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For the second year running, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design will display its innovative, unique and creative designs at the Ventura Lambrate Collective Space during the Milan Salone Internazionale del Mobile this April

Jerusalem, March 2012: The Industrial Design Department of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Israel’s oldest institute of higher learning and one of the leading academies of it’s kind in the world, will provide a “Design Bonanza” for visitors to this year’s Milan Design Week from April 17 to 22. 

Milan Design Week, or the Salone Internazionale del Mobile di Milano, is the largest trade fair of its kind in the world. The exhibition showcases the latest in furniture and design from countries around the world and Bezalel has been chosen to be one of only a few of the top design academies in the world to exhibit its students’ designs at the avant-garde Ventura Lambrate District, the newest area of this major event.

Competition for exhibition space is tough and the organizers choose to invite only a select number of academies to exhibit. Forty-five undergraduate and graduate students from Bezalel will participate in this prestigious event.

Bezalel has chosen the theme, “Design Bonanza”, for this year’s exhibition. According to Haim Parnas, head of the Bachelor of Design programme and also one of the show’s curators, “Design Bonanza” expresses the experimental spirit of Bezalel as well as the creative research, which encourages the students to doubt and look for that which is new in the material, shape and idea, as tools for continued examination of the field of design.”

Bezalel’s students have moulded their designs based on solving problems, producing experimental designs that have practical uses. Some are life-saving objects, like the “Ruins Catheter”, the “RedBeard Helmets” and the “Earthquake Proof Desk”, while others are produced according to pre-historic ideas using modern technology, such as the “Glass Knives for the Post-Modern Neanderthal”.

Some items use natural materials such as the “Needle and Thread” shoes made out of pine needles and “Preserved”, a project that focuses on pressing technology, which revives the ancient use of salt as a preservative.

Idan Raizberg’s life-saving “Ruins Catheter” is a modular system designated to rescue a person trapped under a collapsed structure. The system gets its inspiration from a medical balloon catheter used to expand arteries. It is designed as a capsule, which is put into the opening of the ruins and is opened by inflating an air bag and locked at the size that enables a person to crawl through. After opening the first segment, it is possible to send through it additional units, and by doing so, to create a safe corridor for rescuing people during a disaster.

Shai Lanir’s “RedBeard” helmet is a project that was created in the shadow of the “helmets law” in Israel, which hovered over the fashionable heads of the city’s cyclists. It was unclear whether the law would be enforced and all cyclists would be forced to be seen in public as if an aerodynamic spaceship had landed on their heads. Sketches, photographs, wandering, tests, knitting, spilling, smearing, and sewing created three 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.  

“The balance in the design world is shifting from beauty-only products to designs that are more practical and problem-solving in nature,” said Parnas. “The shift is towards experimental design that pushes us forward into producing products that have real, practical uses.

“The entire show is based on the energy and work of the students in the Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes,” Parnas said. “They’re the designers, they made the products, are packing them, travelling with them, designing the show. We didn’t hire a company to do these things for us. It is a combined effort. We have also chosen three young designers from our M Des programme as assistant curators to design the show  – Odelia Lavie, Dan Hochberg and Roi Vaspi Yanai – and this will be their own private ‘design bonanza’.”

In their description of the “Design Bonanza”, the curators, Parnas, Prof Ezri Tarazi, head of the Master of Design (M Des) programme, and Galit Shvo, M Des academic co-ordinator, expand on the idea. “Somewhere in the midst of mundane technology, in the desert of everyday materials, within the familiar combinations, gold awaits to be discovered. The term ‘Bonanza’ expresses the alchemic moment: a dream in which a new idea is born, the discovery of a treasure. The ‘mining’ process of new ideas, like a golden artery within familiar patterns, provides an opportunity within the material or object and characterises the chosen batch of works by undergraduate and graduate Industrial Design students at Bezalel.”

“The hidden dreams in ‘Design Bonanza’ try to illustrate the urge, discovery and future products of young designers in Israel,” said Tarazi. “Bezalel is a cutting-edge laboratory of design in which students explore and experiment with the unconventional and unordinary in design today, and Milan is the best place to expose the incredible work that Bezalel’s young designers consistently produce.”

Please visit the “Design Bonanza” website for further information –

For further information about Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design Jerusalem, please contact:
Darryl Egnal at Koteret Group, Tel Aviv on 054 884 5237/ or Jason Silberman at Koteret Group, Tel Aviv on 054 535 9955 / /

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