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Issue #3
January - April 2011
Design Lab
First-year course at the museum / November 10 2010

 Design Lab
Photo: Irit Lanciano

The Design Lab is hosting Pini Leibovich, Yiftach Zdafee, and first-year students from the Department of Industrial Design at the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design for three months of activity and study in the Lab. The idea is to introduce visitors to the very first stages in the process of studying design, and reveal the initial place where the tools are built that mark the long road that does not end in academe, but continues throughout an entire lifetime.

Every Wednesday for the next few months, the Lab will function to all intents and purposes as a studio-classroom, and during the rest of the week it will be open to the Museum's visitors who wish to observe the documentation of the study process. Different works will be displayed from week to week, and additional levels of practice will be added and presented in the classroom. This blog documents the study process and affords a kind of peephole onto what goes on in the Lab.

Post Last Published:

The Last Lesson - 26/1/2011

- A Forest of Columns

The last lesson of the semester: the celebratory submission of the craft board columns.

We cleared the Lab space of the tables and chairs, and craft board columns sprouted from floor to ceiling - large, impressive objects that fill the entire space.

Design Lab

"This is the biggest thing, in every sense of the word, that you've done so far", Pini says excitedly. "We look at these columns and know that you've learnt a great deal. We don't need a lot of words to explain, your accumulated knowledge is manifested in these columns. Anyone who comes into this space experiences very powerful sensations, and only then begins to judge what they're seeing. As designers it is important for us to preserve that place in which the first encounter with the object creates an experience and excitement, and only then rational analysis and judgment of the object".

Design Lab

Sharon Keren, head of the Department of Jewelry Design at Shenkar, and his predecessor Deganit Stern-Schocken join us as our guests for our final projects.

"In the Book of Genesis there is already mention of towers. People have always strived to see farther and higher", says Sharon. "The question is how you choose to produce a column like this, to create magic that can stand upright".

"Many of the projects didn't address the question of what is a column", says Pini, "but rather the challenge of rising high above. In your hierarchy, this was the biggest challenge".

Design Lab

Alex Padwa, head of the Department of Industrial Design at Shenkar, also joins us and congratulates the students for their successful projects. "It's interesting to see what happens when you transition from working on a small object to working on something that's bigger than us. It is no trivial matter to use the same material you used throughout the semester to work on small objects, and then enlarge it. It's not the same, the physics of the entire structure changes. There is a very impressive range of approaches here, of geometry gaining expression. I like the audacity and humor. We're Israelis, and paying strict attention to detail isn't one of our fortes, so well done all of you for addressing the details as well".

"What we have here is a very big learning curve, and this is certainly evident and very exciting", Pini sums up. "We want to thank you all very much for the way you approached our work here and the process. You can go on your semester break now and feel very proud of the work you've done".

Annual Field Trip to Studio Zik - 30/1/2011

We leave the Lab at the Museum and take a trip to the Zik Group's studio in Beit Nekofa on the approaches to Jerusalem, for an end-of-semester celebration.

Design Lab
photo: Rakefet Kenaan

"Freedom isn't something you receive", Pini begins, "freedom is something you take. No one gave the Zik Group this studio; they built it over several years, through work, creation, curiosity, and searching. Remember that and take it with you as you move forward on your path".

Sharon Keren, head of the Department of Jewelry Design at Shenkar and a member of the Zik Group, is our host. He tells us about the group:

"We're a group of people who've been working together for twenty-five years. We come from a background in art, and in the 1980s we came together to work, to find alternatives for galleries, we worked in the street, we mounted installations that were based on building large wood constructions and then burning them. Over the years we began to mount performances in large indoor spaces. The number of people in the group changes, we're usually about eight or ten. We meet at the studio twice a week to work together. Anything and everything is welcomed, anything that fits into a frame of time, movement, space, and sculpture - that's what we do, that's our specialty. We're interested in examining processes in materials: what happens to a particular material, how it changes". (Click here for the Zik Group's website)

- Sixty Seconds and Encounters in Movement: Final Submissions

Short film: Sasha Leikin and Einav Blum

Short film: Orit Dolev

Short film: Or Steiner and Nadav Goldenberg

The students show their selected films for the Sixty Seconds and Encounters in Movement exercises.
"Try to watch these short films as if you're seeing them for the first time", says Pini, "try to see in them inspirations of color, form, and sound. Use them as inspiration for the next semester, and for your continued path".

- How Do You Make a Paperclip? A short, concluding exercise

The students split into pairs for work at Studio Zik.
The exercise: to make a paperclip out of wire.

"In the course of a whole semester we've talked about the technology of craft board, about organic quality, about structure, function, and form. A paperclip simply and basically embodies the combination of structure, function, and form. Its form contains the function of the item itself. If you understand the essence of this small thing you'll be able use wisely any material you choose. When structure, function, form, and technology are combined, something very clever and beautiful is created".

Design Lab
photo: Rakefet Kenaan

Design Lab
photo: Rakefet Kenaan

The students prepare a splendid lunch at the studio, the table is set, laden with delicacies, the "last supper" before semester break. We raise our glasses and drink a toast.

Design Lab
photo: Rakefet Kenaan

Pini and Yiftach sum up the semester: "We've really enjoyed working with you throughout the semester. It's amazing how much one can learn in such a short time. Go over the lessons and try to see what you've learnt. In the meantime, you should have fun, rest, dream, and come back with renewed energies".

Text and photographs: Irit Lanciano

Previous Blog Updates:

- Introduction
- Lesson 1 - 27/10/2010
- Lesson 2 - 03/11/2010
- Lesson 3 - 10/11/2010
- Lesson 4 - 17/11/2010

Lesson 5 - 24/11/2010

- Lesson 6 - 1/12/2010

- Lesson 7 - 8/12/2010

- Lesson 8 - 22/12/2010
- Lesson 9 - 29/12/2010

- Lesson 10 - 5/1/2011

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