(photo credit: Courtesy)
Kibbutzim College's design department is missing only one thing: a
location in central Tel Aviv to provide easier access to the students'
art. Despite the location restrictions, the end of year exhibition this
year showcased the hard work of the students, who thrive in the creative
The school, located in Kiryat Hachinuch just north of Tel Aviv, is
structured differently than other design schools. It provides design
training for teachers along with instruction for students, attempting to
combine both design and teaching. The main focus of the department also
differs from a traditional design department. At Seminar Hakibbutzim,
the students stray from the conceptual dialogue of design and shift to
products that have more purpose, while still attempting to synthesize
fine art and design.
The exhibition of the students' final project was extensive, with
several rooms dedicated to each specialty. The first section, visual
communications, spanned from video installations to students'
photography. One of the most creative projects was a work that
documented immigrants in the Central Bus Station: the book included
pictures of immigrants photographed next to the artist, while the page
was folded over to cover the face of the artist. It displayed the
overwhelming sense of being an outsider, coupled with a feeling of
solitude that was captured through the photograph and the folding of the
page. Other projects included students' interpretations of other
artists' writings, like Paul Gauguin's thoughts about his trip to
Haiti. The students were encouraged to create their own dialogues with
the books, including their own photographs, quotes, and collages.
Some of the most interesting projects were created by Russian
students whose parents immigrated to Israel, most of which explored the
theme of identity and--again--immigration. One of the projects in this
section of the exhibit was a beautiful book that documented the artist's
relationship with her parents through paper-cutting. The artist had
not used laser cutting; rather, each intricate cut and corner was done
completely by hand. Several of the video installation projects
originated from an interest in explaining language; one artist displayed
the Hebrew alphabet through the human body by painting each letter on
the body's form, while another explored pronunciation of language by
analyzing how one can make language visual.
The rooms that showcased costume design were impressive in both the
final product, and also the other design skills clearly involved in the
creation. The elements of industrial design were apparent in most of
these projects, especially the leather-work and laser-cutting. It
proved a true knowledge and merging of the different design disciplines,
and the projects themselves were extremely cutting-edge and inventive.
Throughout the rooms, the designs promoted freedom of expression and
combined precise tailoring with improvisation: one artist created her
beautifully-tailored dresses with the hats cleverly attached to the
The most practical projects were found in the industrial design
exhibit. These creations ranged from projects to help water
purification in third world countries to innovative multi-use objects.
The most impressive design was an aquaponic system that uses a
sustainable growth method, combining water, animals and plants in a
symbiotic environment. The fish exchange waste--valuable nutrition for
plants--for clean water filtered by the plants. This project attempted
to demonstrate a tool for growing and maintaining one's own agriculture
and food. Several other projects showed a synthesis of craftwork and
practicality, particularly in furniture design.
The structure of the program itself aims at interdisciplinary
program--each student learning techniques from different facets of the
department. The first and second years of the program are devoted to
creating and learning the basics of design, sculpture, drawing, and
workshops in fashion design and computer programming. This approach
aims to give each student the tools necessary for a successful future in
design, without honing in on a specific area. In the students' third
and fourth years, they may concentrate in their areas of interest. Each
student chooses one major specialty, along with a minor. It is in the
fourth and final year that the students create a final project, which
focuses on either visual communication/multimedia design, product
design, or costume design.
With careful guidance and immense talent, these students have every
resource at their disposal. Their projects reflect a reinvention of
product design, and a view of art through a highly progressive lens.
Through a mesh of fine art and practicality, they are well on their way
to creating a new frontier of design.