By Sheela Sarvananda
Tel Aviv-born designer Dror Benshetrit has come a long way from humble beginnings in the Middle East.
Today, the Israeli native, now based in New York, is an award-winning designer whose work is featured in the permanent collections of major museums in the world.
His high-end clients include The Guggenheim Museum, Bentley, Rosenthal, and Alessi. As you rattle off the list, you know the Dutch-educated talent is no hack — although that might be high on his design list of things to do.
He takes in the form and function of everyday objects and applies his keen eye to discovering their hidden geometry and connectivity.
Putting a unique spin on the sometimes mundane, from a chair to a bag, and even a housing structure, he unleashes the unexpected beauty within.
He has also created QuaDror, an innovative, patented system of assembling different structures efficiently and effectively. It comprises L-shaped pieces in a thin trestle structure or a solid construct.
While the interlocking frames can be used in a design setting, it can also have a much more relevant and immediate appeal in today's sometimes unpredictable setting: as emergency habitat and disaster relief, for a variety of conditions and configurations.
In town for the launch of his line with American luxury luggage and bag label Tumi, the lanky, close-shaven talent shares that observing how people interact with their environment inspires him to create and innovate.
"My work in general is focused on movement, transformation and innovation. None of my objects or design is static," he explained.
He is interested in the adaptability and adjustability of human beings — and even objects —
to different environments.
His latest collaboration with Tumi, for which he designed a groundbreaking, patent-pending eleven-piece collection for today's traveler, is a first for the luggage maker.
"I approach the design thinking from the same angle, regardless of scales of function. It is about the space of interaction and interdependence between the human being and his surrounding environments and spaces," he said.
His research-based approach to design stems from his education at famed industrial design school Eindhoven Design Academy in Holland.
Accolades aside, the pursuit of excellence does not come easily. Benshetrit's life is like that of an athlete — his is a world of discipline and repetition, even while constantly on the go.
An average day starts with an early-morning swim, after which he takes calls with collaborators in all reaches of the world. He then heads to his studio, and has back-to-back meetings and also sits with his team at a communal desk, to do what he does best: innovate and design.
Benshetrit reveals that his unwavering commitment is to his passion for the work. His trip to Singapore has also inspired him in more ways than one.
"It's my first trip to Singapore and I am having an amazing time. I can't believe how clean and organised this city is! It's great to see how much development and building is going on as well," he said.
"Our studio is doing more and more architecture, and I would also love to do any kind of monument or public art piece, as it is something I have not done yet," he added.
Let the deconstruction and inspiration begin.