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Finding Music in Design

Gal Tevet talks about this eccentricity and his latest collection of contemporary furniture with Entune Living.

Who is Gal Tevet?

I am an architect, designer and musician. I studied architecture and design in renowned Bezalel University in Jerusalem, working with big international offices throughout my studying years and after. I opened my own practice right after receiving my architecture degree, and started doing projects immediately after. All along my study years I was very active in music scene - playing and composing Jazz, which influenced my later work deeply.  

How was your childhood like?

I was born in Israel, and grew up in many countries being part of a diplomatic family - Africa, Mexico, Italy, US and more. This unique international early experience, led me to understanding different cultures and cultural oriented design, allowing me to continue working at a later stage in the international arena; doing architecture and furniture design. 

What do we not know about you?

I was born with a capacity to see music three-dimensionally. I understood it much later - learning it was a known phenomenon, only after age of 30, an understanding, which changed my life and view of what I do intuitively for years. I played unknowingly with this capacity for a long time, until I became aware of it and started using it as a tool for creation. Since then I have been translating musical structures into design and architecture - harmony, rhythm, melody influenced the way I was designing space, objects, structures, and buildings. Besides doing projects, I have studied the subject academically leading me to teaching design and architecture in Israel and abroad.

You have a unique way of thinking and see music in 3D. Can you describe your design process?

My process is quite unique. I teach about it after I understood that it works because it is very open and not only based on logic or on form. I usually do many sketches to one piece of design or building; each being an evolution of the last. Then after having many variants, I start scaling down and judging my own intuitive creations. In the end, I will be left with two or three developed options to decide from together with the client. I work in many media at the same time from hand sketching, computer drawing, 3D, image editing and more. Each project is being presented in its own unique way. 

With so many designers out there, how do you put yourself in a different light to stand out from the rest?

I don't try to distinguish myself from other creators. I can only quote other people's view of what I do - very multidisciplinary, total designed, elegant and warm creations, always with a deep functional side yet inspiring. I believe in modest design, that when encountered with great detailing and inspiring compositions - can create a timeless, elegant and warm result. 

Why is it important to have passion?

It is extremely important and crucial to any creative aspiration. It's an unexplained internal force pushing you - to discover, to understand, to speak something new, to find solutions. The motivations of creators are different, but I believe that all of them/us search for that special process where meaning and beauty are created along the way, enhancing people and serving them. 

Is there anyone in your life that you respect and admire most?

I always found it hard to look up to some specific person for inspiration. I secretly always looked up to the masters - considered them as friendly to my way of thinking - so musicians, artists, writers, architects were always inspiring figures to me, being so immersed in creating meaning, creating beauty, something that was not there before. I felt at home with them (in my mind).

How do you celebrate the essence of life?

Oh. Complex. Life is a multi layered activity, built of experiences and knowledge. I believe that a deep and humble curiosity - leads us to live life to the fullest, condition of course is to put our fears aside and try to experience opportunities that present themselves to us. Taking the road not taken, can be risky, but can lead us to great achievements.    

Can you describe the collection that you’re working on for Entune Living?

There are two main collections – Leaf and Strata. Both start from the creation of a language - a detail that repeats itself in different ways; both generic but bring different results.

In Leaf, we create light structures, thin edged boards with rounded inside. So the place to locate books and objects is soft yet composed. As for Strata, we create layered natural details where our hands can touch to open drawers organically; it is composed, light and elegant. 

What do you offer to the market in the ASEAN region?

Aesthetic is very important. The desire to understand aesthetics has accompanied me all my life, and lately I feel I understand and operate within the aesthetic realms more easily than before. I believe that uniqueness in my designs is based on the translations of music into material - using very careful detailing and control of this almost abstract process. 

The leaf shelving collection for example, offered to the Singapore market, is a system of libraries composed using one detail - a special section we developed based on the meeting of a straight and curved line. When composed in the pieces, the variety and softness of this dialogue between straight and curved - creates a feeling in people – that there is something beyond the piece – a language, a link to nature, a softness, a meaning that creates a connection, a human feeling of belonging of cosiness. 

What are your advices on being multi-disciplined?

I believe our mind works in a multidisciplinary manner - no matter what we want. In our minds, the thought jumps from area to area, seeking for an answer, revealing an understanding, and always trying to evolve. This is why I am sure that we have no choice but to be multidisciplinary, because that is the way we think, and the sooner we learn about it, the sooner we do great things.

A print version of this article was originally published in d+a issue 98.

Martin Teo
OM Home
21 September 2017