Israeli Studio Sfog Recycles Your Old Objects To Create New Furniture

By Sophie Imas, NoCamels August 22, 2013 Comments

Tired of seeing all those unused objects lying around the house, yet don’t have the heart to throw them out? Tel Aviv-based studio Sfog can take your beloved garage junk and transform it into an avant-garde design piece.

Founded by Gidi Gilam and Yotam Shifroni, Studio Sfog specializes in the reusing and recycling of abandoned and forgotten objects found in warehouses, streets and flea markets.

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However, the studio does not reuse conventionally: Gilam and Shifroni combine elements not originally complimentary to one another and give the resulting object a new purpose.

Changing the priorities of design

Unlike many other design studios, studio Sfog pays more attention to the process of creation, rather than the final product itself. To them, the resulting design is nothing more than the outcome of a long and complex evolution of thought. “The process is the most important part for us,” says Gidi Gilam, “it’s what allows us to tell a story through our creations.” The studio aims to challenge their perception of design by starting with objects no longer functional in their original use and transforming their purpose.

Since its opening, studio Sfog has built mainly light objects and furniture. They have also showcased exhibitions and built movie sets. Their clients range from art collectors to those in need of reusing objects with a sentimental value.

Amid the ever-growing industry of mass-produced furniture, studio Sfog hopes to add a sense of identity to the pieces they create. “There’s a huge trend right now of buying quickly designed and mass-produced furniture,” says Gilam, “This kind of approach doesn’t allow for companies to take full advantage of the palette before them. We’re hoping to change that.”

Making design eco-friendly

It is not only owners of worn-out objects that benefit from studio Sfog’s approach to design – the environment also gets a perk from the designers’ choice of materials. Transforming the purpose of objects which are no longer functional in their original use allows for the resulting designs to be sustainable for long-term, as opposed to an interim solution. However, the designers insist that being green was not their original intention:

“Recycling is a side-effect,” says Gilam, “it’s only a consequence of our work philosophy.”

The studio views their eco-friendly design process as a way to learn about their work. “We see this aspect of our work as educational for both us and the people around us. We end up learning about the different ways that materials can be used and people learn the same through our work,” says Gilam.

The studio’s name, “Sfog”, means “sponge” in Hebrew. Staying true to their title, the studio soaks up inspiration from every aspect of daily life, ranging from books to various artworks. “We search for a vibe. Once we’ve found that, we tried to convey it through our work.”

Gidi Gilam and Yotam Shifroni

Gidi Gilam and Yotam Shifroni

Located in the Artist Compound at the Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv, the studio also gathers much of its inspiration from the diverse community surrounding them, including the neighboring artists.

Studio Sfog was founded in December of 2012 by Gilam and Shifroni who hold degrees in interior and graphic design.

In the future, studio Sfog hopes to participate in more collaborations with firms and companies in design. They also intend to invite clients to send in old objects for further projects.

Photos: Studio Sfog

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