“Shenkar is a very unique school,” says Prof. Yuli Tamir, president of Shenkar College of Engineering and Design (http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/IsraelExperience/Forging_fashion_tradition-Feb_2011…), on introducing a new exhibit about the Ramat Gan-based school.
“It combines art, design and engineering. What is so special about this event is really a lot of people come here to see the state of the art. This is an opportunity to see the beautiful young creative side of Israel, the side we are very proud of. This is Israel at its best.”
Deli Delatore, a graduate of the fashion design school, says, “Shenkar College is the kind of place that pushes you to your limits.”
But in the opinion of teacher Marlin Nowbakht, the creative push comes from the students themselves: “I think Israeli students are very targeted on what they do….They’re pushing the boundaries of their thoughts. They don’t accept every answer as it is. And there is a lot of creativity within that breaking-the-boundaries kind of approach.”
Have you always dreamed of grabbing a hammer and smashing a wall getting in your way? More than 20 years after German citizens tore down the Berlin Wall, the residents of Haifa will have an opportunity to do the same in their own city.
The Haifa Municipality has been trying to expand the city’s promenade for several years now, but an old wall belonging to the Navy’s training base has been disrupting the plans and blocking the view.
According to an agreement reached between the Haifa Municipality and the defense establishment, the Navy will withdraw from the shoreline between the Bat Galim neighborhood and Hof Hashaket (“the serene beach”), allowing the construction of a 5-kilometer (3-mile) esplanade, which will encircle the city’s entire shoreline.
The promenade, which will cost about NIS 40 million ($10.4 million) to complete, will include deck flooring, sitting stairs and benches facing the sea. A bicycle trail is also planned along the promenade, and the municipality is considering a request to build a small bridge under which Navy vessels will pass on their way to the open sea.
As they tried to come up with ways to break down the wall, municipality officials recalled Pink Floyd’s concert tour “The Wall,” which featured a giant wall smashed on stage, and decided to organize a festival in the city focusing on the special event.
The festival, which will likely be held this weekend, will include a performance by a Pink Floyd tribute band, which will perform the song “Another Brick in the Wall” as local residents smash the training base’s wall with hammers.
One of those residents will be Mayor Yona Yahav. “As a national cultural city, we combine all matters of the city, such as the development of infrastructure and tourism, in the cultural issue,” he said Sunday.
“Residents will take an active role in this festival and help make it even more colorful and meaningful.”
Globally acclaimed home design application Houzz, launched just two years ago by Israeli couple Adi Tatarko and Alon Cohen, has already been dubbed the “Wikipedia of home design.”
The two, who for the past 12 years have called Silicon Valley home, developed the application to cater to their own home remodeling needs, which apparently were shared by many others. Since its launch, the application has received over three million downloads from Apple’s App Store and it is a regular on Apples’ top five best-seller lifestyle applications list.
The company, bearing the same name, is based in Palo Alto and run by the expat couple. Cohen used to be a senior development manager at eBay.
The breakneck speed in which the company grew, coupled with the ties the couple have with some of Silicon Valley’s decision makers, led celebrated VC fund Sequoia Capital – which is invested in leading global ventures the likes of Google, YouTube and PayPal – to lead the company’s $11.6 million financing round.
Houzz allows users to browse, online or via a mobile device, through a large gallery of home design pictures and save their favorite images. Furthermore, it connects homeowners to over 100,000 home improvement professionals such as designers, architects and contractors.
Both groups create a social network that shares ideas, tips and recommendations. Houzz also generates a large supply of jobs for its home design professionals.
Houzz began like so many other startups before it – following a personal crisis in the life of its founders. After their second child was born, Tatarko and Cohen decided to remodel their 1955 home.
“We looked for professionals whose expertise was renovating old homes, we wasted a lot of time and came up with very few options,” the couple recounts. “We were just throwing money down the drain and ended up back in square one.
“We felt there was really no good way to find professionals that are suitable for our project,” they say. “The home renovation and construction area is relatively underdeveloped.
“When you use Trip Advisor or Expedia, you more or less know what you’re getting and can customize your own trip. In the construction market, things are completely different.”
Tatarko and Cohen explain that renovating a home is a complex and usually stressful process that may end with shabby results and disharmony between couples. Houzz aims to simplify matters and walk users through the process.
Tatarko quit her job at an investment house, and Cohen built the website. The couple talked to architects and designers from the Bay area and to the parents of their children’s classmates, who were also seeking to remodel their home.
They found out they were far from being alone in their search for online information. Architects began posting portfolios to the website and the users loved the fact that they could view resolution images, save their favorite pictures and speak with designers. The word soon spread, and increasing numbers of users began joining the community.
Then came the investors, and without investing a cent in marketing, the company began gaining success outside the United States. With the new financing, the couple opened their office and were joined there by the other employees, who until then worked from home. One of Houzz’s first employees was the editor-in-chief of prestigious style magazine Sunset, who left her job to join Houzz.
The Bahá’í Shrine in Haifa has been voted the most beautiful public structure in Israel, according to a readers’ poll conducted by the architecture channel of Yedioth Ahronoth’s lifestyle portal Xnet.
More than 40,000 people took part in the survey, in which they were asked to rank 50 public structures across Israel famous for their unique architecture.
Haifa is represented by two structures in the top 10 – the Bahá’í Shrine (first place) and the old Technion building (third place). The Holon Design Museum ranked second and Jerusalem’s Mamilla Avenue came in fourth.
The Ashdod Performing Arts Center, which has just been inaugurated, ranked fifth.
Jerusalem’s King David Hotel came in sixth, followed by Tel Aviv’s Azrieli towers in Tel Aviv (voted the most beautiful structure in Tel Aviv), the Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem, the new wing of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and Bialik House in Tel Aviv.
A graduate of London’s Chelsea College of Art and Design, Han was asked to help design a new kindergarten in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, Israel. And while white alligators and mushroom houses might not come to mind when thinking of kindergartens, Han doesn’t think like the rest of us, and that’s a wonderful thing.
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