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Oded Friedland

About Design track

Mentor — 

Prof. Chanan de Lange

Archeology research through design.

Megiddo Archeological Mound, 1937, a bowl is found in the excavation site. It is incomplete, but tantalizingly beautiful, decorated with what seem to be red and grey leaves. The bowl’s general shape is similar to that of many other bowls found in the area, from the Middle Bronze Age, but at its center it has a kind of goblet with two cavities in the bottom. Archeologists do not know what the bowl was used for. 

To this day, 2022, only few objects similar to the bowl have been found in the excavations. Can we help the archeologists identify its purpose?

The science of archeology studies humanity’s past by discovering material and environmental information, documenting and analyzing it. To ensure accuracy, archeologists often collaborate with anthropologists, linguists, and other scientists. The view of reality all these scientists reconstruct out of their research is valid only so long as new evidence is not found. Can we clarify that view also with the help of artists, architects, jewelers, ceramic artisans and designers?

The project examines the possibility of integrating design tools and methods in archeological research, a process that includes the accumulation and construction of ideas without any predetermined boundaries. In the absence of such boundaries, there is no fear of failure or of peer criticism, and the mind can be completely free to raise new ideas. 

Design thinking includes unique elements of research and learning such as specification, ideation, sketching, prototyping, testing and screening. Using those tools, in an ongoing dialogue with an archaeologist specializing in the Bronze Age, I examined various uses for the bowl: smoking, lighting, perfuming, play, cooking, beautification, as well as healing or pest control. Some of the ideas were examined using prototypes; we formulated conclusions and wrote a protocol for continued study. Three-thousand years after it was made, will we be able to design a new story for an ancient object?

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Oded Friedland

Industrial designer. Lectures in the Industrial Design Department at Bezalel. Graduate of the Bezalel BA and MA Program in Industrial Design, in the About Design track. After graduating from Bezalel, he founded “Monkey Business ”- a design brand, specializing in creating useful objects with a smile. He is considered a pioneer in this field. Friedland was awarded for excellence in teaching at Bezalel, and he lectures on design and entrepreneurship in institutions and design events worldwide.

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