WE Q+A: Debbi Nitsan

Good design is “Honesty in thought and in action”.

Materials to Debbi Nitsan, Israeli designer who studied Industrial Design at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, are not dead; nor does style or taste matter. She who effortlessly turns baked goods into electrical objects, grows her own products such as ‘Beet pens’, ‘Toothpick Tree’ and ‘Toothbrush Plant’, sees industrial design not just as a problem solver; it is an artistic manifesto of thoughts, a humorous – if not rhapsodic – reflection of life. Together with Liora Rosin, she founded Studio BET to explore the possibilities of the difference design can make. WE talks to the designer when she is busy with her curative project ‘HOW TO’ at Beijing Design Week.

Toothpick Tree

WE: Does your design aspiration have to do with your cultural background?
Debbi Nitsan: I got this really good advice from a friend who back then was watching at me creating all sort of improvised stuff while being bored. She actually had opened my eyes about the design profession. After a short investigation, I got a really strong positive feeling about this. At least for now, it seems I chose correctly.

My father was not a carpenter at all and my mom never painted or sculptured, at least not since kindergarden. The only thing related to my roots might be the fact that my grandfather helped in building my parents’ home, where I grew up, with his own hands. I wish I could do something like this myself, it is a real proud in my opinion.

If design is problem solving, what is the ultimate problem you endeavour to solve?
In my honest opinion, design is much more than problem solving, Sometimes it does, but many times design will help in expressing an opinion or criticism using a tangible object. Design can make any tool or process into more fun and better experience. At the very least, design can makes things to simply look better. As for me, I am always passionate about creating stuff that I will desire in using them. This is my main inspiration and my endeavours to solve.

Baked Electronic Products

How do you see the interaction between man and natural worlds today?
People today realize that we had abandoned the mother nature for quite a while and that we should now be more aware of the environment – both the nature one and the society one. Most of us live with very little interaction with the nature. This is the greatest gap between us and the nature since the beginning of the human kind. This phenomenon might and should change back. Leaving like the old times – in caves, and hunting our food is of course not relevant and not needed, but we do need to combine the modern life with our roots and nature pillars. Even slight changes can make the biggest impact. From the individual perspective – considering the daily consuming, and the industry perspective – changes the producing processes can lead to tremendous changes in the world and mother nature.

In your opinion, what is the most important element of a good design?
Honesty in thought and in action.


Are you particularly inspired by anyone or anything?
We are inspired by old crafts and the newest technologies the world has to offer us, and believe daydreaming is just as important as hard labor when in a creative process.

How would you comment on the design scene in Jerusalem?
As Israel is such a small country, dividing it into scenes feels redundant. the Israeli design scene has a healthy appetite.

Are you currently working on any project?
We are currently working on a collection of tabletop objects made of trezzo – a typical tiling making technique used in Israel for the past 30 years or so. we are cooperating with a local tile factory while doing our best to understand their process and push its boundaries.

Nitsan and her partner Liora Rosin, with whom she founded a TLV-based Studio BET, is currently curating an exhibition ‘HOW TO‘ to explore the new sharing phenomena at Beijing Design Week.