Eunice Yu

Response to “Experiments between Art and Design” article, Diid magazine

In Readings on 02/24/2010 at 8:28 pm

^by Ayala Serfaty^

^by Catherine Crepax^

In the “Experiments between Art and Design” article from the Diid magazine there is an examination on two women who challenged the overlap of art and design. Caterina Crepax and Ayala Serfaty, both are designers yet have two totally different approaches and styles of design within their purpose of merging art and design. What they have in common is their passion to use materials to express emotion and beauty in what they create. The technicalities of their pieces really show how professional they are with the materials they embrace and work with. Both designers produce handmade work.

Caterina Crepax concentrates on the field of exhibition organization and interior design. She creates three-dimensional paper objects. During her childhood she would experiment with paper through different methods to “transform two-dimensional paper into three-dimensional sculptures”. In 1995 Crepax was asked to use her talent to create paper dress sculptures as a decoration in a stand at Milan furniture fair. She has been creating paper sculptures for various companies and places ever since then. Crepax used a simple everyday material, paper, to fabricate elaborate and technical sculptures. She challenges the material and she manipulates it to her own will. She said, “Its most incredible trait is its manageability, its enormous potential for manipulation”.
Caterina was able to use an ordinary material and make it her own. I enjoy the creativity and the way the designer dominates the material. She also does not create things for the end product to be a product that people can use. But in a way, people can use it as inspiration and stimulation for ideas. I certainly used it for that purpose, yet I did not have my ideas gathered and inspiration formed by my own choice, but rather by the designers ability to create something that made me be intrigued, interested, and satisfied, yet asking for more.  She enjoys what she does so much that it draws me in to be interested. Caterina says, “What I like best about paper is that you can do what you want with it just by using your hands and your head”. It is such a simple yet effective approach on what she does.

Ayala Serfaty designs and distributes furniture that is organically shaped and lamps that are biomorphic and silk. Ayala Serfaty was inspired by a trip to the Red Sea in 1992. The underwater environment inspired her to make handmade creations that mimic the environment and shapes within it. She wanted to use material that would best express the “warm, human, organic, and feminine” vibe that she wished to incorporate in addition to the flowing movement that objects in water produce. The lamps that Ayala made provoke emotion. Her use of material to construct these pieces in order to achieve function and form break the boundary of art and design. She said herself that her work blurs the boundaries between art and design. Ayala works in Israel and makes a point that Israel is not the center of the design world thus there is room for creativity, innovation, and experimentation.
It can get discouraging to dream big in a constantly developing world of art and design we live in. I admire Ayala and her aesthetic principles. She makes whatever is necessary for her in order to achieve an art form that provokes “spiritual and emotional expression”. She says that her designs are not for consumers’ products. As a young artist myself, that is something I wish to do also. Even from images of Ayala’s work I deem her purpose to be successful. The lamps look organic and look like they are floating even when they are still. Her approach in creating furniture that is not oriented on consumer demand is successful; her designs become what consumers want. The ability of an artist to combine aesthetics, function AND his/her personal interest and vision truly allows me to continue with generating my own thoughts into ideas, into creations, all with a passion for what I do.


Ayala Serfaty:
Caterina Crepax:


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