keep it simple

when we were little everyone had these simple 16page A5 notebooks. it was the standard in israel. a few years deeper into the school system we were introduced to the the 40page, and after that, fancy spirals came, and designed notebooks and whatnot. 
but these are the best notebooks, they’re so anti-designed that of course they will become a huge trend now with their brown paper back and small size… because in this day and age, it will take us forever to fill a notebook with more than 16 pages anyway. 
it’s also really easy to take a page out and share with friends, as long as you didn’t pass the middle.
i don’t know the whole story, but from what i understand, someone found a whole lot of these notebooks, and thought it would be clever to hand them out to artists from different traits and disciplines. it all came together to a big exhibition with over 350 notebooks in “beit ha’ir” the old town hall of tel aviv, now functioning as a modern art museum.
and they wanted to make a flyer. and taking a picture of a piece of art on one page of one notebook, just won’t cut it.
so we went downtown with a couple of friends. went to visit Babi, a Sudanese refugee who’s been living in Tel Aviv for the past four years and has a barber shop in Neveh Sha’anan. one of those perfect places with the posters with the haircuts you can choose from are numbered. and we thought it would be a good location for our shoot.
we gave the participants the notebooks to look through them as if they were magazines in the salon while they wait. and this is what we got.
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claes goran shanghai

before we decided to leave china we attended DAFF, the design art and fashion fair in shanghai. we went there for kicks, but ended up collaborating with two brands there, claes goran, a swedish shoe and bag company and a local brand OBA. at the event we shot their fashion shows and then kept in touch and thought about doing more shoots.
https://vimeo.com/69045574
we managed to do one shoot with claes goran before leaving. touring some great spots in shanghai, parks, commercial plazas, old neighborhoods and abandoned building sites all combining two classic chinese elements, green plants and piles of concrete.
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for more. check out their website http://claesgoran.com/en/


mark builds bikes

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a few weeks ago i went to meet mark to interview him for bawakawa.com . tomer from bawakawa told me that there’s a guy right next to their studio that builds funky bikes, for some reason, i thought it would be a really small workshop, with someone really old and a ton of bike parts, and seriously funky bikes… i don’t know why i thought that, it doesn’t really make sense.
mark is an awesome guy. he has the coolest stories, and really digs bikes. and not because they’re fast or rad, because they serve a purpose. he specializes in building work bikes and carriers, like he saw when he traveled in india and like you can see all around holand, filled with lots of kids.

we talked about traveling to india, to japan, seeing how design works over there, living in haifa, we both lived there for a short time and hated it for different reasons, and both have a great love for the city. he used to build bikes right around the corner from where my studio is. and he was very involved with the local punkrock scene. we have a lot in common and he was really fun to talk to.

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when i told yael about him and showed her the pictures i took, she automatically asked if he’s that guy i have a picture of from yafo. i didn’t even think about it, but apparently, i took a picture of mark riding a high-bike in old yafo in 2009, and posted it on my page. i have some more pictures from that day i need to send him.Image

hebrew readers can read the full interview here:
http://www.bawakawa.com/blog/?p=4324


casual domination

i’ve known this girl sol for a while, recently i found out she’s really into S&M. she’s been into S&M for years, but has recently decided to take it to a professional level.  we talked a lot about the problems of starting a “small business” in israel where everything is small and no one ever takes themselves too seriously, nothing out of the norm ever becomes a full time job, you see it here with musicians, artists, who can be extremely talented, but they need another job and keep their passion as a “hobby”. it’s a bit of a bummer sometimes, but other times it’s actually really cool, like meeting a model at the backstage of a fashion show who’s attending med school, and metal band rockstars working as computer programers, that one isn’t even rare.
and then another thing came together; bawakawa.com a online community driven shopping website asked me to start writing for them and i thought that an interview with sol would make a good opening for more interviews, articles and blog posts to come.
we took some garments from bawakawa and shot an S&M dominatrix wearing streetwear, because at the end of the day, it’s all about attitude and not costumes.
hebrew readers can read the interview here:
http://www.bawakawa.com/blog/?p=4187
you can also check out sol’s page here:
https://www.facebook.com/MistressSolDominique
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yomki2013

yom kippur is by far my favorite jewish holiday. it can only really be celebrated in israel, where people actually take a pause for this; secular, traditional and religious people all treat yom kippur as something special, and that’s what i seriously love about it.
I don’t take part in any of the traditional activities lined up for yom kippur. I don’t fast, i don’t pray, i don’t get bummed out… and it’s the only day of the year that I don’t think that the religious coercion in israel is THAT bad.
i enjoy the silence, the streets, the empty roads, the zombie-walk, the clear and quiet beaches, riding, skating, painting, taking pictures and enjoying this special phenomena that can only be felt here.
going back to my hometown won’t be as exciting as staying in tel aviv, because the contrast isn’t very high, most days there are hardly any cars on the road, so it’s no big deal, but in tel aviv, you really feel it.

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something from nothing

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rick was one of the most interesting people i had the opportunity to work with in china. He contacted me to help him design a big coffee place, big enough to have meetings in, big enough to host events, big enough to feed hundreds for lunch (if you’ve been to china you know that means hundreds of people in the span of one hour, and the need for a hundred places to sit) and big enough to be exciting and create a sense of creativity.

so that was the brief: we can have meetings, events, serve a hundred people at the same time, encourage creativity.

the idea behind the name was to create a place that will be a breeding ground for new ideas and activity. to create something from nothing.

so in the design, the nothing part was created by a simple exposed ceiling and wooden floors, and the something-from-nothing part was represented the system of box shelves that can be moved around easily and create separations, benches, a stage and of course, book stands.

all over the place, there are magazines and books for everyone to enjoy, upstairs there is also a room that can be used for games or to have a meeting in,  with a board and projector and everything you need… including coffee, lots of coffee, because what kind of work meeting can you have without lots of coffee?

so it’s a good thing they roast their own coffee right on the spot.

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rick wasn’t the only partner in making this place possible, they called it “big bang” and they put all the key characters on the coffee machine, the investors, the manager, and even me!
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coffee… to go

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coffee culture, like other western stuff in china is funny, it grows fast, it becomes really  good, and people are still not entirely aware of it, or its greatness. our neighborhood was filled with coffee shops that were always empty. i have no idea what their business plan is, but whatever works. coffee shops are not the only shops we see empty. there are also huge shops for dried fish all over the city, i’ve never seen a single person buy anything there, their product is also available in the supermarket, there also, i have never seen anyone even pause in that isle. or designer stores and boutiques, but their most obvious characteristic as a “boutique” is that they are empty.

back to coffee.

there are also some good roasters in ningbo, not many clients, but the coffee is getting better. green coast coffee have been roasting great coffee that they import from all over the world for years in ningbo, they changed location, reorganized, but the most important factor remains, great  coffee!

so i met with them to see their wide range of products and brainstorm with them about ways to improve their visual promotional material as well as introducing them to new clients.

one of the products they wanted to focus on was their coffee-to-go packs, that are single serving drip coffee packets, they come individually wrapped and vacuum sealed, and you can take them everywhere you go, with a wide variety of coffee flavors and if you order in quantity you can actually have your specific roast available like this with your label on it and everything.

I suggested to emphasize the ease of carrying these small packets around by showing regular daily activity while hauling a coffee machine with you, for a similar end result.

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