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Copies of the magazine, with a special cover designed by artist JR, had arrived at the fair straight from the printer, so guests were the first to see it while sipping champagne provided by Nicolas Feuillatte. After perusing the impressive inaugural fair (produced by the team from Art Miami), attendees were treated to a choice of a clean, elegant Brut Réserve or a delicate, fruity Brut Rosé before the talk began.
Whitewall‘s Editor in Chief, Katy Donoghue, led the conversation with Benshetrit, beginning with his first forays into art and design (styling store windows in Israel as a teenager, before attending the Design Academy Eindhoven), his decision to start his studio in New York, and his transition from product design to architectural projects like the Nurai Island in Abu Dhabi.
Benshetrit shared stories about the importance of experimentation, pointing out that he tries to have his studio do non-commissioned work 25-40% of the time. He told us that’s how his now iconic Peacock Chair for Cappellini came about, surprising us with an anecdote about how the folded fan chair was inspired by a break up.
In a touching moment, the audience learned that his young daughter, not yet two years old, has had a profound affect on his design practice. He explained that he continues to be surprised at how opinionated she is, knowing what she likes and dislikes already. He explained that he tries to push knowledge aside every now and then in favor of pure feeling, pure emotion.
To read more about Dror Benshetrit, be sure to pick up the summer issue of Whitewall, out this month.