Tel Aviv has been fortunate enough to experience a recent influx of sustainable design studios, creating anything from rotary telephone desk lamps to wood veneer light fixtures. These studios are slowly bringing upcycled and sustainable design to the mainstream, and two new girls on the block recently opened yet another studio – MiKlum. MiKlum (or, “from nothing” in Hebrew) is the south Tel Aviv studio of Daphna Olinsky and Einat Zinger-Feiler, two ladies who decided to create, in their own words, “renewvative design”.
The two “gather and re-design materials that have completed their ‘conventional’ life cycle and are considered waste,” using their design prowess to transform these materials into new, functional, interesting pieces. Green Prophet spoke to Daphna and Einat recently, learning more about sustainable design, the eco-design community in Tel Aviv, and how they go about collecting materials.
How did you and Einat meet and what made you decide to open a studio together?
DAPHNA: Einat and I met through a mutual friend (thanks Shiri!). I was in the fashion business for quite a few years, and was heading to Berlin for a week off. A friend who knew Einat suggested I meet her, being that she is a fashion designer and has been living there for a while. I not only shopped at her great shop in Berlin, but we kept in close touch until she officially moved back to Israel and started talking reUse.
Einat and I both lived overseas for good periods of our lives. We have both recently moved back to Israel, and were looking to create something meaningful. Einat had a great idea, and as we put both our heads to it, we felt this was the right thing at the right time.
EINAT: in our case you can successfully say opposites attracts, we were both immediately attracted to the same field but wanted to play such different rolls, that it was clear from the start that together we make a whole.
How long have you both get involved with sustainable design?
DAPHNA: Einat has been involved with sustainable design for about 5 years now. She can tell you all about the Recycling-Börse she works with in Germany…
I myself, am new to the field, but feel extremely connected to it. I come from a marketing and sales background, incorporating this experience to different fields throughout my career.
EINAT: I was taken by the cause of sustainable design about 5 years ago in Berlin, I was taking part in a joint project by the “Recyclingbörse” (an organisation that deals with unemployment and recycling) and Product Designer Oliver Schübbe, seeing the amount of wasted material being collected changed my horizons.
Could you tell us a little about your work, how you began making the Frank pieces, and your ideas for future projects?
DAPHNA: Our aim is to create product lines. We have put together a ‘line’ for wood products, and are working on a plastic-bag line, as well as a carton line. We start off the line with a product or two we scout out, but once the line is up, we would be calling for designers to offer new products for us to create for them, and sell on.
Where do you collect your materials?
DAPHNA: Currently, our wood ‘line’ is collected in cooperation with the city ministery of Givatayim. The next ‘line’s are being discussed with additional city ministeries. It seems cities have started collecting separated waste, but do not have the solutions to them quite yet.. That is where we come in.
EINAT: it is highly important for us to join forces with the given infrastructures dealing with waste management.
We know that sustainable design studios have been emerging in Tel Aviv over the past few years (such as Junktion, Studio Mesila, Hasadna) – do they form a community, and is there interaction between the studios?
DAPHNA: Absolutely. Just like any field, and especially in Israel, it seems everyone knows everyone. We are still the new girls on the block, but so far have received a warm welcome from whomver we approached.
EINAT: Sure, especially since the matter here is so important to all. i feel like there is mutual support.
Read more about other sustainable design studios::
Tel Aviv’s Junktion Studio Keeps Inspiring Us to Rethink Our Junk
Studio Mesila is Paving the Track to Sustainable Design
Tel Aviv’s Studio Ubico Offers Funky, Fresh Recycled Design