Shay Alkalay and Yael Mer are the two different yet complementary leading lights of the Raw-Edges design studio. They are Israeli, their practice is London-based, and their professional life has taken them to Tel-Aviv, Milan, Jerusalem, Xiamen, Stuttgart and then London. A cultural melting pot that has informed innovative, playful design, as functional as it is fun. They design installations, furnishings, ceramics and textiles, always with the accent on colour, emotion, wonder and movement and they manipulate the matter and the materials in such a way as to achieve original and often unexpected results, which frequently surprise them too.
This approach has brought their partnership international visibility since their time at the Royal College of Art, and seen them work with brands such as Moroso, Cappellini, Kvadrat, Mutina, Lema, Alpi, Golran, Caesarstone, Gan, Swarovski and Established and Sons, not to mention Louis Vuitton, Stella McCartney, Fendi and Airbnb. What hit them hardest during the two-years or so of the pandemic and the restrictions was not being able to come to Italy, meet clients, go to fairs or spend time with producers and companies. While the term “sustainability” is on everyone’s lips, Shay and Yael have always put the onus on the longevity and quality of their projects, an ethical approach that they continue to uphold in their everyday lives. They talked to us about working together, their creative processes and visions, about happiness and about the future.