Yemenite Totem
Monday 14 Aug 2017

The Yemenite totem is a graduation project by Shir Avraham at Holon Institute of Technology (HIT), made in a response to the trend in which people move to major cities and exchange big homes with smaller apartments. The living room space these days is significantly reduced and furniture occupies a lot of space. While hosting, the living room requires a larger number of seats than every day use and there is no reason for that space to be occupied by non-adjustable furniture.

The project was initiated by a research project on the Jewish culture at Yemen which included research on local crafts (such as Filigree craftsmanship and embroidery in unique clothing), continued on the way of life and structure of houses. The "Faraj" room served as a family room, family members spent most of the day at that room, hosting and living. The prevailing view was to leave the space empty of furniture to allow space and openness.

The Yemenite Totem is a stackable sitting set made from 4 stools and a tray. The stools are made from an iron frame pipes and rods in fixed sizes, the focus in the design was revealing and hiding them with other various materials and techniques that identified the Jewish Yemenite Culture. The stools consist of a game of relationships between materials and techniques that one can create an endless bank of combinations to allow the customer to reorder the stools and make his personal totem. When the stools are no longer in use, the Totem is being stacked all over again to allow space and openness back again. Stacking of the stools is made possible simply by the shape of the seat and the base of the stool which are the same in all of them. Placing the upper tray on each one of the stools creates a table for dining times.
The stools are made from an iron frame pipes and rods in fixed sizes, the copper units are made by spinning and the bottom of the tray is bent and soldered, the rubber threads are embroidered and woven into the frame and the seats are made of processed maple wood. When whole, the Yemenite Totem represents a kind of large jewellery that fits in a small space at home, creating a unique show with modern interpretation of Yemenite crafts and providing a solution to an urban home hospitality.