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Interview with Shelly Agronin

Home > Designer Interviews > Shelly Agronin

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Shelly Agronin (SA) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Shelly Agronin by clicking here.

Interview with Shelly Agronin at Friday 29th of April 2022
Shelly Agronin
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
SA: I was born in Kiev, Ukraine. I was the only child in the family and spent a lot of time alone, painting, drawing, and creating items from different materials. When I was 12, my family moved to Israel. The first years in a new country with a different culture and language were not easy for us. At that time, painting and creating became the best and almost the only way for self-expression. After high school, I decided to study architecture and went to an open day at Bezalel – an academy of art and design in Jerusalem. I accidentally entered the wrong class, where the lecturer talked about the development of products, materials, technologies, and innovation. At that moment, I fell in love with industrial design.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
SA: “Wallaby” is a multidisciplinary design studio in Israel headed by Shelly Agronin. We work with established and new brands to bring product and design visions to life. Our design is about creating a deeper connection between people, the environment, and the things we own. The studio focuses on metal-origami and origami-like products.

FS: What is "design" for you?
SA: Beauty + emotions + science + magic = DESIGN

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
SA: I like to create simple and stylish items. Minimum parts – maximum emotions.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
SA: My favorite design is a metal-origami BULL. The figurine is sold in a flat state that the customer will fold. It’s really exciting to turn a flat piece of metal into a stylish sculpture using just your hands.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
SA: One of the first items I designed for a company was a plastic juice bottle for one of the biggest Israeli companies, “Jafora Tavori”. For a couple of years, it was a nice feeling to see shelves full of copies of my design in the supermarkets.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
SA: My favorite technology in the last decade is metal bending. Even after the development of hundreds of products, the process of transitioning from a two-dimensional layout to a three-dimensional product amazes me every time.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
SA: During the early morning hours. After a meeting with inspiring people. After reading a good book, visiting new places, or watching a great movie. When things go wrong, and I’m looking for a positive emotions.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
SA: Emotions, user experience, and the story behind the object.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
SA: It’s usually a mix of high concentration, excitement, and freedom.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
SA: It is always very exciting to hold something in my hands that was once just a napkin sketch a couple of months ago. Launching a new product reminds me of my daughter’s first day in kindergarten when I needed to take a step back and let her go.

FS: What makes a design successful?
SA: A well-designed object should bring out emotions. Design based on emotions can deeply affect the overall user experience since emotions influence decision making, affect attention and memory, and generate meaning.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
SA: Simplicity, innovation, aesthetic, ease of use, functionality.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
SA: Design is an ability and a responsibility to use skills for good to improve lives, create emotions, and bring people together.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
SA: MAISON & OBJET Paris 2020

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
SA: According to my understanding, there is no place for a “pure style” in the contemporary design world. Since, now more than ever, we are open to the entire world and are inspired by it, most designs are very eclectic. So, I don’t think I have a specific style; I would say I have a methodology.

FS: How do you work with companies?
SA: My work with a company is always a combination of my own philosophy and the client’s philosophy. This is the case from the very first briefings to consolidate and identify the client’s present and future needs to the translation of the designs into 3d models, technical drawings, and production files.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
SA: Since design is not an exact science, it’s very important that the designer and the company understand the words “good”, “right”, and “beautiful” in the same way.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
SA: Two wall decors by studio Umasqu. A tiny silver mouse amulet on my working desk made by a Ukrainian designer and ordered on ETSY. Fossil Philippe Starck watch. iPad by Apple. A cardboard sculpture made by my daughter.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
SA: Keep your fire of excitement burning during each project.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
SA: The designer has to be in love with the creation process.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
SA: Open mind, curiosity, fearless, and professionalism.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
SA: Tools: ballpoint pen & white paper, eyes, SolidWorks, Photoshop, utility knife. Inspiration: the art of origami, everyday life, Instagram & Google.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
SA: Time management and work-life balance are tough issues for a mother of three. However, the most time-consuming activity is not the design process itself but a lot of distracting things like bureaucracy, production management, WhatsApp, etc.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
SA: It really depends on the project. Sometimes it takes just a couple of weeks, and the very first models are great. In other cases, it may take a couple of months and even years. However, if the initial concept of the product is good, all the next steps come easier.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
SA: How do you come up with new ideas?

FS: What was your most important job experience?
SA: My most important job experience has been being an independent designer. This is a great opportunity to be responsible for all stages of a product’s life, from the market research, throw concept, design, and production to advertising and selling.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
SA: Mobileye, DHL, The Israel Museum. Goldwind, Rosseto serving solutions.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
SA: Now I’m looking for new and surprising materials for the upcoming foldable collection.

FS: How can people contact you?
SA: Email: info@shellyagronin.com Website: www.studio-wallaby.com Instagram: studio_wallaby


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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