An art form that requires perception with a promise of intrigue.
Words by Meryl Fontek
Racheli Sharfstein is a curator of perspective. The Tel Aviv-based product designer and founder of Studio Reish explores the relationship between an object in a given space and the user perceiving it. While obtaining a Masters degree at the Milan Domus Academy, Sharfstein identified major differences between Israeli and Italian design. “In Israel, the most important thing to consider while designing an object is its practicality.” During her time in Milan she recalls having the privilege to study with the most important designers of the time who were her professors. She was heavily influenced by the time spent following their design processes, implementing them in her own development strategies today.
“The legacy and extensive history of Italian design provide both respect and an immense amount of knowledge. Israeli design’s lack of history, makes designers more curious because we live in a bubble of sorts without something to look back on for reference. We have to invent and use local materials rather than imported ones.”
Over the last 10 years, Sharfstein has been creating objects for the spaces we work and live in. “I try to use materials that weren’t originally meant to be used for my specific purpose.” This design motif allows for the objects to become more conceptual. When taking on a new project, Sharfstein starts with a concept and then asks herself what she can give to the user, for instance, another point of view. Her use of reflections is prevalent in much of her work as we look to them to see ourselves from a different vantage. “We are so often looking at our phones for reflection. In my work, I try to give a non-digital filter as a way to perceive ourselves and be intrigued to continue looking.”