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Interview with Cozí Studio

Home > Designer Interviews > Cozí Studio

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

Interview with Cozí Studio at Tuesday 17th of May 2022

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?
CS: Both Ofir and I studied industrial design. That’s actually how we met. Ofir had a background of working for a moulding manufacturer, making heavy duty moulds for plastic injection before his studies. Whereas I (Yuval) came from a background of video creative and production. We don’t really remember when we first thought of design as an occupation, but surely nowadays we can’t imagine ourselves doing anything else.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
CS: We began working together and opened “Cozí” immediately after we finished our degree in 2012. It took us several years to find what differentiates us and guides our design language. Although we started out focusing on light fixtures and home decor, today we spread out to working alongside interior designers and architects on both public and domestic interior spaces. Manufacturing unique wall tiles, custom made furniture, interesting interior elements such as “Infinity” and many more. We specialise in pressed wood bending although we keep implementing a wide range of materials and manufacturing techniques in a lot of our projects.

FS: What is "design" for you?
CS: I can answer that question on two levels. First, good design has to spark emotion. It should impact the observer’s state of mind, either directly and knowingly or sometimes without notice at all. Secondly, good design should be smart, enable effortless use and allow easy, idiot-proof manufacture. It cannot involve Sisyphean assembly for instance. This is what differentiates design from art.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
CS: I think that what we enjoy most is taking on new challenges working with new materials and new technologies, testing the possible boundaries. The learning process alone is worth the ride. Whether it's a piece of furniture, a light fixture or a fashion accessory... we will search for a unique approach to any of them.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
CS: Our favorite design would probably have to be our Lazy rocking horse. It was designed and manufactured regardless of our marketing briefs but rather to answer our crave for the design. It is an abstraction of the horse shape interpreted as a metal wire frame and the seat resembles a flat piece of wood that melted and spilled on top of the frame. Taking inspiration from Salvador Dali's famous clocks.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
CS: Graduating from the design faculty, we almost immediately began working on our own designs for what will soon become COZI's first home accessories collection. The first goal we set for ourselves was to manage making "Wrinkled wood". This was a difficult starting point but a very important one that helped us understand our strengths as designers. The first application for this technique was a simple centerpiece wooden bowl, larger design elements such as light fixtures and wall tiles followed.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
CS: As can be seen throughout our work, we specialize in extreme bent pressed wood. We love trying to achieve forms that are not usually recognized as wood shapes, creating a surprise effect. A dissonance between form and matter.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
CS: Because we work on all the design processes together, we believe that we are most creative, sparking each other's imagination. We usually start together with a marketing brief, then each one of us starts sketching ideas. After we feel we have something to work with, we switch and start to fine tune each other's designs. We find that every design decision that ends up in the final draft must be justified in order to get the other party's acceptance. This makes the projects more thought over and deliberate than otherwise.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
CS: We try to tell a story of movement through our designs . For example, in alot of our projects we go through hard effort to help the viewer see the original two dimensional shape that initially formed the shape. It's very conspicuous for example in "Albatros" a wooden mobile installation we designed for an exhibition in MUZA (Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv). You can clearly see thק abstracted bird shape gracefully formed out of a single rectangle of wood.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
CS: Over the years we admit that the intense day to day work life has turned us slightly indifferent to exitement from our own work. Still, every once in a while, comes a project that catches us off guard, just like we felt after finalizing the installation of infinity. It's a strange feeling looking at something and not grasping that it was made by you. We recall a similar feeling the very first time we assembled Bloom up light back in 2014. Up till today, Bloom remains our best seller item.

FS: What makes a design successful?
CS: A successful design needs to be praised by both the user and the manufacturer. The first part is obvious, if people aren't moved by your design, have a need for your design and crave it - it won't have an audience and will eventually stay in the drawer. Secondly and equally important, a successful design needs to take into consideration the production process, be scalable and smartly planned for manufacture. More than once we came across a design of ours that we removed from the catalog simply because the production phase was too sisyphean.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
CS: When judging a design as good or bad, we consider first and foremost the primal intuition you feel when coming across the design. First impressions go a long way. We speak of this in different ways but the idea behind it stays the same... the design needs to provoke a feeling or a thought within you. Whether it's a large scale interior design element that makes you feel as if you've entered the designer's imaginary inner world or if it's a small work tool that is simply designed to work smoothly and make your life all that easier and grateful.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
CS: The design field is constantly evolving in search for innovative material and technological solutions.As for the pandemic affect on design trends, we see an increase in the use of natural warm materials in the home environment, bringing a taste of the outdoor sense to the interior space.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
CS: Last October we showcased as we do every year in “Fresh Paint” design and art exhibition in Tel Aviv.We are now working on the next edition of the TLV Biennale of design.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
CS: We draw inspiration from closely observing different textures and daily used materials and then playing with them, studying the way they move and react. A good example is the design process behind Bloom light pendant. Before we began, we took a kitchen towel and spread it flat on the floor. We then pinched the towel from its center and started lifting it up slowly. The shape the fabric fell into naturally and the waves it formed was what we tried to imitate in our Bloom design.

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?
CS: I would say that our design style sits somewhere in the middle between minimalism and organic. It’s an uncommon combination of traditional materials with a modern approach.

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
CS: We live in Tel Aviv. For designers who feed off inspiration, a multicultural city such as Tel aviv is a real asset. The creative abundance is all around, draws its power from the social baggage that make the city conflicted and united at the same time. Gay rights, animal rights, refugees, poverty, wealth, traffic, religion, secularism, beach life, night life sport culture, food culture.. These are all the city's layers that make it such a great base for creativity. Even we, Ofir and Yuval, differ in some of our views and find similarities in others, but we possess the capacity to hear each other and be heard, and share the notion that no idea should be immune to criticism. We find this mindset of honesty and openness very beneficial to our design process as well. Our products are more reasoned due to our thorough continuous exchange of thoughts.

FS: How do you work with companies?
CS: We are both a design studio and a manufacturer. Most of the collaborations we have with other companies are either that we design and manufacture a piece or a collection for them from A to Z, or sometimes we will design and manufacture a small part as an addition to an existing product that will later be assembled and complete the vision. Another type of collaboration we often do is with architects and interior designers. With them we design interior elements for offices, lobbies, commercial spaces and luxurious private homes.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
CS: The best advice we can give to young designers in the beginning of their journey is to not be afraid to “put your self out there”.In a world so saturated with great design, it’s hard to stand out and borderline impossible if you don’t push yourself.If you do your best and nothing comes out of it - you will surely learn a whole lot from the experience and will probably do better next time around. It’s very rare, in any field, that people succeed from the gecko. What usually makes the difference between a good designer that gets acknowledged and a good designer that doesn’t is perseverance.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
CS: Listen to the crowd. It’s very easy to fall in love with your own designs and even easier not to listen to criticism. Our rule is always to try and listen to as many opinions as possible. When our products are showcased in a retail shop, We make sure to attend every once in a while and ask the sales people about customers’ reactions to our products. We have to remember that at the end of the day, we are designing objects for people - not for ourselves.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
CS: “Is this real wood?” “How do you bend wood like that?”

FS: How can people contact you?
CS: www.cozistudio.com Instagram - cozistudio info@cozistudio.com Yuval +972 (0)522330962 Ofir +972 (0)547790661


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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