Art By Design: Furniture & Lighting by Israeli Makers Are Both Sculptural & Functional

By Laura Goldstein

Hagit Pincovici 3

Hagit Pincovici established her studio near Milan. She’s greatly influenced by the geometrics and minimalist lines of Art Deco. Photo: Fabrizio Checchi

When Hagit Pincovici was a little girl in her grandparents’ atelier in Tel Aviv, she remembers the exhilaration of playing with and running between colourful sheets of plexiglass that would eventually be molded into trays, frames and furniture by her artisan grandparents. “When my grandfather left Romania for Israel, he brought the recipe for making plexiglass and I remember it was a kind of paradise looking through all the colourful pieces,” says Pincovici, now third generation maker, reminiscing by Skype from Tel Aviv.

It’s not entirely coincidental then, that her multi-hued Art Deco-inspired furniture in SwitzerCultCreative’s showroom evokes a modern twist on a bygone era. Pincovici’s From Above Coffee Table from The Eclipse Collection couldn’t be more timely; a geometric Carrara marble ‘moon’ is integrated into an abstract path of black shadow and coral sun in lacquered wood on a brushed brass base. Flamingo Storage Side Table, also from The Eclipse Collection, is a stunning sculptural platform perched atop stilt-like legs of its namesake. A secret compartment rotates out to store jewelry if placed in a bedroom or as a handy bar for drinks, sure to spark conversation in the living room. The Metaphysics Sideboard is Pincovici’s take on sophisticated elegance. The blue and black lacquered geometric wood console designed at multiple heights, is mounted on brushed brass and immediately recalls the glamour of the 20s and 30s. “I love the thin minimalist lines just bordering on the decorative,” she explains.

Flamingo 4 Hagit

Pincovici’s Flamingo Storage Side Table, is a sculptural piece that can double as a bar in the living room or jewelry case with hidden drawr in the bedroom. Photo courtesy Hagit Pincovici.

After working her way up as head of product development for Aqua Creations in Israel and organizing their exhibition at the annual Salone del Mobile, in Milan, Pincovici decided to re-locate to Italy “where I fell in love with the Italian spirit of creativity,” not to mention her husband, Fabrizio Checchi.

She opened her own design studio in the furniture district of Brianza in 2014 where she sketches her designs by hand. Then furniture is made with traditional craftsmanship and sold internationally. When not working on her first collection of lighting, Pincovici is also an instructor at NABA (Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti,) in Milan.

“You know, we (Israeli) designers are like chameleons,” Pincovici laughs. “I don’t think we share a common style but we do share that drive to create and in Italy they really appreciate that approach.”

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Product and industrial designer, Eli Chissick creates imaginative furniture pieces using re-purposed wood and Formica. Photo courtesy Chissick Design.

London-born, Eli Chissick of Chissick Design is waxing poetic about wood. Skyping from his home-studio near Tel Aviv the award-winning designer is concerned about the environment, recycling and products that will increase the mobility of the disabled.  Unlike the vast forests found in Canada, trees are not harvested for the lumber industry in Israel and wood is usually imported. That forces the industrial and product designer to be ingenious about scavenging off-cuts and re-purposed wood from carpentry floors. “It’s a magical transformation when I sort what is usually thrown out, then press into large sheets from which I create my furniture,” explains Chissick.

The results are as sculptural as they are utilitarian. Mosaica, from Chissick’s Wood-Con-Fusion series, is a coffee table (or bench) composed of over 2,000 intricate puzzle pieces of multi-coloured wood. The Marmelade, coffee table is a mouth-watering compote of wood with inlaid lime, raspberry and white striped Formica laminate. It’s built on wheels for easy maneuvering in any space.


Gradient Cocktail Table is hand-crafted from 8 types of veneer juxtaposed from light to dark. Photo courtesy Chissick Design

“I’m really excited about working with Renee at SwitzerCultCreative because I’m now able to send my furniture designs created on the computer to her and then have many pieces hand- made in British Columbia with the same quality as in Israel,” says Chissick. Those pieces include the Gradient Cocktail Table, hand-crafted from 8 types of veneer juxtaposed from light to dark in wenge, imbuia, American walnut, teak, African walnut, anigre, white oak and maple.

 Mirror 2012, from Chissick’s Wood-Con-Fusion series, is set in a painted and lacquered salvaged wood frame and can be customized in various colours. (It was a 2015 Platinum Winner at the U.S. ADEX Awards for Product and Project Design.)


Chissick’s Mirror 2012 can be customized in many colours. Photo courtesy Chissick Design.

Always challenging himself, Chissick partnered with German company, LugerOptik to produce sleek binoculars including Manta, inspired by the sea; The Salarium Series of saltshakers based on coins from present-day currency and Sitybike that enables its rider to remove the seat and use as an independent chair.

He’s also a big proponent of TOMS- (Tikkun Olam Makers,) a global movement of extraordinary makers who donate their specialties to create solutions for people struggling with a debilitating problem. Over just three days, 100 designers, engineers and techies meet with these people personally then brainstorm in small groups and set to work making prototypes. Chissick has participated in these “Makeathons” in both Tel Aviv and San Francisco resulting in a walker that allows a person to navigate stairs; a door opener for a quadriplegic; a digital hand and a high-tech go-cart for a disabled child, to name only a few.

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Co-founder and designer of Aqua Creations, Albi Serfaty with his Lucky Lamp Wall Fixtures. Photo courtesy Aqua Creations

It’s impossible to look at Aqua Creations’ lamps, lighting installations and furniture without feeling a sense of awe and wonderment! The urge to touch them or curl up in the enveloping Gladis Lounge Chair, is overpowering. When co-founder, Albi Serfaty hears my confession, he’s laughing in agreement. “This is what art is all about,” he says, Skyping from his home in Tel Aviv. “There must be this emotional connection, both for me as a designer because I’m passionate about my work and hopefully from our pieces as interior décor in a home, a restaurant or hotel.”

Aqua Creations Morning Glory small May 30 2012 14

Organic floor lamps, from the Morning Glory Collection by Aqua Creations. Photo courtesy Aqua Creations

What began in 1994 as a small atelier in Tel Aviv is now a global brand with an Aqua Creations showroom in New York and their lighting installations world-wide including 1 Hotel, Brooklyn; Savoy Hotel, Seychelles; and Hotel Okura Fukuoka, Japan.

As a photographer and designer, Serfaty’s imagination has no limits, re-interpreting organic forms and abstract sea life into lighting and furniture. Morning Glory Floor Lamps, in silk over metal, when illuminated, seem to take on an otherworldly beauty all their own. Collections since 1994 show a definite evolutionary progression with current geometric shapes like The Simon Says Yes Pendant part of Aqua Creations Mino Collection. Whether as a singular hanging pendant or grouped together as colourful wall mounts as shown in the SwitzerCultCreative showroom, they add a sculptural yet functional addition to interiors.

Simon Says Wall Composition, Aqua Creations -Credit Ph. Richard Gooding and Staffan Tollgard Design Store, London

Geometric shapes like The Simon Says Yes Pendant are part of Aqua Creations Mino Collection and are available as one pendant or grouped together as sculptural art. Photo courtesy Aqua Creations.

If you can imagine thousands of magnified neurons under a microscope, you will see the genesis of The Mimosa Collection. Composed of laser-cut galvanized metal, sprayed with clear polymer, the hand-sculpted shades transmit a dreamy, calming light.

The Lucky Lamp wall fixtures are Serfaty’s newest iteration using ground-breaking technology in which each sustainable and dimmable light is controlled by a micro- computer that alters colour, motion and intensity.

“I’d love to collaborate in the future with a fashion designer like Missoni,” confides Serfaty, “and at some point, build a place that combines home, work and studio in one location.” “I’m like a sheep dog in that way- I like everything together.”

Gladis Lounge

The enveloping organic Gladis Lounge Chairs by Aqua Creations. Photo courtesy Aqua Creations.

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Delinah Simmons Textiles

SwitzerCultCreative is thrilled to be representing the wonderful velvet collection from

Delinah Simmons.  It is available in “any colour under the sun” and milled in the U.S.A.

Visit us in the showroom to see and feel this wonderful textile collection.

Delinah Simmons velvet colour wings Delinah Simmons Velvets

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Ivan Meade Fabric Collection at SwitzerCultCreative

Check out this wonderful blog post from our design partner Ivan Meade Design Group on incorporating textiles into your design.

Ivan Meade Fabric Design

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Happy Holidays – Merry Christmas – Happy Hanukah

Watch the great team from Gillian Segal Design create our holiday window.

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What’s New at Switzer

Although we are about to head into Vancouver winter the atmosphere in our showroom is warm and welcoming. Adam and I would like to officially welcome the newest member of our Team, Jennifer Wosk.
Jennifer has a decade of experience in customer service and administration and brings her creative spirit and enthusiasm to our Team. In addition to her role with us at SwitzerCultCreative, Jennifer has her own jewelry line: and is an experienced Yoga and Meditation guide.
Visitors to our Showroom will have noticed the wonderful Murano Glass Chandeliers, Lamps and Accessories. We are very pleased to be representing the Steve Jensen Collection. Steve works with glassmakers on Murano to bring his designs to life and maintain the authentic craftsmanship that original Murano artisans are recognized for throughout the world.

In the showroom you will find many new pieces from the Artisan Wood Collection, as well as the Ingman Chair and Ottoman from Zanat and new works from local BC artisans, Ryan Inman and Richard Jarvis.

Next month to celebrate the holiday season our window will be dressed for the holidays by Gillian Segal Design Inc. and her team. We look forward to sharing a glass of bubbly to celebrate the coming New Year.

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IDSVancouver September 22-25, 2016

SwitzerCultCreative celebrated this Fall at IDS Vancouver. We introduced the Artisan Collection and the new Flamingo from Hagit Pincovici as well as highlighting select pieces from some of our other collections. The booth was designed and curated by Alda Pereira. For more information about Alda and her design company check out her website:

For those of you who were not able to attend the show, here are some images of the display.
Photo Credit: Jeremy Segal Photography





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Exciting new model for the Eclipse Collection by Hagit Pincovici

In Solid Brass this art piece designed by Hagit Pincovici also serves as a small storage occasional piece.
Introduced in September in Milan and London the “Flamingo” is now available in Canada and the United States.

Please contact the showroom for more information.


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Se London: Collection of the month











Sé London at SwitzerCultCreative™

Our featured collection of the month is the Sé London Collection, carried by SwitzerCultCreative™ exclusively for Western Canada. The Sé London Collection features contemporary luxury design from artisanal designers Jaime Hayon, Damien Langlois-Meurinne, and Nika Zupanc. Each of their designs serve as a magnificent focal point that can be easily incorporated into any space.

Jaime Hayon is an award-winning Spanish artist-designer with a flare for renaissance tones. Damien Langlois-Meurinne’s high-quality French craftsmanship is reflected in his unique approach to aesthetic and design. Nika Zupanc, a Slovenian designer recently awarded Elle “Woman of the Year”, presents an extraordinary range of pieces that channel the Olympics with a European feel.

The International Interiors Show

In January, our founder, Renee Switzer, visited IMM Cologne for the annual International Interiors Show. IMM Cologne highlighted some of the industry’s most talented leaders and offered immense inspiration from internationally renowned designers and artisans. Capturing the art of modern European minimalism is a huge part of what makes SwitzerCultCreative™ so unique. One of the trends we noted from IMM Cologne is that “one colour never stands alone.” Specifying any of the Sé London pieces, will create a focal point, while at the same time complement other pieces in the room. The SwitzerCultCreative™ Collection continues to expand it’s offerings with new and exciting modern designs.

We would love to hear from you! Please let us know what type of content you would like to see on our blog!

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Adam Bellas joins SwitzerCultCreative

Adam Bellas



Grandson of Legendary Interior Designer, William Switzer, Joins New Family Business

Vancouver, BC (January 13, 2016) – After more than 15 years at William Switzer & Associates Ltd. – the world-renowned furnishing company his grandfather founded in 1952 – Adam Bellas has joined his mother, Renee Switzer, as partner and showroom manager at SwitzerCultCreative™.

Bellas brings his vast industry knowledge and passion for sophisticated and sustainable furniture to SwitzerCultCreative, a company that Renee Switzer established in 2012.

“Adam was practically born in his grandfather’s furniture showroom,” says Switzer. “I would bring him with me to work as a baby and he was raised around the world’s finest furniture. He developed a keen understanding and knowledge about interior design and, more importantly, making customers happy. Over the years, Adam has developed an outstanding reputation with suppliers and customers, and that’s why we are delighted to have him on the team.”

With Bellas’ appointment to the SwitzerCultCreative team, the company will soon launch its very first showroom, a place where people can touch and feel the elegant pieces.

“We are bringing new and exciting pieces that have not been available in this market before – everything from beautiful furniture, to lighting, fabrics and even accessories,” says Bellas. “And soon, with the new showroom, we’ll be able to tell customers – in person – how each piece was made, the quality of products used, the materials, and how it’s environmentally sustainable. That’s the SwitzerCultCreative commitment.”

Bellas credits his grandfather with his passion for furniture, and his mother for inspiring him to continue the family tradition. He says he can’t wait for what lies ahead as the next generation takes the lead on the showroom floor.

An official announcement on the opening of the brand new SwitzerCultCreative space will be made in the coming weeks. However, design enthusiasts can expect to see fabulous collections from designers the company exclusively represents, such as Sholto Scruton, Hagit Pincovici, Jason Klager, Eli Chissick, Ivan Meade, Fringe Studio, Sklo, and Se-London. For more information, visit


SwitzerCultCreative™ is about cutting edge contemporary design combined with beautiful handcrafted products that are modern, luxurious and sustainable. In the world of high-end home furnishings and design, the Switzer family is synonymous with luxury, quality, value and service.

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Media Contact:

Amanda Bates
Curve Communications

Heather Roy
Curve Communications

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New Vancouver Showroom coming soon

After months of searching for showroom space in the right area we are ready to announce that
SwitzerCultCreativeTM is opening a Showroom in Vancouver.

Before the end of this year we will be in our new home ready to open the doors and welcome clients to browse and enjoy home furnishings that will be exclusive to SwitzerCultCreativeTM.

Watch for more news in the coming days.

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