings me inspiration.
You are an artist with Serbian origins working and living in New York, what was your greatest challenge when you first came to New York and how did this influence your work?
I don’t think NYC has influenced me at all. Belgrade and NYC have a lot in common, both big, rough loud cities, both consisting of a similar mix of beauty and ugly.
You are a real artist, from a photographer, designer, illustrator; can you tell us how do you make it all work? And what else are you doing?
I take photos, I draw, I weave, I build and design furniture. I like being busy with things I love to do. Multitasking makes it easier for me, so I never get bored.
What is your favorite thing to photograph?
People who are close to my heart.
What do you like to listen to?
I love so many different sounds, from Julee Cruise to piano solos and Venezuelan folk music.
Tell us something about your future plans…
I am working on some new furniture pieces but I prefer not to talk too much ahead
The new edition of Bonbon Lamps
Illustrations for a book by Giovanni Robertini, published by Agenzia X.
Hive lamp, 2010. Floor lamp made of oak wood and the lamp shade is one of the shades from the bonbon lamps family.
Ksilofon Clothing rack, 2010 – wood, oak sticks and plywood panels.
Young Craftsmen interview
Both industrial designers and 27 years old, Andrey and Shay met in Shenkar School of Engineering where they have cultivated their differences and enriched their complementary, as they were telling us “The two of us make one good industrial designer.” Young rising talent of Israeli design and freshly graduated earlier this year, they try to be at eye-level so as their products. Creating tension with basic subjects is fundamental to their approach, using materials that already exist on the market and re-working techniques that weigh down costs and make the production first-hand and on-site.
Mostly together, their friendship is the only reason that it works with no rules and trust on each other’s strength.
Where are you from?
Shay: Tel Aviv born and raised.
Andrey: I am from Ukraine and came to Tel Aviv when I was 12.
What is the most important thing to know about you?
We try to be at eye level, our products are the same. We don’t want to do things that are too sophisticated. We are a young studio, today we are not committing ourselves.
Do you have a studio?
We have a home studio; it is part of Andrey’s home. Half a home, half a studio, in Ramat Gan.
Shay: It is a collapsible studio, we come in the morning and we unpack from boxes all of our equipment and then, when we finish, we wrap it back at the end of the day.
How did you both meet and start working together?
Shay: We were very different at the beginning. Our things were much different and I think each one of us saw his weakness as the other’s person strength.
Andrey: That’s right. We started with the regular school project we made together and it worked very well. The two of us make one good industrial designer. During the end of the third year, we start thinking about our future, doing our first leather collections together. That is actually how it all started. We had the material and the leather tools. We started to sell it and we understood it was working out, started our Etsy shop as andreyandshay.
Have you worked in/with a international platform or companies? Do you have any plans to?
We just started selling our things on Monoki, a German a commercial platform like Fancy. They sell big brand names like Norman Copenhagen or Hay. They were in contact with us. This is what we are trying to do; we are now sending design suggestion to other companies, we want them to produce our design. We really want to work abroad.
Is there any place or for someone you would wish to work with? Do you have any names for your collections and editions?
Our name of collections is the name of the object most of the time when it is a ruler it is a ruler. Straight forward. We have no editions.
Shay: By the way, if I can say it right now, I think we should start to think about it.
How do you start with a new concept? What excite you to start working on it?
Andrey: It’s the method, the technique. Starting from a new technology, like the saltshaker: a new machine. We want to make things by ourselves. A more craft way, in order to show the development.
Plastic Salt Shaker mould
Is there any specific projects for which you fell satisfied and proud of?
Andrey: Maybe our saltshakers, it is a very nice product because we can easily make it and manufacture it.
Shay: Maybe our rulers.
What is a day like in the life of Shay and Andrey?
We start with coffee. We try to be as serious and professional as possible, we meet everyday at about 9am and organize our day, and chat a little bit. We make a plan and then we go by the list . Half of the day is in front of the computer, taking care of professional software, Photoshop to edit pictures, operate our website. We finish our day with a Hi5, saying “it was a good day”.
Andrey: We do all the work; we do the graphic design, the styling of the photo shoot, we are taking photos.
We do it all because we have a precise vision of what we want, kind of being freak control may be.
What do you love the most about what you do?
Andrey: It doesn’t feel like work, it’s more fun, and I don’t feel I am am working, like a dream job.
Shay: I agree with him. It’s like a fun time we have in common.
After showing at Fresh Design fair, the first design fair in Tel Aviv, what did you get something out of it?
People know us more as a studio, we have been heard and seen, and it got us more mature. We also got to meet our fellow Israeli designers such as Asaf Weinbroom and Naama Hofman, and got to hang out with them.
We see you have a great sense of style, where do you get it from? Where do you buy?
Andrey: I think it’s from Shay, he sees a lot of fashion blogs and magazines, and I just follow him.
Shay: I try to wear basic things, and be someone that I want.
Is there any connections of your design, living or being in Isreal?
I think Tel Aviv has a big influence, as a Tel Aviv lifestyle. Tel Aviv is cool, it’s a great place to be.
Do you get influence by any International designers? If yes, whom?
It changes every once in a few month. Right now, Industrial Facilities by Sam Hecht and Kim Colin. Mass produced and everything they do gets iconic, with very simple shapes and they are very accurate.
Anything else in other fields?
Andrey: Maybe we will talk about the movie, “Jiro dreams of sushi”.
Shay: It is a documentary film and all he does is sushi all his life. It’s very inspiring how much he likes his work. It is about excellence and being committed, trying to be the best in what you do.
What is your next project?
Shay’s final project at Shenkar
Andrey’s final project at Shenkar
SHANA TOVA from Design Space
By Putput – Interdisciplinary Swiss/Danish artist duo, based in Copenhagen, Denmark. “Based on the theme of spring cleaning we styled a series of playful and surreal objects which we placed in simple tableaus with a selection of contemporary design furniture”.
What best than the Jewish New Year to express our appreciation for having you aboard this design journey! We always want to share with you all of our discoveries with new designers, great encounters, excitement and ideas; we wish you a very sweet year full of creativity !
Hag Sameah to all.
Ron Gilad: The Logical, the Ironic, and the Absurd
We always have been following the Israeli designer Ron Gilad and his two different trajectories from furniture items to sculptural objects; and this new group of works presented in the Tel Aviv Museum of Art is documenting this interesting tension in an enigmatic, sometimes very poetic, way.
The opening shot that defined Gilad as a creator was taken in the exhibition New Post in 1999 at Periscope Gallery in Tel Aviv, which followed upon his studies in the industrial design department at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design. The first comprehensive exhibition of his works was presented at the Wright Gallery in Chicago in 2009, and two years ago he began exhibiting his works at Dilmos Gallery in Milan, where he has been living until now.
Finally showing again in Israel, we had a real pleasure visiting the exhibition, a narrow space which was divided into small rooms and actually gave the possibility to surprise and intrigue us in every corners with new works.
The exhibition showcases approximately 100 works that were mostly designed and produced in 2013 where Gilad divests objects of their original functions and transports them to new realms. His works consist of minimalist, modular structures “translated” into furniture items, alongside art making.
Gilad’s vision of design is translated as a form of amusement, provocation, in a state of constant movement, showing the process of questioning that he is going through, striving to create new images from familiar everyday objects.
Having a designer showing at the museum is always very interesting to us, and in that case, the curating is an important actor of the what and how we are going to discover an industrial designer inside an art Institution, and what added value we can get from it.
Gilad gives us a full circle of creativity, you have until December 28 to pass by!
Location: 27 Shaul Hamelech Blvd, Herta and Paul Amir Building.
Curator: Meira Yagid Haimovici
Magenta – design and manufacturing office + workshop
We wrote about Magenta few weeks ago and couldn’t really share yet their design before our last design fair they were part of, Fresh Design. And always felt it was a shame.
As we were wandering the web, we found out they renew their website in a very professional and aesthetic way, featuring at its best their last creations, first exhibited in their solo exhibition at Periscope Gallery.
Israeli designer Ronen Bavli and his team deserves as much attention as any unique creation they are producing. Whether it is a stool, a lamp, hooks or book cases, they frequently work with raw materials, reshaping them into clean sophisticated forms.
All the items are handcrafted, using a wide range of materials and processes of production : concrete flat surface, a light bulb enclosed in a polygon shape, or even old chairs made by Castelli, which have been put out of use and rediscovered is in the basement of Shaare Zedek Medical Center, were awarded a new life.
BUGALA – Lighting fixtures inspired by construction cranes and heavy lifting machines.
Lighting fixtures made of wood and stainless steel
Each Habla is singular and unique. The stainless steel head revolving on it axis provides the Habla with a somewhat human posture. The light source (a 12 V LED light bulb) concealed in its neck and the tubular, open on two sides head, create together a soft roll of light.
A joint project of the studio and workshop members. Old chairs made by Castelli, which have been put out of use and rediscovered is in the basement of Shaare Zedek Medical Center, were awarded a new life. The chairs were dismantled and sorted, metal parts that could be reused were saved and underwent treatments and were repainted. New seats were designed to fit generic legs. The starting point for all the stools was similar at one point in time and then diversified into numerous shapes. Each stool is unique.
“A polygon can be referred to as a plane figure that is bounded by a closed path, composed of a finite sequence of straight line segments”.
Bodies that are parts of the creative process and provide the testing of the tension occurring between spaces and panels. These one of a kind bodies allow for internal playfulness and the creation of a balance of power between themselves.
New store in Tel Aviv: Papier
With a curated collection of papers and lifestyle products, Papier is one of the first one stop shops, focusing one specific theme.
Right in the heart of Tel Aviv city, in front of Rabin Square, Sharon Brunsher and Shiran Rockaway opened the store two month ago; stocking everything one would need to “feel creative”.
As a committed client, Sharon started to collaborate with the copy print shop Kwik Kopy next door. They meet their needs, ordering from each other printed-paper, packaging, cards, using leftovers to recycle, to create new sketchbook, small items of paper, and everything in between. All the products they are designing are made in Israel, apart from specific accessories they are buying from a very well known art store – Arta in Nahalat Benyamin – which is holding companies such as Faber Castell, Derwent, and other imported international brands.
Sharon Brunsher is a graduate of Tel Aviv Design Institute major in industrial design have been involved in the development of fashion and lifestyle product design in Israel for the last 15 years, and the American-Israeli co-founder Shiran Rockaway, a graphic designer from Shenkar’s graphic design section.
The store’s signature minimalistic style is similar to Sharon’s other shops, run with the same progressive approach and with the same attention to detail as the physical store space itself. It is having all kind of different items and a monochrome interior. As expected, the display is as functional as it is aesthetic with shelves, surfaces and drawers designed to accommodate all the presented items.
In the store you can find custom made ribbons, all sorts of paper, framed prints, stamps, masking tape, gift cards, wrapping paper, fragrances, candles, pillow cases, ink, recycled sketchbooks, and many other discoveries around paper.
Prices are up to 1800 shekel for a big framed printed works (80×130), between 30-90 shekels for wood stamps, ink and paper present box for 60 shekels, fragrance 120 shekels and basics and supplies little bottle for 40 shekels.
Papier, 1 David HaMelech Boulevard, Tel Aviv, 03-696 45 83 – Opening hours: Sun-Thurs 10:00 to 20:00 – Friday 10:00 to 15:00.
Inside the mould
Studio Khan last project : Herzl Collection
Craft and craftsmanship are central to contemporary design. Based in Israel, all those designers are creating objects with a moulding / casting technique as a means of manufacture.
We are interested in the way designers think, develop ideas and often challenge the classic techniques coming from many years of research, hard work and development.
Being able to see the development of an object through its physical steps gives us a greater understanding of the way designers work.
In other words the process of making an object can be as significant as the finished product.
These objects makes more real an idea that will lead to a final piece, and is not made with the intention of being sold or shown outside the designer’s studio.
They hold a rare charm, a directness to the making that we wanted to share !
View from Rachel Boxnboim mould for Lumiere
Andrey and Shay - Black Ceramic Vase
Yulia Tsukerman - Sabras Collection
Galia Tammuz – Baladi Cups
Yaara Landau Katz – שיטה.תבנית.אוביקט
At Guggenheim with James Turrell
Recently, we had the chance to visit James Turrell’s exhibition at Guggenheim, in New York City. Although it is forbidden to photograph within the museum, carefully and discretely, we were able to capture the beautiful experience and share with you the interior design and ambiance of light patterns of the installation within the museum.
As the first exhibition of James Turrell in New York since 1980, the focus surrounds the artist’s groundbreaking explorations of perception, light, color, and space, with a special emphasis on the role of site specificity in his practice.
At the core of the exhibition, you will find Aten Reign (2013); a major new project that recasts the Guggenheim rotunda as an enormous volume, filled with shifting natural and artificial light. This installation, of James Turrell, is one of the most dramatic transformations of the museum ever conceived, in which highlights Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic architecture—its openness to nature, graceful curves, and magnificent sense of space. Letting the visitors experience the rotunda from above to below, Aten Reign gives form to the air and light occupying the museum’s central void and creating an entirely new atmosphere of the building.
Throughout the working process, Turrell kept his work a secret and the curators of the exhibition were curious and apprehensive of what the result would be. In the end, he compiled the use of natural and artificial light to engage the viewers with their surroundings and enhance the natural design and architecture of the building.
Organized in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, James Turrell comprises one of three of major Turrell exhibitions spanning the United States during All summer 2013.
Here is a video showing other works from the artist’s career, the making of at the Guggenheim, and meeting the curators.
Thank you to the talented photographer Deborah Shahar.
BOUROULLEC, the Breton-born brothers
Nothing in the Bouroullecs’ childhood in a quiet village near Quimper in Brittany suggested that they were destined to become designers. Ronan was born there in 1971 and Erwan in 1975. As kids, they rarely left Brittany. ‘I didn’t do well at school,’ admitted Ronan. ‘And when I came to Paris to study industrial design, I didn’t do very well there either. It was only a few years later, when I enrolled on another course at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, that everything came together.’
After being respectively graduates at the National School of Decorative Arts in Paris about 14 years ago, the brothers Bouroullec are closing the loop by exhibiting at Musée des Arts Décoratifs, a retrospective that surveys 15 years of research and about one hundred objects and furniture items on display.
41 and 37 respectively, Erwan and Ronan are the most important French industrial designers of their generation, and among the most influential worldwide. Both brothers went to college in Paris, where Ronan studied furniture design and Erwan art. Ronan opened a design studio after graduating, and Erwan joined him.
We love the way the exhibition was curated discussing all aspects of production: from object to space, limited edition to the industrial design piece, from public furniture to domestic use, from drawing to video, passing through photography.
The 1,000 square meter is showing an installation (a 12-meter-high textile plant and a series of partitions designed by the brothers), the reflection around the office and workspace and some more intimate approach integrating the creative process. The Bouroullec have developed their work through their experimental activity (often seen at the Kreo Gallery) always keeping their projects simple and functional.
Exhibition under construction !
Exhibition model – Momentane
Ronan and Erwan daily work, namely the drawing = Pencil is both their main tool and filter their imagination.
There’s always team work in design,’ observed Erwan. ‘For most designers, the first time they have to explain or justify their work is to the manufacturer. By then, we’ve spent weeks, maybe months, arguing over the tiniest details.’
“Usually our work is strongest when we disagree, because that’s when we push each other to go further,’ said Ronan. ‘If we’re in agreement, it’s often mediocre.”
Interview: Yuval Saar, Design Journalist
Yuval Saar, a journalist from Galleria Haaretz, has interviewed us more then once. But this time we were lucky to be the ones asking the questions. We decided to meet him after a few crazy months of production during Fresh Design, at Nola Café on Dizengof, where he once interviewed us about the fair.
Where are you from?
Born and raised in Tel Aviv on Ibn Gvirol/Jabotinsky, close to where I live right now.
What and where did you study? And how did you start your professional path?
I studied graphic design on Avni Institute for 2 years, and I was a graphic designer at Adler Chomsky between 1999-2002. Then I studied at Camera Obscura, where I took a one-year course of curating, culture and criticism; it opened my mind for all the visual art.
In 2002, I went to study History and Theory of Visual Culture at Bezalel, which was a new program back then. During these years I also opened my studio of graphic design “adom adom” with my current partner Rachel Miller.
In 2003, I started my blog Portfolio, where I could write more about my personal opinions, find my own voice, and interest the readers. Back then, nobody was writing about design, books, graphic design, and illustration.
Curriculum design ( Underground map) / Book cover design
Wedding invitation design
How did you start to write for Haaretz?
In 2006, I started to write for the design section in Shamenet Magazine with the editor Liat Timor, and six months later I started writing for Designer Magazine. I was also a graphic editor for both magazines.
In March 2009, I saw a note in “Velvet Underground” saying that Haaretz were looking for a writer for the design department. Without hesitating and not telling anyone – as I was sure not to get it – I sent my resume and surprisingly got the job right away! Suddenly I had to “wear” a label – Design Expert. For a few months I wrote 10-15 articles a months, almost everyday, without no other competition.
After five years at Haaretz I started writing less and got more free time, which made me do even more (laugh). Four years ago, I started to teach at Bezalel’s Master Program of Industrial Design. Now I also teach at Holon Institute of Technology and at Shenkar’s different Master Programs.
Nowadays I update my blog more often, maybe 3-5 posts a week. Six months ago I started editing reDesign Magazine, an online magazine which now focuses more on the local design scene.
I am hosting “Portfolio live”, a live conversations, interview and talks by artists, journalists, gallerists and other inspiring influential people.
Since I got more free time, I also started to talking with people around me on ideas and potential collaborations, saying: “I am available! Let’s see what the world has to offer.” Arieh Berkovitch, manager of the artists house in Tel Aviv, offered me to curate a design exhibition, which was very exiting. Since I always wanted to do an illustration exhibition as well, I get to do them both, showing in 2014.
Another opportunity came when I met Liron Hershkovitch, from Latzet Mehakufsa (Out of the Box) and told him about an idea I had 5 years ago – a book cover exhibition. In the exhibition, “100 books. 200 covers”, which was on display for 3 weeks in Bat Yam, we showed different printed book covers – both the ones that were printed and the ones that were not accepted by the publisher.
Another exhibition, which I am really excited about, is “online offline”, opened on June 20 at the Hamishkan Beit Meirov Gallery in Holon. The exhibition presents how the digital age influences the design world. Also I have three more exhibitions coming up, but I can’t really talk about them yet.
There is something very new about curating those exhibitions but being at this place doesn’t feel unfamiliar, writing and interviewing designers, gallerists curators and many influential people for many years, felt very natural to me.
What is Israeli design?
I can’t really describe Israeli design. In 2013 you can’t really talk about national design.
However, first, I would say we have very strong academic institutes, without them we couldn’t have talked about Israeli design.
Then, we can spot Israeli everywhere in the world, I would say the same for the design. Very esthetic, compositions, colors, we try harder because we don’t have this industry here.
I would say I don’t really have an answer (laugh).
What did you think about the Fresh Design Fair?
Well organized and very impressive. During my first visit it took me two hours to do the tour, as I knew so many people. But then I did another one and when I finished I actually forgot there is an art fair next to it.
I am not sure all the commercial exhibitors should be there, but I understand why.
I would say that the connection between the commercialism and the designers was more like an exhibition and less like a fair.
What would you have done differently?
For a first year I think it was amazing, interesting to see if there will be a next year. I’m not sure I would have done anything differently.
Where is your current working place?
I work from home – I am a very homey person.
What is the atmosphere and the concept of your personal space like? Are there any designer pieces?
I always refurnish. My favorite pieces at home would be a colorful green little chair from IKEA. I also have a big library all over the wall with books, illustrations, catalogues and more.
I don’t have any Israeli design at home, more Israeli illustrations.
Works by Yoni Shavit, Izika Gaon, Geffen Refaeli, Keren Taggar, Orit Bergman, Adi Tako, Alefalefalef.co.il, UK Royal Mail, Niv Tishbi
What is your day like?
My day is always hectic, and never the same.
Emails editing exhibitions meetings lots of phone calls teaching.
Beach if I can and a nap which is a big “pinuk” in the middle of the day.
Where are you going out? Favorite places? Galleries? Museums in Tel Aviv?
Because I have such busy-eclectic-hectic days, I usually like to stay home with my partner since we both do so much.
About the cultural places, for the part of the design it’s hard to say, Tel Aviv Museum, I’ve been going there since I was a child. I like the new wing as well, but I am very connected to the old building.
As a Gallery, Alon Segev I like what he is doing, and Rosenfeld’s great exhibitions and artists.
Thanks to Yael Engelhart for the beautiful pictures above.
Flyer for Yuval Saar’s current exhibition: