Best of HDW takes a closer look at some of the most exciting projects featured in Design Museum Holon's "Designers Plus Ten" exhibition.
The "Local Souvenirs" designed by Johnathan Hopp in collaboration with Sarah Auslander are some of Israel's most recognizable and widely sold design objects. The glazed earthenware replicas of important Israeli buildings include many of Tel Aviv's famous Bauhaus beauties, like the one at 28 Rosh Pina Street, designed by architect Arieh Cohen in 1935 (below).
Before Johnathan set up his studio in Yafo, where he both designs and produces his ceramic projects, he studied Industrial Design at RISD and interned at Marcel Wanders' studio in Amsterdam. His process, which has evolved significantly over the last decade, usually begins with "photographs and manipulations of photographs."I then make some paper mock-ups and models until I feel confident enough to make a plaster, wood or plasticine model for casting. Occasionally, I have a craftsman make the model or the piece for me when I don't have the equipment or the skills necessary for the job. The model is then duplicated in a RTV silicone material and plaster molds are made of the silicone part. Ceramic slip is cast into the mold, then glaze is applied and sometimes ceramic decals are used on the glaze.
Right now Johnathan says he's interested in "the 'Properness' of design objects. As opposed to art, which is allowed—indeed expected—to be rude, ugly and inappropriate, design is expected to be sweet, pretty, polite and tasteful. In my work I enjoy prodding these boundaries and challenging these expectations." Certainly, his Local Souvenirs are very sweet, so perhaps he'll explore the rude, ugly and inappropriate next for a change of pace.