Alex Meitlis by Hazorfim: A Collaboration of Form

By Jo Phillips

.Cent spoke to Alex Meitlis in London about his upcoming collection, created in collaboration with Hazorfim, which will be on show this September at 100% Design.

Meitlis’s combined approach to design means that his work often defies traditional genre boundaries, merging notions of interior and industrial design within his architectural concepts.

After working with the Richard Rodgers partnership as well as Ron Arad during a period in the UK, Meitlis established his own practice in Tel Aviv. More recently he has worked in UK again, designing Ottolenghi’s London restaurants.

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Talking with Alex, we discussed how there is often much focus given to the ‘inspiration’ behind a new collection; perhaps because client needs and technical changes tend to modify what becomes the ‘final product’.

But as Alex spoke about the process involved in this project, it seemed that this ‘Collaboration in Form’ did in fact, become the result of his initial artistic vision.

A renowned silversmith company, Hazorfim use traditional eastern techniques, and focus mainly on the production of Jewish art.

However, whilst invited to visit the Hazorfim factory to learn their vocabulary and understand the language of their design, Alex spoke of his decision to decline this invitation.

He said that this was in an effort to bring a totally fresh perspective to the company’s work, something unaffected by possible factory restrictions or technical procedures.

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Therefore, he made one hundred and twenty preliminary sketches, each based on a different object, with the assumption that this would be the first stage of a lengthier process of design changes made in collaboration with Hazorfim.

However, during the meeting to discuss these initial sketches, Alex spoke of the companies’ adamancy that he did not change or alter his designs.

Whilst some of the designs introduced both brass and gold plated brass, thus moving quite significantly beyond Hazorfim’s traditional silver focus, Alex said they were resolute in feeling that the designs were perfect, and entered straight into the manufacturing process.

Indeed, the final pieces, which include various vessels, vases, candle sconces and bowls seem to reflect the purity of this artistic evolution, glorifying form through their elegant simplicity.

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The collection is full of smooth ellipses and organic curves, however by cutting through these shapes with horizontal swathes as well, Meitlis subtly plays with ideas of perspective, breathing fresh life into deceptively simple forms, and giving a contemporary dimension to Hazorfim’s production.

Exploring what constituted good design; Alex pinpointed the idea of effortlessness. He suggested that good design was something that perhaps appeared simplistic, yet was difficult to really ascertain or reproduce.

The stunning radiance of this new collection seems to fit this brief entirely, see it at 100% Design from the 18th-21st of September at Earls Court, and watch this exclusive clip from our interview with Alex.

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