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Magazine > Lesson #1

First Lesson - 27/10/10

The beginning.
We begin.
Pini instructs the students to take a pencil, stand in front of the wall at the entrance to the Lab, measure their height against the wall and mark it with their name and today's date. A kind of graphic diagram is formed on the wall, expressing the height and presence of the students in the classroom.

"No one anywhere in the world can reproduce what you have done here; it is a situation that is unique to this class. The people in it are like this or like that, and on the wall we have created, quite easily, a picture that has a visual state and a content state, and that is what design is all about; not only about image and form, but content as well. The content accompanies it as an essential part of the form. Form cannot exist without content".

Design Lab
Photo: Irit Lanciano

We gather in the classroom, sit in a semicircle, and each student introduces himself and states where he comes from: Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, Givatayim, Zefat, Rishon LeZion, originally Eilat now Tel Aviv, Bat Yam, Modi'in, Herzliya, Haifa.

After each student introduces himself, Yiftach takes him and positions him in a different spot in the Lab space: on the floor, on a ladder, on a chair standing on a table, in the corner of the room, standing, sitting. Yiftach finishes, each student is in position, and we all sit or stand silently. Silence.

Design Lab
Photo: Irit Lanciano

Silence and Expectation

After a few minutes Pini breaks the silence: "Silence is very important. Silence means that you have come to teach us. Someone who is learning has questions, and we will respond to them with questions. We changed your perspective, and we were silent. Changing perspective is a designer's tool. A different perspective creates the possibility of expressing a different opinion about the world. This is your first encounter with the ability to express an opinion from the situation you are in, not from what you want, but from what you actually see".

The students take cameras, and each one photographs the room from his perspective, creating a collage of the room from different perspectives.

"You are expecting us to teach you. We are not teachers, we are guides. The silence breaks that expectation. You don't have to please us, but to do the best you think you can do at the particular point you are in".

Industrial Design - First Scene
An opening lecture that provides a broad perspective of the subject we have chosen to study - industrial design - from the history of design to everyday products.

Design Lab
The Great Exhibition, 1851

- Expressing an Opinion: The Body as a Machine
How can you express an opinion without knowing? The students will already be required to express an opinion in next week's class.

"The first year is based on the premise that our body is wise. Most of our thoughts are those of others, but the body is wise. This year is a year of the body: stomach, heart, head. Pay attention to the senses: see how much more sophisticated they are than the ability to think. At the moment our conscious mind is incapable of digesting the complexity of this process, so we work with the body. Use all your senses, not only sight. Do things in order to understand the material.
"In later years you learn more complex processes, you learn methods and forms of thinking. In the first year you work from your instincts. That is how you discover what you really know, not what you think you know. I think something about myself - then I act - and then I understand something new. At the end of the year things come together, you'll learn to know yourselves and your modus operandi.
"Design usually uses machines to maintain things - your body is your first machine".

The first exercise is called "Elevated Surface". That is the title. You can open a dictionary, conduct a discussion among yourselves. Under this title you are required to build a three-dimensional object, and here each one interprets what he understands as three-dimensional.

- Rules
In this semester there is a clear rule: using a single material - craft board.
You cannot use any other materials, and you cannot paint the board.
The color of the board is wonderful.
You can only use UHU glue.
If you listen to the material, cooperate with it and do not force yourself on the board I assume your result will be interesting. You will present your end result on the table next week. That is the rules framework. It is always possible to deviate from the rules. That is your concern. Don't do the work on the last night, be with the work throughout the week. Don't invent an idea. Carry out a little research. Consult books, gather materials that inspire you. No one invents things from themselves. In order to create it is necessary to "prepare the ground", in order to solve the exercise you have to do some preparatory work.

- Observation 1
We build a three-dimensional object; we photograph what we do. Document your work; build a strip comprising five 13x13 cm photographs of the object. The strip creates an overall two-dimensional picture of the work, its details, materiality, and a perspective that provides different interesting information about the work.

- Observation 2 
Cause and Effect
An exercise in observing our environment. You walk down the street, on your way to school or work, observe your environment, and photograph situations in which cause and effect are present. The photograph should reflect the mood of the material environment in which we live.

Next Week:
Submission of the "Elevated Surface" exercise.


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
- Lesson 11 - 12/1/2011
- Last Lesson - 26/1/2011

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