Yael Mer & Shay Alkalay

Founders & Designers, Raw Edges

After graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2007,  Yael and Shay set up a design studio where their imaginations could take flight: furniture, installations, and products began to develop with a strong accent on playfulness and childlike wonder.

The studio became a place where curiosity would be a prevalent factor in the creation of their designs, a place where they could embark on a continuous journey of discovery, turning the world upside down and inside out, cracking things open and studying their structure, always striving for surprise, wonder, humour.

Colours, patternmaking and movement form a large part of the DNA at Raw-Edges. The ideas of energy and provocative illusion are aimed at bringing out the kid in all of us who engage with it, an ongoing battle against boredom perhaps! Some ideas include pouring expandable foam into folded paper cavities, cooking timber in boiling dyes, and making paper moulds for the production of industrial ceramic tiles.

Yael and Shay met in Jerusalem and moved to London to study at the RCA, where Ron Arad was head of the course at the time. Under the guidance of their tutors Daniel Charney and Rober Feo, they began to experiment with creating new typologies, by thinking how everyday surroundings might be enriched by the products we use and the objects we own. In a show curated by Martino Gamper, held just after graduating, Yael and Shay presented Stack and Volume, which helped to establish the foundation of the studio.

Stack – a colourful chest of drawers that appears as a random pile of boxes – was taken into production by Established & Sons. Volume – a collection of experiments in blowing up folded paper and veneer with expandable foam – is manufactured by Cappellini as Tailored Wood. Both pieces were covered significantly in the press, received several design awards and were acquired for the permanent collections at international museums, including MoMA in New-York.

In 2009 Raw Edges were named Designers of the Future by Design Miami/ Basel. Here, a colourful installation, consisting of a parquet herringbone floor and cracked mountain made out of plaster boards, was later spotted by Stella McCartney and Raw Edges went on to develop bespoke patterned floor designs for each of her new stores in Milan, London, New York, Paris, Tokyo and China.

Raw Edges’ witty and inventive approach has led to great collaborations, developing products, installations and concepts for brands such as Louis Vuitton, Stella McCartney, Airbnb, Moroso, Cappellini, Kvadrat, Mutina, Golran and Caesarstone. Other international awards include Elle Decoration Edida Award, Wallpaper Design Award, IF award, and Red Dot Award. They have also been nominated several times for the Designs of the Year Award at the London Design Museum.

Most recently they have been engaged in a large-scale installation at the English stately home Chatsworth House, where they have designed site-specific, patterned wooden seats, that seemingly emerge from a bespoke gridded, wooden floor. Raw Edges continue to expand their Endgrain collection for private commissions. And naturally the playfulness and wonder never stop…

Website: https://www.raw-edges.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rawedgesdesignstudio/

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