Talking To Tom
We shared a moment with Israeli born-and-bred Tom Bendovski learning of his story behind being (and surviving as) an aspiring industrial designer in the vibrant Tel-Aviv.
By Wani Azahar
“Good design is design that makes you feel good”. These are the very words of Tom Bendkovski, a young Israeli industrial designer. Raised in the north of Israel, Tom has since moved to Tel Aviv where he pursued his passion for good design and later founded Tomski Design.
As fans of good design ourselves, we couldn’t help but to pick his brain on the intriguing world of design that constantly leaves us marveled.
BetterThanBrunch: You’ve described yourself as an industrial designer. Has this always been a childhood interest?
Tom Bendkovski: Painting was actually one of my hobbies as a child. I have always been attracted to art and fashion, while still harboring interest for the technical world and consumer products. After three years of military service, I was looking for a profession that can combine both my interests hoping to be able to live while doing what I love.
Tell us Tom, what is the difference between industrial design and furniture/product design?
Industrial design is actually a wider term that combines several areas of design, as well as furniture design and product design. This is the definition to all design fields that have a strong connection to manufacturing industries. As an industrial designer, I have and am still learning how to use the variant industries to achieve my goals that are driven by aesthetics, practicality and emotions.
Studio*s -- where the magic happens.
You’re the face (and brains) behind industrial design studio, Tomski Design. How did this come about?
Established in 2013, Tomski Design was the brand name for when I was still a single designer. After graduating from college, me and 12 of my co-students friends decided to initiate a significant move that enables us to preserve our joy of creation as well as exist from what we love to do.
From these aspirations we found together the Studio*s, a working space and urban workshop. This place is like the "mother ship", where each designer works and develops his own personal design areas. Studio*s is an ideal space for corporation between members as the expanses are shared yet we still have a conducive work environment. Best part is, we get to share our opinions and ideas for growth!
Under the Tomksi Design brand, I supply design services in interior design, design of custom-made furniture and products for individuals and institutions, exhibition design, design consulting, concept developing and product design.
Simultaneously, I'm also designing products and retailing them in small series at local design stores and on my website. This allows me to gain a wider range of experience from the different fields.
What does Tomski Design aim to achieve?
I would like my customers to experience the feeling that I have when finding a good idea – the feeling of relief and satisfactory convenience.
Apart from being the brainchild behind Tomski Design, are there any projects you’re currently working on?
I’ve just finished my latest project designing the Wanger family Fablab, a lab that shares advanced manufacturing technologies with the community and also use as a makers space (includes 3D printers, laser cut machine, CNC engraving and programing) at the Madatech, the national museum of science in Haifa, Israel.
For this project I took part in the internal design of the center, where I designed and planed the furniture while supervising the manufacturing process at the museum's workshop. Lately, I’ve also started working with a new startup named 3DShook, as the QA manager of 3D printings.
We understand you participated in the Barcelona Design Week 2014 last June. How was the experience?
I had presented my Hosting Hounds project at the design week in Barcelona, as a part of an Israeli design exhibition named Out Of The Box, organized by the design museum in Holon. In this project, I deal with gestures of man's best friend and created a set of home furniture pieces inspired by a pack of canines.
In the exhibition, all of the Studio*s members have presented their work alongside other Israeli designers and it was a unique experience to be part of such an event with my best friends.
We met a lot of designers, gallery owners and design fans; it was very fun to get sympathetic responses on our work and to enjoy this beautiful city of course.
How do you personally find the Israel design scene in comparison?
The Israeli design scene is very intriguing and the designers' sources of inspiration are extremely diverse. Maybe this is a result of the multifaceted situation in which Israel exist in.
In addition, in Israel we have a rich culture and open- mindedness, which bring a variety of design areas within a relatively small design scene.
In my visit to Barcelona I had surprisingly found that the Spanish design scene (and in Barcelona specifically) is in its infancy on the social and industrial awareness, similarly to the Israeli design scene.
Most designers tend to have a signature style. What is yours?
My works are mostly characterised in light abstract with the influence of iconic, fluid shapes weaved together with humour. So even though they are made of bulky sizes, they still maintain a sense of subtlety in its form. This contrast can also be seen in the choice of materials and colors.
I’m sure you’ve had many great moments as a designer, when was your proudest?
I must say my prime moment is during the opening event of the Studio*s as it symbolised the beginning of my career. It felt like I’ve done the right thing with the right people and after a year and a half I could say that this was, indeed, the right choice.
If you’ve limitless funds, materials and resources; what is the craziest item you’ve ever thought of creating?
The craziest item I would create, if I had unlimited resources, is a pen that can answer, in a witty way and without human intervention, on really tough questions.
Any exciting plans lined up for the new year?
My plans for the new year are to continue gaining knowledge and experience in wide areas, directly and indirectly related to design, and build myself step by step as an industrial designer with a broad customer circle, and maybe even find myself a hobby for my spare time.
The FABLAB Project