About the course
Our society is getting older and the social structures around us are rapidly changing along with worldviews and design approaches. Understanding the challenges, ambitions, and needs of senior citizens can dramatically improve their quality of life.
Design for Senior Citizens, conducted in collaboration with the students' grandparents, deals in the aging process and its impact on the research and practice of design fields. Throughout the course, students develop alternative research methods, and learn the physical, emotional, social, and cultural aspects of aging. They begin to experience their environment through the perspective of their grandmothers and grandfathers, getting a glimpse into their aspirations, needs, and choices. This intergenerational collaboration is a unique and meaningful experience that resonates for many years after the course is completed.
Nadav Kuperman and Renana Klein
Food preparation as a shared experience
Chaim and Rachel immigrated from Kurdistan and currently live in Jerusalem. Their lives revolve around home, family, and manual labor. As part of the Kurdish culture, the grandmother of the house prepares a variety of ethnic dishes and the most famous is yifrach, a dish of stuffed vine leaves that requires much skill and patience.
Our project aims to ease the preparation process and make it more enjoyable, including the grandfather that usually sits idly at the head of the table until the meal is ready.
Avigail Ben Hamo, Meital Silver, and Eden Israeli
Asher works with hard materials (stone, wood, and copper) and Tamar works with soft materials (fabrics and sewing). The works of both produce lovely results but what truly interests them both is the crafting and making process.
We wanted to experiment with different materials and see what they enable and where they take us. Throughout the process, we chose to create encounters between hard and soft materials, seeing the tension between them and their reliance points. We focused on connections between the different materials, seams that all glueless and cold.
Our families' great love of boxes and containers prompted us to create a series of containers that are not necessarily functional but do express the links between materials and between the work processes that merge to produce a result both aesthetic and beautiful.
Daniel Daudi, Tal Attia, and Amir Yahav
Urban shading system
We developed a shading system that is both practical and visually interesting. Circumstances forced us to shift the project from the initial tree site to an urban space.
In this space, we created a shading system that provides an interesting visual display, reminiscent of a grandmother's garden during the holidays, full of natural vibrancy and family life, and transposing that feeling to an urban space in the Nachlaot neighborhood.
We opted for the shape of the pecan tree, covering it with the pattern of knitted kippah, and the general planes were designed to be amorphic to convey the sense of naturalness. White was chosen to provide a pleasant and visually calm appearance and link to the holiday atmosphere.
Dekel Izacson, Keren Greenberg, and Tal Arbel
Grandmother Nachama's gefilte fish
Our project focused on the ancient traditional holiday dish: gefilte fish. In the past, gefilte fish was considered a celebratory dish of European Jews, prepared for Sabbath or high holiday meals.
Today, while gefilte fish has changed its positioning on the dinner table, almost every Ashkenazi home still gives it a place of honor. In many cases, recipes change over time. The mix of different Jewish ethnic groups in Israel enables a blending of approaches and flavors while preserving the familiar traditional dish. We decided to bring to the forefront the gefilte fish using a festive dining set that tells the tale of one fish and three generations.
Ziv Bar Lev, Noam Golany, and Yishay Sklare
The projects dealt with the importance of family and the intergenerational encounter that brings together past, present, and future. From the first moment I met Eti and Sheyke, the significance of family in their lives was clear. From grandmother Mami (Miriam) who used to live in their home and brought the entire family together and to this very day in which family gatherings are still paramount in all their lives, the source of their peace of mind. We chose a project that makes accessible the garden planted by grandmother Mami many years ago, making it an area with seating that invites current and future generations sit and connect and strengthen family bonds that sometimes grow distant and make us lack the people that gave us the life we have.
It was important to us to become part of nature but not take control of it, to become incorporated and allow the past, the rocks there long before us, to shape and form places for conversation and closeness (now and in days to come)
Tasnem Ghaith and Shaimaa Burqan
Embroidered food reflecting culture
Food usually eaten during the henna ceremony that incorporates Palestinian embroidery and basic dishes. The henna ceremony is an important rite for brides as it is held two or more prior to the wedding and includes many interesting activities, beautifully embroidered clothes, a henna inking ceremony, a lot of dancing, and tons of fun.
To emphasize both play important roles in culture, this project focuses on the seam connecting embroidery and bread prepared traditionally at home by older women. We opted to combine the two into a single meaningful ceremony, as every event has its particular foods, and this new event should also have its individual dish.
Shir Tsukrun, Noa Cohen, and May Pleskov
Grandmother Hanna's values
In our project, everyone shared their impression of Grandmother Hanna and from there we began considering objects. We conducted materials research to find materials that express her uniqueness. This is how we selected plaster and concrete (white, solid, clean) and a bath sponge (primal, airy, and formless). Using a fixed mold, we created plaster casts and tried to create a language with the sponge: depth, inclusion, history, meaning, modesty, and pride. All these describe Hanna's uniqueness.
My father always loved to work with his hands, and one of his central interests was wood engraving. He engraved an impressive series of bowls. In this project, I wanted to explore how materials that are not wood can be etched or engraved and what results this would produce. After an exhaustive study of many materials, I chose dough, made of flour and salt and dyed with only natural pigments. After long baking, I etched the dough to make different sized and shaped bowls. The result is set of alternative eco-friendly dishes with a particularly raw design reminiscent of the bowls my father created.
Adi Stern and Gal Peled
Hothouse bumblebee hive
"A stream I saw among the wild grass within the blue stillness. If I could know to live like this, to sprout forever without end"
We chose the most significant part of our grandparents' lives – agriculture, an issue that not only deals with the past, but also the present and future. We wanted to convey the idea that this is not only an element of their past but an intrinsic part of them they continue to live and nurture.
We created a beehive for bumble bees used in hothouse pollination, a method that Israel was one of the first countries to try and employ. Unlike existing hives on the market, this is a new and personalized hive comprised of ecological layered materials, just as their lives are structured. The hive encapsulates the tree just as it does in the nature and fits organically onto an existing wooden pole.