The next generation of promising textile designers in Israel

Shenkar’s newly minted graduates will be presenting their thesis projects throughout the campus on a variety of subjects, including society, medicine, economics, feminism, pride and independence.

TEXTILE ITEMS from ’Serenity’ by Bosmat Levi (photo credit: ARIEL MEDINA)
TEXTILE ITEMS from ’Serenity’ by Bosmat Levi
(photo credit: ARIEL MEDINA)
‘Every year,” says Hadas Himmelschein, head of the Department of Textile Design at Shenkar College, “we wait to see the message that our graduates will bring to the coming years and what the future will look like through their eyes. In the world of corona, these questions take on added significance, and something new will emerge from the restrictions and limitations created by the virus.”
Shenkar College, one of Israel’s leading universities, combines faculties of engineering, design and art, allowing students to combine cutting-edge technologies with contemporary design and artistic concepts. This year’s graduating students approached their senior thesis project influenced by the impact that the coronavirus has had on the world. Shenkar’s newly minted graduates will be presenting their thesis projects throughout the campus on a variety of subjects, including society, medicine, economics, feminism, pride and independence.
This year, in full compliance with the corona restrictions, Shenkar College will hold a variety of events, meetings and guided tours for the general public, where the students’ creations will be shown. Shenkar’s end-of-year events make it possible to get to know tomorrow’s inventors, entrepreneurs and artists, to be impressed by their abilities and achievements, and to become acquainted with current trends and processes of the local and international design and engineering worlds. Shenkar’s end-of-the-year events will be held at the Shenkar campus between August 7 and August 16.
The following are four outstanding examples of the work of the 2020 Shenkar graduating class.
‘Serenity’
by Bosmat Levi

Serenity is a series of textile items designed to filter and reduce the number of stimuli in a crowded and noisy environment. In the contemporary urban environment, we are flooded with information, and every detail is designed to convey messages and content, adding to the density and noise, causing an increased level of stimuli. Overload on the human senses causes an increase in the level of stress and pressure. Soft and pleasant to the touch, Serenity envelops the head, creating a feeling of separation from the environment and contributing to a sense of protection, peace and tranquility.
Materials: Cotton, viscose, and polyester.
Technique: Manual knitting.
Levi explains that the goal of the project was to deal with the excess number of stimuli that everyone experiences in one way or another.
“I wanted to find a way to screen the stimuli from the environment, using a textile item.”
She notes that the calming nature of water and coral of the sea served as her inspiration.
“Water is soothing, and in different cultures, symbolizes healing, balance and harmony. The structure of the hats was designed by examining the structure of the coral, which is made of elements that repeat themselves.”
Water, says Levi, simplifies the stimuli from the environment.
“The visual stimulus becomes simpler and sounds become dimmer. Similarly, the structures I designed form a kind of armor and help create a sense of protection, peace and tranquility.”
“While on the one hand,” Levi states, “Serenity expresses a desire to withdraw and escape from the stimuli of the world, the hats themselves are eye-catching and stand out.”
Levi, who wants to develop the project further and expand it into a clothing brand, says that Serenity has a certain prominence in its presence.
“It does not run away from the hustle and bustle of the city, but rather empowers the self in the face of the environment and integrates within it.”
’Serenity’ by Bosmat Levi (Credit: Ariel Medina)’Serenity’ by Bosmat Levi (Credit: Ariel Medina)
Serenity envelops the head, creating a feeling of separation from the environment (Credit: Ariel Medina)Serenity envelops the head, creating a feeling of separation from the environment (Credit: Ariel Medina)
‘Aesthetically Correct’

by Naomi Mashiah
The Aesthetically Correct project explores society’s attitude toward newspapers and the aesthetic perception of verbal content. Textile sheets consisting of tiles made of newsprint are attached in a mixed technique. More than just a political tool, the newspaper embodies a design potential – a graphic layout of verbal content, constituting a visual layer for a small and precise textile project, combining traditional practice and adaptation to the times. In collaboration with Yisrael HaYom, the newspaper turns into physical tiles with a visual position, and the gap between the political channel and aesthetic design is exposed.
Materials: Newspaper, cotton, wool, polyester, linen.
Technique: Weaving, embroidery, felting, cutting, gluing.
Mashiah says that she began working with newspapers as an art form during her second year at Shenkar.
“I became very interested in working with newspapers. Using newspapers as a raw material intrigued me. I did all sorts of manipulation with them and I realized that not everyone saw newspapers as I did, as something that could be used in design.”
‘Air We Wear/ Protest to Protect’
by May Bar Levav
May Bar Levav presents a variety of masks for protection against air pollution, which encompass various aspects of the climate crisis in their design. The inspiration for the designs lies in the need to find a solution for protection against air pollution and for people who move around in the city. The corona crisis opened the door to design that combines usage and protest. Wearing a mask and hiding the face prevent new interpersonal communication and the need to reinforce narratives and values. Using textile design, with knitting and dyeing solutions, each mask tells in its own way, one of the key stories in the era of rising air pollution.
Materials: Combination of aloe vera threads, copper lyocell, and rubber, PLA, filter fabrics made of wool.
Bar Levav says that the outbreak of the coronavirus changed and shaped the development of her project.
“In the early days of the project, I wanted to make face masks – heretofore an ‘apocalyptic’ item that was not known in Israeli culture – into a necessary and wearable item. I felt that air pollution would increase dramatically in the coming years and we would have no choice but to wear a mask every day. Then the plague broke out, and I was ‘swallowed up’ by a herd of designers and doctors, all dealing with the same subject and with the same goal of finding a practical and comfortable solution for everyday wearing of the mask.”
Bar Levav, as a design student, decided to take a different tack and approached the mask from the standpoint of protecting against air pollution.
“I believed that masks were a new ‘place’ on our bodies to convey messages and values, and through each mask, I chose to tell about one of the air pollution crises from my point of view.”
‘F--- Off’
by Deborah Chekroun

Fashion is the best way to change the opinion we can have of ourselves. We need a new aesthetic for a new body, for a new way of living. Chekroun’s goal is to cancel the definition of the body as we know it today. Are we forced to show our bodies to say ‘I am proud of it’? Inspired by the concept of “More is More,” stemming from the Memphis Movement in the 1980s, she has created an all-over genderless collection made from different techniques of textile. Chekroun utilizes the properties and characteristics of knitting to give volume, and the properties and attributes of weaving to give strength, presence and more relief to the knitwear.
Materials: Organic cotton yarn, cotton yarn, bamboo yarn, colored rubber
Techniques: Hand knitting and home-machine knitting, industrial weaving, crocheting, sewing
Chekroun says that clothes can help us deal with our bodies and how we see ourselves.
“For example, I like to wear colorful clothes, because that way, it does not matter what is underneath. One sees the colors, and it is more than who I am inside. Our bodies do not define us, and what we wear can help define ourselves more accurately.”