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May 13, 2011

There's an interesting new museum in Israel, just south of Tel Aviv, with a corkscrewing exterior of rust-red Cor-Ten steel: Design Museum Holon, designed by Ron Arad. Their forthcoming exhibition is especially compelling. "New Olds: Design Between Tradition and Innovation" will run May 26 through September 10, curated by Volker Albus in collaboration with the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen. The wide-ranging show spotlights works by over sixty Israeli and international designers who straddle tradition and innovation, drawing inspiration from historical references and symbols ranging from cuckoo clocks and deer antlers to traditional porcelain and Baroque objects. Maarten Baas, for example, has reinterpreted the mundane white plastic garden chair, melding it with a hand-carved wooden chair; Frank Willems bends and twists mattresses to form chairs and stools. If you happen to be in Israel over the next few months, check it out—especially if you can visit during one of the accompanying lectures, given by international designers and 18 up-and-coming and established Israeli designers. Here's a peek at what's on view, along with some commentary on each piece by Albus and Galit Gaon, the chief curator of the museum.

<i>Happy Material</i> by Pini Leibovich. "The Happy Material chair made from thousands of balloons channels a Campana Brothers' aesthetic with its nod to surrealism and furniture-as-art."<br /><br />Photography by Dorit Talpaz.
Happy Material by Pini Leibovich. "The Happy Material chair made from thousands of balloons channels a Campana Brothers' aesthetic with its nod to surrealism and furniture-as-art."Photography by Dorit Talpaz.
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<i>Mono Thone</i> by Martino Gamper. "Gamper sees his designs as a chance to create ‘three-dimensional sketchbooks’, a set of playful yet thought-provoking designs that, due to the time constraint, are put together with a minimum of analysis but possibly
Mono Thone by Martino Gamper. "Gamper sees his designs as a chance to create ‘three-dimensional sketchbooks’, a set of playful yet thought-provoking designs that, due to the time constraint, are put together with a minimum of analysis but possibly creating one or more designs that might be suitable for mass production. The designer hopes his chairs illustrate and celebrate the geographical, historical and human resonance of design: what can they tell us about London, the sociological context of seating from different areas, and the people who owned each one? The stories behind the chairs are as important as their style or even their function."Photography by Anna Arca.
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<i>Golden Age</i> by Meirav Peled Barzilay. "Inspired by the loss of skin elasticity in old age, the ceramic vases are first created in slip cast molds and are then manipulated manually. This results in vases which are very similar but never identical. Th
Golden Age by Meirav Peled Barzilay. "Inspired by the loss of skin elasticity in old age, the ceramic vases are first created in slip cast molds and are then manipulated manually. This results in vases which are very similar but never identical. The form of the vases resembles sagging skin in old age; they are decorated by two different but complementing prints."Photo by Naama Rona.
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<i>Fixie Lamp</i> by DAG Designlab. "The Fixie Lamp Series is a collection of four LED based lamps made of a flexible material which makes them playful, and offers the users a variety of postures and adjustments."<br /><br />Photo by Inbal Marmari.
Fixie Lamp by DAG Designlab. "The Fixie Lamp Series is a collection of four LED based lamps made of a flexible material which makes them playful, and offers the users a variety of postures and adjustments."Photo by Inbal Marmari.
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<i>Werkstadt-Kabinett</i> by Studio Makkink & Bey. "The title of this work alone promises something new. The piece diminishes the very precise bipolar sense of location where one works, proving that the only thing that matters is the technical equipment.
Werkstadt-Kabinett by Studio Makkink & Bey. "The title of this work alone promises something new. The piece diminishes the very precise bipolar sense of location where one works, proving that the only thing that matters is the technical equipment. If you have that, all you need in order to open up a workshop or an office in the city is a place to sit and put down the computer."Photo by Frank Kleinbach.
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<i>Blow Away Vase</i> by Front.  "This classic Royal Blue Delft porcelain vase has experienced something truly bizarre: it has been blown aside by a powerful gush of wind. The wind motion has become part of its features and the beauty of the vase lies in
Blow Away Vase by Front. "This classic Royal Blue Delft porcelain vase has experienced something truly bizarre: it has been blown aside by a powerful gush of wind. The wind motion has become part of its features and the beauty of the vase lies in the fact that it is bent but not defeated."Photo by Maarten van Houten.
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<i>Raw 001</i> by Haim Parnas. "The object is made of a white wood beam that was used by Israel Railway workers and then discarded. The legs of the piece and the mast are made of cypress branches found in the forest. The connector is a tree branch inserte
Raw 001 by Haim Parnas. "The object is made of a white wood beam that was used by Israel Railway workers and then discarded. The legs of the piece and the mast are made of cypress branches found in the forest. The connector is a tree branch inserted into a simple cylindrical cavity made with a hand drill. The parts are connected by means of pressure, without glue, and the whole piece is coated in beeswax. The rubber pads on the legs were cut out of a tire. The tracks left by worms are just as important as the marks of the saw, the axe, and other tools, and even after it has been finished the object perpetuates the fact that it is still a raw material given to change."Photo by Shay Halevi.
Courtesy of 
SHAI HALEVI@
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<i>Plus de Madam Rubens</i> by Frank Willems. "After bending, twisting and folding mattresses into quirky shapes, Willems then sprays them with a water-resistant foam coating and then paints it."<br /><br />Photo by Serge Hagemeier.
Plus de Madam Rubens by Frank Willems. "After bending, twisting and folding mattresses into quirky shapes, Willems then sprays them with a water-resistant foam coating and then paints it."Photo by Serge Hagemeier.
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<i>Custom Made Chair</i> by Karen Ryan. "Made from salvaged furniture pieces, each chair is a completely unique work of art. It is as much an exploration of consumption and disposability as a practical, functional seat."
Custom Made Chair by Karen Ryan. "Made from salvaged furniture pieces, each chair is a completely unique work of art. It is as much an exploration of consumption and disposability as a practical, functional seat."
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<i>Rope Bench</i> by Yoav Reches. "This plywood bench has been constructed using only rope tension. The system, which features the rope embedded directly in the plywood, can either lie flat or be realised into a complete seating unit."
Rope Bench by Yoav Reches. "This plywood bench has been constructed using only rope tension. The system, which features the rope embedded directly in the plywood, can either lie flat or be realised into a complete seating unit."
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<i>Secrets D-6</i> by Arik Ben Shimhon. "This modular storage unit was created following efforts to develop pieces of furniture that encourage people to hide secrets in them. It is composed of drawers that are mounted one on top of the other, and the numb
Secrets D-6 by Arik Ben Shimhon. "This modular storage unit was created following efforts to develop pieces of furniture that encourage people to hide secrets in them. It is composed of drawers that are mounted one on top of the other, and the number of drawers can vary according to the function or need. The drawers revolve independently, allowing the owner to deliberately show or hide the handles—revealing or hiding the access to their secrets."Photo by Ori Ackerman.
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<i>Mesh</i> by Tal Gur. "Mesh is a web of metal wires that lie over a base of curved iron rods—a spider web of sorts. Polyurethane plastic bags have been twisted over the structure by heating and welding. The chair creates a sense of naturalness and organ
Mesh by Tal Gur. "Mesh is a web of metal wires that lie over a base of curved iron rods—a spider web of sorts. Polyurethane plastic bags have been twisted over the structure by heating and welding. The chair creates a sense of naturalness and organic form that has undergone contemporary adaptation and interpretation."Photo by Ohad Matalon.

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<i>Happy Material</i> by Pini Leibovich. "The Happy Material chair made from thousands of balloons channels a Campana Brothers' aesthetic with its nod to surrealism and furniture-as-art."<br /><br />Photography by Dorit Talpaz.
Happy Material by Pini Leibovich. "The Happy Material chair made from thousands of balloons channels a Campana Brothers' aesthetic with its nod to surrealism and furniture-as-art."Photography by Dorit Talpaz.

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