(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.
Gil Sheffi and Yoav Avinoam have had their fair share of separate
adventures, not long ago they decided to join forces and form their “Producks Design Studio”. These two industrial designers always look for the X-Factor that will guide them to a new beginning and a new creation.
By keeping their users always in the back of their minds the outcome is always a joy for the eyes as well as the body and mind. Can you explain a little bit about your background?Yoav:
We both studied industrial design at the Bezalel Academy of arts and
design, Jerusalem, and that’s where we met. However, we started to work
together only a couple of years after graduation.
I was born in
Petah Tikva. My mother is my connection to the artistic world. As a
child I had a great interest in vehicles and their shapes, though I
couldn't describe it as design at the time. I did have a great passion
for creating out of what was available to me.Gil:
I was also born in Petah Tikva, two years after Yoav. Until the age of
three, when I moved to Hod Hasharon, I actually lived just around the
block from Yoav, but we didn’t meet until much later. Before doing the
army I was interested in basketball. The only roots I can trace to
design were my love for building models, Technic Lego and remote control
cars.When did you first decide that you wanted to become designers?
like every other Israeli, we both took a long trip after our military
service ended. We traveled different continents. But still, somewhere
along the way, while surrounded by nature, wondering what's next, we
both came to the same conclusion - Design. There is something wonderful
about design. It involves technical knowledge alongside great
creativity. We both fell for the prospect of telling a story, through
the objects around us. Where do you live, what do you like about it and how does it affect your creations?Gil:
Yoav lives in Ramat Hasharon, and I live in Tel Aviv, but we both have
relatively big gardens. I love the contrast of living in a cultural
center and not being surrounded only by asphalt. To walk on soil has a
think there is something special about being a designer in Israel.
Being connected to the world and the different industries via the
Internet, reaching the global world on one hand, and on the other, the
limited small Israeli industry creates a vacuum of challenges and
opportunities. Paradoxically, because of this vacuum we operate with no
boundaries and limitations, creating from within. Give us a glimpse into a normal day in your life.
daily routine starts with a cup of black coffee, talking about last
night’s insights. In the morning, we take care of the studio’s
administrative perspectives and meet with clients.
dive into the best part of the day, design. It can be working in the
workshop with actual materials, working on CAD software, research or
making design sketches.
At the end of the day, in the late
evening we try to go out (though it can be difficult at times) and let
loose, in order to make sure that tomorrow we come in fresh for a new
day of creating design.
Can you briefly describe your process for creating a new design?
projects have the same starting point. We search for the X-factor -
something new or an idea that hasn't been expressed before. It can also
be re-examining of familiar things that will create the story of the
For us, Design is not styling, it's not just about
form. Design is planning the product not only as a standalone object but
as part of a bigger image. It's interaction with the users, it's
cultural context, it's surrounding and more are very important.
object has to be right for both sides; the manufacturer and end user.
That's why we emphasize the process of understanding the object and its
needs prior to dealing with its form. It’s important to us to define an
anchor point that will be the product's focal point. Later we operate
according to that anchor; it can be through playing with the materials
themselves, exploring shapes, cultural context exploration, integration
with users, the surroundings or a mixture of the above.
What are you most proud of professionally? And what has been your favorite project so far?
projects we do for clients, according to a brief we define together,
there are also the projects we create from within ourselves. There is
something actually more difficult about creating in total freedom; we
try to take advantage of the opportunity to wear different hats.
such a project is born and a big company wants it for mass production,
there is great satisfaction in that. At the moment we have two projects
of that nature that are in the stages of development for big companies
that decided to go through with them.
What are you really good at? What are you really bad at?
I think we are good listeners, but not in the sense that all men claim
to be with life companions. We are good at listening to the client’s
wishes and needs. We strive to become part of their team but to bring
our different perspective into the equation. We help them to open and
embrace new directions and options they didn't consider before.
Together, as a team we take the best course in order to achieve the
common goal of creating the best product.
we are bad at? Probably deciding we are finished with a design
project. It's always difficult to decide that a project can't be even
slightly better; there are always more options to explore. That's
probably why I sleep with a sketch book by my bed. Design is a process
without a clear ending. Luckily we have a schedule to help us finish the
What do you do to stay inspired and motivated to create?
We keep our eyes open. There is so much stimulation around us. If you know how to “look” then inspiration is really everywhere.
Which place in the world most inspires you and why?
I think that Rio De Janeiro is the most inspiring place I've been to.
Strangely, it’s a place where civilization and nature have intertwined
like nowhere else I've seen. The bountiful jungle surrounding Rio
becomes an urban wild concrete jungle known as the favelas (Rio's poor
neighborhoods) that then become the busy metropolis of Rio. This creates
an interesting gradient from jungle to a modern city.
What are some other passions you have besides art and design?
I love being with family and friends, going out or going traveling in
nature. There is something wonderful about being with the people that
know everything about you and vice versa, yet still finding new
discussions and interests with them.
What challenges have you overcome as designers?
There is a great challenge in making the decision of starting your own business, leaving the safe nest of being an employee.
Could you explain your progression as designers, compared to when you first started out, how have you changed since then?
us, it’s a continuous process of evolving. Looking back, every project
teaches you something. It's a like building with Lego blocks; every
junction of every project is another block in the building, an endless
process of maturing as a designer.
Do you ever hit a creative block – if so, how do you get out of it?
design usually you have too many options, not too few. Every question
has endless answers. The challenge is not to find the way but to choose
between them. Those junctions are the critical points of the process.
Good decisions will get you to the desired result.
What advice do you have for young designers who want to follow your path?
Sometimes the cliché is right - believe in yourself, work hard and embrace any luck that comes across your path.
What has been one of your biggest lessons learned since starting out?
Weekends are sacred, unless you really have to finish something for Sunday.
What has contributed the most towards what you have achieved?
We followed the same cliché we advise others to follow: belief, hard work and luck.
Describe one thing or person that has influenced your designs the most.
We have both participated in students exchange programs in Milan at
different times. I believe my time there, getting a different
perspective, and meeting the European design culture definitely changed
the way I comprehend my role as a designer in our society.
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
the age of 20 I wanted to do something that I love and enjoy doing every
day. That part has come true. As designers we still have some dreams we
want to fulfill.
Read Einat’s blog and follow her designed journey at http://www.designbreakonline.com/