Designers Ran Amitai (born in Jerusalem in 1980) and Gilli Kuchik (born in Jerusalem in 1983) cofounded Bakery Studio in Tel Aviv in 2009. In 2018, they changed their name to Studio Gilli Kuchik & Ran Amitai. The design studio operates in various fields, including art direction, furniture, tableware, and jewelry design, among others. Amitai and Kuchik believe in a design process driven by hands-on experimentation and look for new ways to interpret traditional production methods and object morphologies. Studio Gilli Kuchik & Ran Amitai moves freely between self-produced, limited edition pieces and mass-produced objects, as well as conceptual, experimental, and functional projects.
Since its establishment, the studio has worked with leading companies in Israel and abroad. Studio Gilli Kuchik & Ran Amitai is perhaps best known for NOM (Nature of Material), a collection of stackable, lightweight furniture that debuted during Milan Design Week 2010. Since 2012, Italian furniture company Cappellini has manufactured the series. The collection, which was inspired by the graceful folds of origami, is composed of laser-cut aluminum and feels at once organic and constructed. In 2014, NOM was awarded the Red Dot “Best of the Best” design award, and several prototypes and models from the collection are now part of Design Museum Holon's permanent collection in Israel.
Other standout designs include: Shares Necklace (2012); Profilini Bar Stool (2013); Hafucha Table (2015), which was inspired by the work of American sculptor Alexander Calder; the Ortega Sink collection (2015); and Vase Composition (2015), which merges two vase functions in one object.
Kuchik describes the husband-and-wife working relationship as “fire and water . . . We feel that we are each a force that can sometimes get out of control, and combined we balance each other out. Sometimes this meeting point between our two ‘design personalities’ is where our projects are born.”
Studio Gilli Kuchik & Ran Amitai has been featured in numerous exhibitions and design fairs, including, but not limited to, Collective Tissue at Paradigma Gallery in Tel Aviv (2010); Promisedesign at Ventura Lambrate in Milan (2011); the Fresh Design fair in Tel Aviv (2013) and the pair’s first solo exhibition, Flat 3d - Bakery Studio Folding Chairs at the Museum (2015-2016) at Design Museum Holon, which followed the development process of NOM.
Since the studio’s inception, it has won numerous awards, including an Excellency Award from the Manufactures Association of Israel in 2009, an Excellency Award at the IBDC-International Bicycle Design Competition in 2010, and a nomination for the Hublot Design Prize in 2015.
Amitai and Kuchik met while studying industrial design at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. They both graduated in 2009. Prior to their studies at Bezalel, Amitai attended the Musrara School of Photography in Jerusalem from 2003 to 2004. Kuchik studied painting under artist Mary Beth McKenzie at the Art Students League of New York in 2002 and at the Jerusalem Studio School from 2002 to 2003.
Amitai and Kuchik are also partners in life; they married in 2010. In 2012, they became proud parents to their daughter Maya. The couple lives and works in Tel Aviv.