INTERVIEW WITH ILAN GARIBI AT BRAND NEW WORLD MILANO 2015 @ DUŠAN

The Israeli designer Ilan Garibi, represented by Gal Gaon from Tel Aviv’s Talents Gallery, presents their latest work in Milan from April 14 – 19th, as one of the eight key international studios who epitomize the new concept of Designers – Makers – Entrepreneurs, rethinking the entire business and creative model of design. Garibi’s exhibition is part of BRAND NEW WORLD MILANO 2015 @ DUŠAN, curated and produced by Vesna and Jovan Jelovac. As a part of the Milan 2015 FouriSaloni program, Brand New World shows a pure DESIGN 2.0 philosophy, unthinkable of only a few years ago. The concept is staged in arguably one of the most elegant design showrooms in the city – DUŠAN, Via Antonio Zarotto 1, powered by LAUFEN.

Garibi transforms the Japanese art of paper folding by using stainless steel in his collection for Talents Design. Invoking all the usual elements of origami save for one important factor – the paper – Garibi creates architectural sculptures out of a single sheet of stainless steel. The steel is first laser cut and then hand folded by Garibi and despite its construction from one flat plane – the result gives a solid impression. The mirrored surface of the steel reflects and refracts its surroundings, which – in the case of the wall mounted pieces – lends itself to a cubist appearance.

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Until Ilan met Gal Gaon, the gallery owner and an architect, he folded only paper. Becoming a part of the Talents Design Gallery team has driven him to explore new design areas and new materials, especially such that, by nature, defy folding. Silver, leather, iron and steel plates were successful ventures, as well as wood, glass and ceramic.

– Five years ago, while being a young origami artist, I had this motivation to present my work in a serious gallery. When I met Gal Gaon, the owner of Talents Design gallery, I didn’t know what design was, and the differences between a design gallery to an art gallery. He asked me to make a lamp out of my paper tessellations and I did. Right after that, Gal connected me to Aqua creations and 4 months later we presented the Molecule lamps series at the Milan Design Week. This success raised my appetite for more. Once I realized paper has too many limitations, I started to explore other materials and see how can I fold them. This new knowledge and the guidance of my design mentor, Gal Gaon, were the starting points for most of my designs, said Ilan Garibi.

Using this new knowledge, he started to design products, such as lamps, vases, jewelry and tables; and works of art, mainly out of mirrored stainless steel and painted iron; some have been shown in Miart exhibition in Milan (2013, 2014) and Fresh Paint (2012 to 2014) in Tel Aviv.

– After more than 30 years of diagram-folding, a spark of creativity was aflame in me. I have started to design new models, patterns, objects and sculptures all within the restrictions of the pure origami rules – no glue, no cuts, just folds and creases, added Garibi.

His latest adventure is with jewelry. Combining metal, wood, and paper, he works in a very small scale to design and produce a unique collection of folded rings, pendants and bracelets.

– “Metal origami” in Bavly Park was my first big solo exhibition of five large scale works, all presented in a unique venue. This opportunity to work in such a big scale, with full creative freedom are the reasons for it being my favorite. The latest project is a wall piece, 2.7 by 5.2 meters, in a new hotel in Amsterdam. Once again, it’s a new concept, never-seen-before kind of medium. Can’t say too much about it… I am mostly proud with my Infinity wall – an installation of 27 sheets of mirrored stainless steel, 46 meters long, 2 meters high. It’s part of the Bavly Park project now, said Ilan Garibi.

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Garibi has his favourite partners in the Design 2.0 process.

– I have quite a few – Gal Gaon is my mentor; many of my works are co developed with him. Aviad Mishaeli is a gifted wood artist, and he helps me to complete my metal designs with his artistic touch and perfect craftsmanship. Ofir Zucker is a colleague designer, with whom I made Palmas, and Molecules, said Garibi.

Ilan is teaching Origami for Designers in HIT, Holon, and Shenkar, Ramat Gan, Israel.

–  I am one of very few people in the world that hand folds metal and wood, both in a huge scale, and a very small scale (with my jewelries). I never studied design, and my process of creation is based mostly on my paper models and patterns. Usually when I start to design a model, I see the end product immediately. Sometimes, when there is a request for a specific product, I explore my origami folder and look for the possible model or pattern that suit best. Then it’s only a question of size and material, concluded Garibi.

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Ilan Garibi for Brand New World

Design is illogical. Precisely that is its essential quality.

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