Dror Benshetrit interview

Since 2002, Dror Benshetrit has developed a multidisciplinary practice specializing in innovative design projects. His approach to design has shown breadth and depth through the completion of projects varying in scale and nature. His portfolio encompasses product design, interior and architecture projects, and creative direction. Video link

Based in New York and having received his education at the Eindhoven Design Academy in Holland, Dror observes the world from an inquisitive eye and seeks unique responses to the needs of our modern lifestyle. He has long been interested in the manifold meanings and uses of any single object. Each project starts with questioning conventions and entails with immersive investigation. He conducts thorough research focusing on materials, technology and geometry in collaboration with a team of experts boasting a global knowledge-base. Dror works with a range of international clients, including Alessi, Bentley, Boffi, Bombay Sapphire, Cappellini, Kiehl’s, Levi’s, Lualdi, Material ConneXion, Maya Romanoff, Marithé + François Girbaud, Puma, Rosenthal, Skins Footwear, Yigal Azrouël, Shvo, Swarovski, Tumi, and Target.

Dror has lectured around the world and received numerous design awards including the GE Plastics Competition “Merging Boundaries” (2001), iF Product Design Award (2006), the Good Design Award (2008, 2010). He has gained international media exposure. and has been widely exhibited. His work is included in the permanent collections of major museums in North America, Europe and the Middle East. 

1. In your work one can see clearly you affection to structures and transformation – What is more important to you, the function or the emotion of an object or creation? Or is it a fusion of expression and function? I always define my work as either an expression of physical or metaphorical transformation. Objects that physically transform tend to be more functional such as the Pick Chair, and objects that represent metaphorical transformation such as the vase of phases are more emotional.

2. Many Designers work with flashy colors – how do you feel or decide about the usage of colors or natural finish? My work is always about the process, so movement and form usually come before aesthetics. Sometimes neutral colors highlight the form nicely, and also in cases where we work with natural materials, we avoid flashy colors. Other times color can further enhance the form – like with the Peacock chair. I love the folds of the felt in bold, bright colors.

3. Traveling around the world – which city wowed you in design term, which is aspiring – your hot spot? How do you feel about Tel Aviv in design terms? Paris is probably my favorite city – it is so beautiful and I love the relaxed energy there. Tel Aviv has a lot of exciting developments and I hope to be more involved with that in the coming years.

4. You considered yourself almost more of an artist than an designer, how comes that many designers are afraid of being called an artist? I’m not sure. I guess the tendency is to associate art more with aesthetics, whereas design can encompass more aspects such as function, ergonomics, etc. – so it depends what you value. But in general I prefer not to label myself one way or the other.

5. In which field of expertise would you like to focus more on in the future?
You also have a lot a large team to work with – is there maybe a different specialist you would like to work with, maybe a specialist for astronautics?

Working with different specialist and collaborators is key to succeeding in any project and it is a process I truly love and value. In the future it would be great to focus more on reaching the mass market.

6.Tell us an unexpected fact about you.
I gave up designing on the computer years ago – I stick with sketching and the workshop.

7. Do you read design-blogs?
of course – it’s important to know what is out there.

8. Would you tell us your favorite one and why you would recommend it?
I like designboom – especially the layout and presentation of projects. I think it is very well curated.

9. What do you like about Designspotter? The breadth of content.
10. Do you miss anything? Right now I miss Costa Rica.

Thank you Dror for this interview. ( by Stephanie Krauch )

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