Eastern European Designers in Tel Aviv

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A couple of months ago I visited Israel. Four really intense days of activities that boiled down nicely into an article for First Class Magazine. I shall blog more about my trip eventually, but today I intend to introduce the exciting – and extremely modern – design museum situated not far from Tel Aviv. The Design Museum Holon is a very modernistic building built by the internationally acclaimed architect, Ron Arad.

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Why HELLO Good Looking 🙂

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Design Museum Holon opened in March 2010 and had quickly established itself as one of the world’s leading museums of design and contemporary culture.

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Each year the museum presents an exciting and varied programme of exhibitions and events each dedicated to helping visitors gain a deeper understanding of design and the role it plays in our lives.

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When I was there in February (during Purim which is the most festive of all Jewish holidays. Like four crazy days of Halloween!) the museum had an exhitibiton featuring Eastern European design. I’m sorry to say I have no idea who designed what, but they sure have a lot of imagination and I was thrilled!

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The exhibition was called Common Roots and included almost every country in the eastern block. ”The identity of Central European design is as complex and ambiguous as the identity of the region itself. Over the past century, this part of the world has experienced the rise and fall of radically different political orders, while its borders have been repeatedly redrawn.”

DSC_7493I travelled with one of Sweden’s no 1 trend analysts Stefan Nilsson and thanks to him I got the opportunity to actually see all this. It would never have happened without him. My job is purely travel related (including five star hotels, spas and restaurants.) Such a tough job but somebody’s gotta do it!

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As this exhibition reveals, the individual stories of the participating designers are shaped by remarkable similarities and simultaneous developments.
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Despite their linguistic and national differences and the geographical distance that separate them from one another, they engage with the same concerns and questions, are inspired by the same sources, and attempt to come to terms with the same past historical events.
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The network of relationships created between these designers does not overlap with existing political borderlines, but rather represents a new cultural map that will undoubtedly continue to connect the different parts of this region in the coming generations.

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As you can see there was a mixture of assorted design gems. Unfortunately Central European design is not as wide spread as it deserves to be.

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Our lovely guide (and I believe she is a bit of a designer herself) Hadar gave us the grand tour and she was a true encyclopedia of ”formerbehindtheironcurtaindesigners”. Here she is showing us a DIY-carpet.

DSC_7503A brooch for special occasions.

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Interesting cupboards. Fact is, I saw many lovely pieces of furniture and exciting accessories that I could easily fit into my home 🙂

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Good enough no 2

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In an adjacent room there was a display of vintage Eastern block design. I recognized many of the items from my childhood and was really surprised they originated from Russia, Poland and other communist countries. I never realized that people were allowed to design fanciful furniture and such. I suppose it was sort of an underground movement.

Okidoki. Still waiting for Spring. Should be here any day now…….

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