Design fans, pay attention: The second annual OFFF TLV, a branch of the annual Barcelona design festival of the same name, comes to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art on October 14 and 15, and tickets are selling fast.
The event, put together by a cadre of design folk in Tel Aviv, brings together local design studios, designers from abroad, and companies interested in seeing what’s happening in the Israeli design world.
“It’s a festival, not a convention, because we want it to be a scene,” said Liri Argov, one of the organizers.
Besides the lectures being held in the museum, there will also be a fun zone in the museum garden, where participants can listen to lectures broadcast on a giant screen while drinking a beer and having a snack, or shop at the design booths, which will feature local design products as well as an array of interactive designs, like temporary tattoos.
The event is also a serious look at what’s being designed in Israel and abroad, with two lecture halls hosting 20 speakers who will contemplate the world of design with the more than 1,000 participants expected to attend over the course of the two-day event.
“We want to expose everyone to the local community, to the Israeli creation going on here,” said Argov.
There’s an ongoing frustration for local designers when major Israeli companies like cellphone provider Partner or food manufacturer Strauss go abroad for their design needs, instead of looking locally, said Argov.
“They don’t know who to approach here,” said Argov. “There’s a lot to offer here, because local designers know how to look for solutions, they work without limits, they run with their imaginations.”
At the same time, it’s still a small community, often confined to the designers located in Tel Aviv and Holon and lacking a full, in-depth influence on the Israeli market.
“When you’re in Europe, you can see design elements on the street, in the train station, you can see the angle of design that is part of their DNA,” she said. “Here, it’s confined to certain little corners and areas.”
At the same time, what Israeli design does offer is an ability to think big and outside the box, to offer more than asked for, to try and break borders, to have “the crazy execution and idea,” said Argov.
“When you want edge and chutzpah, we have the spice. It’s exactly what we can provide, we just need more opportunities,” she said. “You’re stuck in the Middle East, it’s hard with all the conflicts, it’s complex. So we’re bringing in people to see design here.”
Tickets for OFFF Tel Aviv can be ordered online from the festival site.