January 4, 2004

Ron Giladi arrived in New York three years ago when he established the Designfenzider design company with Lior Haramati.The young designer Ron Gilad, 31, completed his studies at the department of industrial design at Bezalel only five years ago, but in the local design community he is already getting many compliments. Sherry Pran, the proprietor and curator of the Periscope Gallery in Tel Aviv, where Gilad made his debut in his first one-man show in 1999, calls him “a genius” and “unique.” Ezri Tarazi, the head of the industrial design department at Bezalel, predicts a bright future for him and believes that he is “among the most talented in his field.”

Recognition of Gilad’s talent has been swift: About two years ago three of his works were purchased for the design wing at the Tel Aviv Museum, and a year ago two of his works were purchased for the design collection of the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

After he completed his studies, Gilad served as a lecturer in the jewelry design department at Shenkar College and took part in exhibitions. At the Office in Tel Aviv Art Gallery he held a joint exhibition with Deganit Schocken, and he had two one-man exhibitions at the Periscope Gallery.

Three years ago, he arrived in New York, where he established the Designfenzider design company with Lior Haramati, a business entrepreneur from the high-tech field. The collaboration between the two has resulted in seven products that Gilad designed that are sold in shops throughout the United States.

“We met through a mutual friend,” relates Gilad. “The idea came up of building a business that would combine our abilities. This is a model that exists in the world, with designers like Marcel Wanders or Ron Arad when he was starting out. In fact, no designer who has an independent studio has achieved anything without collaborating with a business entrepreneur, with whom he had a common vision.”

Gilad’s first series of products included vases, bowls, lighting fixtures and benches. Among his other products: two chains of silver and gold (which are sold at the gift shop of the Museum of Modern Art in New York); a square fruit bowl made of a piece of wood bound in metal, and a fruit dish made of metal and covered in chrome or with a red frame.

Since designing those products, Gilad has also designed coffee tables, as well as other lighting fixtures and benches. The company’s Web site sells his products, and a marketing person has been hired to distribute the products to shops in the United States.

Recently Gilad achieved impressive results in a competition held by Conduit, an organization of designers and architects in the United States: He won first prize for his design for a vase made of sheet of porcelain. The sheet is applied to a glass or other vessel for holding water, and the flowers are inserted through a hole in the center of the sheet. Around the hole there is a sort of design of a classical vase, and the stalks of the flowers stick out through it. He also received honorable mention for two other products: a vase made of a coil of metal pressed flat by a car, and two light fixtures made of large metal constructions, which are reminiscent of an open storage box.

Of his achievements, Gilad says: “I’ve done this on my own. I didn’t need anyone to open doors for me. I understood what I wanted, I looked for the doors and I opened them by myself.”

Currently the products that won the prizes in the Conduit competition can be seen in Manhattan at the Lyonswier Gallery in Chelsea.

(Copyright 2004 by Ha’aretz – Reprinted with permission)

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