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Magazine > Lesson #11

Lesson 11 - 12/1/2011

This is the lesson before last.
The students set up their mockups on the Lab floor - small three-dimensional models exploring their ideas for the final exercise: Column

Design Lab

"The ceiling here in the Lab space is very high", Yiftach says, "much higher than in our studio at Shenkar. For the columns to create an impressive effect in the Lab space, they need to be at least 2.5 meters high".

"There are interesting explorations here on the sketch level: many of the structures sustain themselves in these dimensions, but when the loads increase, the weight on the material will be completely different and that is something you have to investigate and learn. In these dimensions it is no longer enough to think only of form. You have to think about the engineering of the object; are the units of the column clever? Can they carry themselves in these dimensions?"

"Based on our experience", Yiftach adds, "there are numerous opportunities for learning in this project: Is the column built from units? How are the units duplicated? How does one unit fit into another? Are there connectors connecting them? Has the edge of the unit been treated? How do you treat the edges of the units and of the column? Is there a difference between the first unit and the fifth one in the column? The answers to these questions will make the difference between a work that's good and one that isn't".

"The column is in fact our first design project", Pini says. "The concept 'design' comprises the concept of limitation in terms of opportunity. At present we're building columns that are design sculptures, not art sculptures. Design is not a free art, but the outcome of problem solving; it is a tool that comprises practical functions".

Design Lab

"Reference to the world of design should be from within the limitations of the project", Pini explains, "we're starting to understand the limitations of the Column exercise due to the raw material from which it is built, its dimensions, where it is built, the need to transport it from your home to the Lab, and this is just the beginning of the list of limitations that impact the project. You need to examine the limitations and understand what ideas you have for the column and how you can use those limitations in a way that will serve the project. The combination of limitations, ideas, and the solution creates the project. If you find the right syntax of forms that will serve you, you'll discover a space with vast inner freedom and an amazing project. Freedom should always emerge from feeling that my frame is restricted. That is how I create an accurate space".

"Friends ask me what I'm studying, and I try to explain what industrial design is", Igor recounts. "How can I explain what it is exactly?" he asks Pini.
Industrial design is perhaps the only profession that attests to the place where the action is performed: industry. The designer mediates between the user and the industry that manufactures products. The act of design is always performed in a defined framework: from problem solving, through engineering and technological understanding, to the ability to drive change from a vision.

- Sketches For The "How Do You Tell A Story In Sixty Seconds?" Exercise

Short film: Yotam Ivgi and Jonatan Tchechik

Short film: Tal Engel and Maya Cohen

At present the film looks like a weave of color, texture, and rhythm. That may be what you want to achieve, but right now it's insufficiently clear. If you want to observe the dishes with the food, you have to be accurate about it. Ask yourselves: what do you want to evoke by means of this film? What exactly do you want to talk about?

Short film: Liron Shaki and Aviv Rosenfeld

Pini and Yiftach show the students a short film that Aviv and Liron, now second-year students, made last year for the Sixty Seconds exercise. "In this film the observation is very accurate - how falafel is eaten and differences in the way men and women eat".

We watch all the students' sketches for the Sixty Seconds exercise.

"We're approaching the end of the semester and we have here a large collection of materials for inspiration: frames, colors, rhythms, textures, emotions - these are our inspirations", Pini sums up. "This is how creative people work - they create inspirations and act within them, and then a distinctive work is created: we take two-dimensional photographs or make video films, we find new perspectives, create a dialogue with our environment in a different way, and thus we begin to be original. When you collect the things you do, take another look at them and try to understand what's there. What did you feel when you photographed or filmed them? What made you choose what you chose? The way I look at things, collect things, and organize them - that is ultimately what becomes a design: the connections, the logic, the choices".

 - A Talk with Galit Gaon, Curator of the Design Museum

"Pini and Yiftach invited me to talk to you about the Museum," Galit begins. "You're exposed to a lot of materials, on the internet, exhibitions you go to, in magazines, and you develop an ability to distinguish between things, to understand what you see, to know what to take from what you see into your lives. Your curiosity will lead you; it'll give you perspective and the ability to locate yourselves within the continuum of your practice in the field.

We are design tools. We need to develop the ability to detach ourselves from what we do, to understand what tool I am, who I serve. Our handwriting is personal, no one will design like you and no one will artistically direct a museum like I do, but still, this isn't about me, it's about the thing itself. On a personal level I can like or dislike something and still maintain my ability to analyze it and its advantages professionally.

You've chosen a path of design and not art, and that is a different path that not only engages in personal expression but also in a process of thinking and initiating. If you don't look after yourself professionally, you won't be as good as you can be. People who remember more images, who read more, who drink more wine, who develop their ability to feel, will be better designers. It is important that you look at life with big, wide open eyes. Develop your ability to distinguish subtleties, and allow yourselves to understand that there are 700 ways of talking about sweet or seeing seven tones of white. There is no fixed list of skills that a designer needs to develop, you are the tool - it is yourselves that you have to develop. Preserve the place where you too do not take everything for granted, including your own opinions or your work. Whenever you become too comfortable, that is the time to switch on a red light and check what you think about it.

Design Lab & Galit Gaon

People sit on a particular chair and find it very comfortable. They can't explain even to themselves why they find one chair more comfortable than another. My role in the Museum is to allow people to talk more about whether I'm comfortable or not. My role in the Museum is to raise your clients for you. Our aim at the Design Museum is to raise more people who can examine an object themselves and not wait for an answer from me. I'm more interested in giving people parameters to develop independent thinking to understand what's good, while developing a broader debate than ‘this is amazing and wonderful'.

When I invited Pini and Yiftach to teach first-year students here, people said, where do you get the nerve to breach the boundaries of what is customary in museums before we've established our international place? And then your semester began; each week we posted blog updates on the website, had it translated it into English, and the reactions started rolling in: for instance, yesterday a group of German students came to the Museum and made a point of arriving early so they could see the Lab before it closed. People are talking about the Lab, professionals come to see it, and I think it says something about the Museum and about how we want to touch design processes. Sometimes I stand in front of the wall on which hang notes with words and names from the lessons, and translate them for visitors. It's fascinating to understand what you do here.

A museum is not Ikea. People who want to look at a lamp and say it's stunning can go to a store. A museum is a place where questions are asked and things are examined. In recent decades museums have been undergoing significant change processes. Museums came into being from private collections, and the curator's role was to sort the pieces and display them to the public. If museums were initially preservers of culture, documenters of culture, researchers of culture, today they want to be generators of culture. For that you need time and considerable measures of patience and compassion".

"Galit spoke about life and about design", Pini sums up, "and one of the things she talked about, between the lines, is desires, opportunities, and limitations, and how looking at the limitations builds and makes what ultimately exists without compromise. You've just been given a life lesson. Thank you, Galit".

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
- Last Lesson - 26/1/2011

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