2. Prize — Designpreis Halle 2014 — »Water«
Shira Keret — Monolith

»Ovid´s famous motto gutta cavet lapidem has, for a millennium, implied the power of perseverance. It places more confidence in water, which is soft, than in stone, which is hard – if only it is given enough time to develop some continuity. And so it has created the most usual and the most unusual forms in our world. But in our age of extreme acceleration, the factor of time can be condensed to a high degree: we can morph the world in no time at all.
This is the principle on which a waterjet cutting system functions: at a speed of up to three times the speed of sound, the soft material water is compacted to form an ultra-hard water jet that penetrates everything in its way. The water is pressurized by means of a pump, and then shoots out of a one millimeter jet at incredible speed. And just as mountain streams carry along fine particles, garnet sand may be added to the water so that no material can withstand, be it stone, titanium, steel, glass or ceramic material. But also rubber, plastic foam, card, paper or wood can all be cut with the same tool – the water jet. However, all parameters must be set exactly for the material and its thickness: the diameter of the water jet, its velocity and the feed rate of the desired geometry.
For Israeli designer Shira Keret, this was the point of conceptual intervention: she set the parameters so that they were no longer optimal. With a weaker water jet or an increased feed rate, Carrara marble retains some of its original character. Now, in a confrontation that is actually hopeless, the stone material has enough time to deflect the water jet, at first only to a minimal extent, then more and more. The geometry is perfect on the surface but gets increasingly blurred as the water jet cuts deeper into the stone. Elemental, conforming with the Carrara marble.

The jury is thrilled with Shira Keret´s symbolic act of deceleration which she shows with her wonderful stone objects.« – Axel Kufus, Member of the Jury

Shira Keret, *1984, is an Israeli product and space designer and has been a member of the design group Four´n´Five since 2010. They are based in Jaffa Port, Tel Aviv, Israel. Photo: Hagar Cygler