In pursuit of the thinnest exoskeleton of steel rod, Israeli designer Neil Nenner pushes the pared-down aesthetic of 20th-century minimalism to its limit. The result? Furniture designs that are more sculpture than product; chairs, benches, shelves, stools, easy chairs, and even a sled that are at once barely there and totally eye-catching. This award-winning work “stands against the consumer culture penchant to buy bigger and more,” says Nenner, in favor of conversation pieces that open up new dialogues.
Born in 1977 in Tel Aviv, Nenner attended Israel’s renowned Shenkar College of Engineering, Design & Art (B. Des in Industrial Design, 2007), while interning at London’s Pentland Brands (2006) and apprenticing at famed industrial designer Yaacov Kaufman’s Tel Aviv studio (2007). The year after graduating, he took an ongoing lecturer position at Shenkar and co-founded vibrant Israeli furniture design brand Gaga & Design. Across a six-year tenure, he fashioned many of the collective’s airy yet robust woven chair designs, including their nestly-chic Bar Stool (2011) and mosaic-like Punti Bench (2012). In 2013, Nenner set off on his own, establishing an eponymous design practice in Tel Aviv. He procured his Master’s in Industrial Design at Jerusalem’s Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in 2016.
Punctuation Marks (2015), Nenner’s tour de force Saga Gallery (Tel Aviv) solo exhibition, epitomizes Nenner’s minimalist work: a fête of formal and material simplicity. Inspired by contemporary changes in TV viewing habits, Nenner’s bathtub-like Cradle to Cradle Sofa (2015) was presented at the Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art 2015 exhibition, The Recipients: Ministry of Culture and Sport Awards in Art and Design.
Thanks to his thoughtful and exploratory work, Nenner has been widely exhibited at an array of venues, from London Design Festival, Paris Design Week, Barcelona Design Week, and State of Design BERLIN, to galleries and museums in Vienna, Cologne, Taipei, Lisbon, Belgrade, Paris, and Jerusalem. His Punctuation Marks was awarded 2015’s Minister of Culture Design Award.