A Glimpse of Israel’s Future Generation of Designers

The Rothschild Design Award encourages and promotes excellence in the local design field, starting with the identification and support of designers in the early stages of their careers. The issues engaging the graduates of design academic institutions are diverse, from political events, such as the judicial overhaul, through the development of novel techniques, to the search for solutions to global warming.

Since its inception, the Edmond de Rothschild Design Award encourages and promotes excellence in the field of local design. One of its central goals is to identify and support early-stage designers. We set out to meet the next generation of Israel’s designers – perhaps one (or more) of them is the next winner?
Students in the Industrial Design Department of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design grappled with a wide range of topics, spanning current events and violence in Israeli society, to community well-being and holistic design, and the quest for solutions to safeguard the planet.

The general elections of November 2022 and the protests against the judicial overhaul that began shortly afterwards emerge as the defining event for the students who began their final year of studies at the time. Each of the graduates responded in their own unique way to Israel’s hottest topic.

Chen Smadar | White on White
The project addresses Israeli-local violence that is revealed through the iconic plastic “Keter” chair and examines the phenomenon of aggression in society through martial arts.

Karen Attas | Personification
An acoustic seating system for prison visiting spaces, which provides an opportunity to foster positive relationships that serve as social anchors and support the rehabilitation process, ultimately aiming to reduce recidivism.

Ofir Danino, Amit Martin Mansharof | Barricade 2.0
The creators pose a question about street ownership: Who holds authority to shape and change it and what are the power relations in the public space? These questions give rise to mobile seating objects made of fences.
Some of the graduates were very concerned about climate change, some invested in local politics and sought to influence the community. Others harnessed their curiosity, creativity, and toolbox to explore and develop new materials, redefine crafts, and mix old traditions with new technologies. For example, jewelry design department graduate Gal Voller and textile design department graduates Mia Nahum Levy and Razan Assi presented projects brimming with emotion and intelligence; spanning textile processing techniques and handicrafts in jewelry creation, spanning natural and synthetic, ancient and contemporary.

Mia Nahum Levy | Loot
Material research is at the heart of the project, in which two-sided sheets were created, painted and treated in layers in manual processing. The various objects are reminiscent of animal and human fur and skin. The project addresses human attraction to fur and leather, referencing the work shop and butcher’s shop, and raising questions concerning our relationship to strength and beauty.

Gal Voller | Noul to Jewel
The project offers a captivating fusion of weaving and goldsmithing, driven by the desire to establish the tools as an essential component of the finished product, ensuring their enduring significance even after the crafting process concludes. In contrast to the conventional flat loom frame in use today, the designer has developed a set of three-dimensional looms that serve as the foundation for weaving jewelry.

Razan Assi | Every Bead in the Chain
A series of knitted and embroidered clothing items, inspired by a family heirloom necklace. The collection translates jewel-like attributes to the textile medium, imbuing the garment with the intrinsic value of a jewelry. The project delves into questions surrounding the pivotal role of women in upholding family heritage and shaping the designer’s identity.
This year’s graduates of the Department of Fashion Design at WIZO Haifa Academy of Design exhibit a deep fascination with the fabrics that underlie garments. Their exploration extends from comprehensive material research, where they push the boundaries of textiles through traditional techniques, to harnessing advanced technologies like polymer printing and laser cutting. In addition to crafting unconventional cuts and pioneering textiles, the students' creations are a response to pressing contemporary topics such as artificial intelligence, feminism, and the human impact on the environment.

Dekel Almog | The Fabric of Life
During the Covid-19 pandemic, humans withdrew, forced to be confined within walls, while nature reclaimed space and conveyed its signals. The collection explores nature’s capacity to generate life and perpetuate its processes under any circumstances and everywhere, using a rusting process and a combination of manual craftsmanship with knitting, modeling, and 3D printing.

Bar Ben Aharon | The Last Avatar
This project scrutinizes the implications of the fourth industrial revolution on our future. The collection navigates the fine balance between the traditional–tribal and the futuristic, intricately weaving ethnic and futuristic elements together. The inspiration stems from the realms of augmented reality, encompassing design programs that generate overlays and facilitate the transition between 2D and 3D.

Moriah Ettinger | Body Mask
In Orthodox Judaism, religious men sanctify and adorn the Torah, the Gemara, and holy texts with various coverings. As a feminist statement and a response to traditional norms, the designer opts to sanctify the female body. The collection endeavors to bestow grandeur and magnificence upon the female form, restoring to women the agency to make decisions about their bodies while respecting traditional values.