Designers as Collectors

A recent exhibit at Tel Aviv’s Artist’s House presents collections — or are they obsessions? — of five prominent Israeli industrial designers.

Designers love design. More accurately put, designers love designed objects: the materials, the components, the styles and the thought and effort that goes into creating good, clean workable objects that are so well-made, their design becomes all but transparent to the user.

Take, for example, the humble clothes-pin. Or take several hundred, as have industrial designers Gad Charny and Yoav Ziv. Their collection of clothes pins has received attention both in Israel and abroad – most recently at Tel Aviv’s Artist’s House as part of an exhibition entitled Designers As Collectors, which presents the collections… er… make that obsessions… of five prominent Israeli industrial designers.

Photo by Yoav Ziv

Industrial designer David Neumark has a yen for mousetraps. After all, if you build a better one

Ido Bruno — who recently received a good deal of attention for co-designing a table that protects against earthquakes — is obsessed with clothes hanger design.

The collection started by accident and not design, Bruno told Yuval Saar of online magazine ReDesign. “I was looking for an object that could help me demonstrate to my students at Bezalel something very simple but a bit hard to understand: that a simple problem can have many solutions.”

That demonstration was the start of something much bigger. “The hanger is a wonderful platform for ‘industrial sleuthing’; a way to show my students the hidden secrets of machines and processes that enabled the production of hangers, a textbook case of the world of manufacturing…”

The exhibit was curated by Yaacov Kaufman who, in addition to being a collector of wooden broom handles, also happens to be one of Israel’s premier industrial designers and a professor at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem.

“I witnessed the encounter between the collectors” Kaufman states. “Each collector sat for a moment in silence, each one with a box filled with his collection, and at a certain point the masks were lifted and the language of serious adult professionals devolved into that of seven year-old children: “I’ve got this and you don’t’. But that’s magic of collections.”

About Rachel Neiman

A veteran media professional who has lived in Israel since 1984, Rachel has been part of the ISRAEL21c organization since 2008. Prior to that, she served as managing editor of Globes Online, the English-language edition of Israel’s leading business daily, and before that, at The Jerusalem Post, as a business reporter, feature writer, and consumer columnist. Rachel began writing about Israeli technology companies at LINK Israel’s Business and Technology Magazine and is a professional Hebrew to English translator. In her spare time, she is an active member of the Havurat Tel Aviv congregation, and the Holyland Hash House Harriers, part of an international running and drinking disorganization.