A visit to the Design Museum Holon


Free Wheelin’

By Anna Carnick

While in Israel last week, we had the chance to visit the Design Museum Holon, the country’s first museum dedicated exclusively to design. We met up with chief curator Galit Gaon and head of PR Eyal de Leeuw for a special guided tour of the nearly four-year-old museum, which was designed by Israeli architect Ron Arad.

Its exterior features sculptural, sinuous ribbons of ruddy Corten steel, which wrap around the museum’s two main buildings and reveal varying degrees of weathering. It’s a truly exceptional place, and the enveloping, circular steel seems to physically reinforce the museum’s goal of expressing design’s potential impact on the world and—specifically—for building and bettering community.

Inside, we were swept up by the museum’s current show, Free Wheel: Cyclepedia, Iconic Bicycle Design, which inhabits every floor. This super-fun exhibit examines the history of the bicycle and cycling culture, incorporating models from different eras that reflect developments in technology, fashion, and society. Highlights include a floor full of iconic, floating bicycles from Austrian collector Michael Embacher’s private archive (including handmade, cardboard, folding bikes, and more—as well as a very cool app for further reference, presented on iPads attached to a bike-like seats);  a selection of historical posters, photographs, and Israeli-manufactured bicycles; as well as a survey of iconic cycling moments in film (who doesn’t love that image of E.T. and Elliott riding across the moon-filled night sky?). In sum, it’s a layered, accessible, and cohesive look at a ubiquitous and often overlooked mode of transportation— and absolutely worth checking out if you’re anywhere near Tel Aviv in the near future!

Design Museum Holon

Design Museum Holon

Design Museum Holon, Shay Ben Efraim Photo by Shay Ben Efraim, image courtesy of Design Museum Holon.

Design Museum Holon

Design Museum Holon, Tatjana Sprick, Eyal de Leeuw Tatjana Sprick and Eyal de Leeuw.

Design Museum Holon, Galit Gaon, Eyal de Leeuw Eyal de Leeuw and Galit Gaon.

Design Museum Holon, Free Wheel, exhibition

Design Museum Holon, Free Wheel, exhibition Image courtesy of Design Museum Holon.

Design Museum Holon, Free Wheel, exhibition

Design Museum Holon, Free Wheel, exhibition Image courtesy of Design Museum Holon.

Thanks again to the museum team for all their great work and the incredibly warm welcome!

  • Text by

    • Anna Carnick

      Anna Carnick

      Anna is Pamono’s Managing Editor. Her writing has appeared in several arts and culture publications, and she's edited over 20 books. Anna loves celebrating great artists, and seriously enjoys a good picnic.

More to Love