The Milan Furniture Fair is in full swing and Inhabitat is on the scene scouring the city for all the latest and greatest green designs. The first stop on our tour is "Design Bonanza", a student show organized by the Industrial Design Department of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Israel’s oldest institute of higher learning. With an inspiring array of products on display, Design Bonanza explores the true experimental spirit of modern design. From lifesaving objects to a contemporary use of natural textiles, these student designs reinterpret existing materials in an innovative and sustainable way. Professor Haim Parnas, head of the Bachelor of Design program explains, “We believe that eco-sustainability should be in the toolbox of the designers, and in the way they think. Our products speak about the relation of man with the environment, and how they co-exist, using design as the medium.” Jump ahead for our top picks from this spectacular student show!
Here is “Glass Knives for the Post-Modern Neanderthal” by Itmar Foguel. The piece reminisces on the art of breaking rock and glass into tools, as was done by the prehistoric man. It shows how man can manually create survival tools from broken bottles without any raw materials or employing an industrial process.
Rachel Boxnboim’s “Alice” is an interesting mix of materials that combine cloth and ceramics to produce interesting shapes, textures and colors.
“Red Beard” by Shai Lanir is a range of fashionable helmets made of hardened wool in epoxy material, with a removable interior sewn from Cordura and cotton, and lined with polyethylene foam combined with polypropylene.
“Craft Oriented Design” by Rami Tareef studies the hybridization between crafts and modern design, creating chairs using minimal material.
“Preserved” is an innovative project by Baruch Mogilevsky which keeps meat dried and preserved, making it edible for years. This is done by making a rigid capsule of high pressured salt, the hardness of which keeps the meat sealed.
“Lint” by Shelly Simcha aims to give a new life to the lint collected in the dryer to create a blanket by composing the fibers.
“Blitz.k11” by Shy Bernsthein combines wood and brass, highlighting the significance of each material.
“MudHut” by Daniel Narunsky is a template of tools used to create an oven out of mud. The pot, shovel and spatula can be used to shape mud in the form of an oven, signifying creation out of existing materials.
“Scissors Glove” by Liran Elbaz enables a much more intuitive relationship between humans and products.
“In Needle and Thread” Hadas Ilani examined various methods of sewing pine needles into shoes, giving dried pine a new life.
“WATCHIT” by Mel Burgman provides a ‘reality check’ by enabling people to record live happenings and create an online community where it can be shared.
“Arm” created by Roi Vapsi Yanai is a lamp created by paper, enabling different shapes and curves.
Experimenting with different materials, “Frozen” was developed by Lee Rosman by mixing iron powder with various casting materials. Their reaction causes the iron powder to freeze in different places, creating beautiful patterns.
“Dovecote” by Alon Blumenzeig explores the relationship between a product and its natural surroundings, creating a light source by industrially compressing bird feed. As the birds feed on it, the light starts to be exposed.
Photos: © Radhika Sawhney for Inhabitat