Doing Design: Just a little patience

Designer Iris Zohar has designed hug mugs for Max Brenner as well as helped minorities feel empowered.

April 3, 2012 20:21
Max Brenner designs

Max Brenner designs 370. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Einat Kayless Argaman founded DesignBreak in 2009 and since then has gained a large community of daily readers celebrating the design scene in Israel and beyond.

There are a few designers who have the potential to surround our day to day lives, without us even knowing it. Iris Zohar is one of them. It's very likely that you might have sipped hot chocolate from one of her hug mugs that she designed for Max Brenner.

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Iris is not your average industrial designer. She is one of those who really cares about her surroundings and the society she lives in. She has this unique ability to do it all, from designing for some of the biggest companies in Israel to making some room for giving back by her involvement with minorities and the less fortunate.

Can you tell me a little bit about your background?

I'm an Industrial Designer, graduate of Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, as well as a Philosophy graduate of the Tel Aviv University.

When did you first decide that you wanted to become a designer?

I was born a designer.

Where do you live? What do you like about it and how does it affect your creations?

I live in Binyamina. I like it because it involves living close to nature and I think you can easily see how it affects me when you look at my work.

Give us a glimpse into a normal day in your life.

My busy day starts at 6:30 a.m. full of energy, waking up my kids to school (I have two boys - eight and 11 years old) and ends at midnight, falling asleep with the iPad in my hands trying to catch up.

Can you briefly describe your process for creating a new design?

I guess you can say that my process is similar to any other development process - a brief from the client, research, sketching and developing the sketch to product. When you get professional I think the issue is to push and pass your “comfort zone” in each and every project.

What has been your favorite project so far?

My favorite project is the one that’s getting all the attention, the project I’m working on right now.

What are you really good at? What are you really bad at?

I have all the patience in the world which is good, but sometimes all my patience can disappear in an instance.

What do you do to stay inspired and motivated to create?

I believe that inspiration comes from hard work, when you look everywhere for the right answers or solution, everything will inspire you.

Is there anything in particular that fuels your creativity as a designer?

What fuels my creativity is to walk down the streets without my glasses. Reality looks much better when you fill in the gaps with your imagination.

Which place in the world most inspires you and why?

Statistically - my bed. I still don’t know why.

What are some other passions you have besides art and design?

They are actually more addictions, not only passions: Chocolate, coffee, baking and music.

What challenges have you overcome as a designer?

A few years ago I started to work with people with special needs. I design and develop collections of products that are produced in places that employ people with special needs. I had to take into consideration design abilities, crafts skills and a deep understanding of their needs. It was a big challenge and huge opportunity for me.

Could you share with us your progression as a designer, compared to when you first started out? How have you changed since then?

I hope I haven’t changed since I started. I most enjoy projects that make me start from zero. That’s a good starting point for any designer and it gives me the opportunity to learn the most.

Do you ever hit a creative block? If so, how do you get out of it?

It happens sometimes. My way to get rid of it is to imagine different situations, different materials to work with, different production techniques, or a different time, place or client.

What advice do you have for young designers who want to follow your path?

Don’t be lazy, work hard and do the best you can to fulfill your potential.

What has been one of your biggest lessons learned since starting out?

Don’t think that if you’ve done something once you know all there is to know about it, be modest; it can take a lifetime to learn how to do one thing right.

What has contributed the most towards what you have achieved?


At the age of 20, what did you think you were going to do “in life”? Where do you see yourself in the future? Has your dream come true already?

I have so many dreams; some of them even came true. At the age of 20 I knew I should be a designer. Today, I'm in my 40s and when I look back, I think I was quite clever back then.

Do you listen to music whilst you work? What’s playing in your studio right now?

Sure am. At the moment I’m in my Hadara Levin Areddy faze.

If you weren't a designer, what would you be?

I believe I would be a writer. Writers can create a fantastic world without leaving a footprint.

What are you working on at the moment?

A few projects for clients, some of these are: a collection of glass tableware, a project with studio design44, and an independent project- a new concept of silicon tableware.

Finally, tell us something no one knows about you.

I started to write a book.

Read Einat’s blog and follow her designed journey at

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