Oz Shenhar

Good in Musical Instrument Design.

About Oz Shenhar

Oz is working as a product designer since 2006, while he worked as a product manager for the R&D team of Aqua Creations (by the designer Ayala Zarfati) and designed the Mobile collection: "Grace 7 Mobile Light" & "Nana 200 Mobile Light". After he became a freelancer, he started specializes in patent development for conceptual consumer product design. He founded New-Create that designed a revolutionary technology for floating products and has 2 international patents on the technology concept. Since Oct-2018, he is the CEO of Zikit Drums, which also has a patent.

  • Winner of Musical Instrument Design Award.
  • Specialized in Musical Instrument Design.
  • Original Design.
  • Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Musical Instrument
Zikit Diameter Change Mechanism

Zikit Diameter Change Mechanism

Musical Instrument Design

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Interview with Oz Shenhar

Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
Being a Designer is not so easy. I graduated in 2000, and it took me 10-15 years to reach a point that I know how to transfer my thoughts to a product that can give a significant added value to the user.
Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
Right now Zikit is a one-man game, only that I have the luck working with talented partners and subcontractors.
What is "design" for you?
Transforming the gifts you got to fiscal products that communicate positively with reality.
What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
I worked for Aqua-Creations LTD for 5 years, and I think that they are great and innovative in the field of lighting fixtures.
What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
Though I was a founder of a technological start-up in the field of robotics, I am a low-tech guy. I am trying to use material and technology as a creative tool for the major concept.
When do you feel the most creative?
I start working when everyone is eating dinner. For me, 6 hours of night work are compared to 10 hours during the day.
What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
My emotions come up only when I think of the added value for the end-user.
What makes a design successful?
My design field starts with solving problems. If we are doing that, this can lead to a successful design.
When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
If we are talking about designing a new concept for consumer products, which is my field, solving problems always should come first, but there are many routes to get to the target. For me, the best way to get to the target is always doing a good "market fit" dynamic plan. A new concept that reaches this big plan will also have naturally a great design.
From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
We got our gifts and we need to spread it out positively, as simple as this. We are defiantly not the issue.
How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
Technology brought some good things and some bad things. One of the bad things is physical interactions that do not include screens. We can see that ADHD is in growth, and also depression, and we should definitely think about that.
When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
NAMM show 2020. Zikit is part of the music industry, and this is where we put our efforts.
Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
I was a founder of 2 start-ups in the last 7 years. The best way to feed creativity was always by brainstorming with my colleagues.
How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
I never start thinking about design with anyone's style. The design should come from a pure will to solve a problem.
Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
Where I live has a lot of influence on the way I think and work. Even more than I can understand. Israel is a very powerful place. Israel is the second most innovative country in the world. Tel Aviv is the second to Silicon Valley as the most important technology center in the world. This is a very inspiring place to live, and Zikit is a by-product of my incredible partners and subcontrocutes.
How do you work with companies?
It is not obvious to understand the "other side" needs. As much as the "other side" is involved with building the product-market fit plan, the result will be better.
What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
I like designers that know their limitations, as much they know their skills.
Can you talk a little about your design process?
I am trying to test my design and engineering concepts with a few of my colleagues. Then build a product-market fit map, and a temporary team in target to test first prototype with a potential end-user.
Can you describe a day in your life?
Zikit is now in a manufacturing phase. I am working with my engineers to optimize our design for mass production, and in between working on logistics, marketing materials, package design.
Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
We are growing moving from one institution to another. Stop. Think of who you are. You are defiantly not a by-product of the institution you learned in or of the company you work for.
What is your "golden rule" in design?
See that you are happy in your personal life. It will make you a better designer.
Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
I think for the best tools to communicate with the end-user, and I build my toolbox according to that.
Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
We must concentrate on our goals without giving self distractions to run our lives.
What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
How did you think about that? Is there something similar already?
What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
Building the prototypes. Seeing plans transferring to physical parts is great.
Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
I see teamwork essential for successful design. Sometimes your team can be temporary subcontractors. You don't have to use the same team for each job.
Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
Zikit is launching 2 products. The self-installed diameter change pro-kit, that can fit any 14" snare drum, and a dedicated Zikit snare drum. We are 100% working to give drummers for the first time this versatility option, to change the snare drum pitch in real-time

Extended Interview with Oz Shenhar

Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
I graduated in 2000 at the age of 26, and it took me about 6 years to find the right studio that will fit my abilities, and it was working for Aqua Creations, which was a great place to work for. I liked this combination of technology and craft. After 5 great years, I started to work on my first start-up.
What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
Designers have this gift to transform conceptual thoughts into items.
What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
Zikit is part of the music industry, and this is where I put my efforts.
What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
Legends there are only in legends. We all need to work hard and to experiment in many fields until we find our sweet spot.
What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
Finding a "hidden" problems and solving them elegantly is a good design from my perspective.
What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
Good designers have a multidisciplinary vision. They will always have new ways to solve problems differently.
What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?
I love my job in Zikit drums. I'm filling that I am in the right place, and in the right industry.
What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?
Zikit drums is my dream project, I was looking for this day for almost 10 years. This project is my dream and many drummers dream, and I fill lucky that it came realized.
What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
I am trying to test my design and engineering concepts with a few of my colleagues. Then build a product-market fit map, and a temporary team in target to test first prototype with a potential end-user.
Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
I worked for Ayala Zarfati for 5 years, and I think that she is a 100% designer.
What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
I like what Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta from Studio Drift are doing. They think out of the box, and they walking between design art and technology in the right wat to reflect their concepts.
What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
Conceptually, my work for New-Create was the greatest one, the thing that makes me think it is great is from the fact that it failed. Google mentioned us in their patents, many companies were interested in our technology, only that it probably wasn't the time, and it took from us too much effort finding the right market for this product.
How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?
Experience in different platforms, work with new colleagues. There are so many sources for e-learning for inspiration. But in the end, I was trying to understand what are my real skills are, and focus on them.
How do you define design, what is design for you?
The basic design is to take a concept and zoom it in, into an object. If it is a consumer product, it must also go into the process of market fit plane and design according to technology and manufacturing processes.
Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?
My partners in Zikit drums took me to new places professionally, and I thank them for that.
What helped you to become a great designer?
I have a great answer for that. fails. when you fail personally you can actually learn what to do better next time.
What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?
There is a gap you should fill yourself that will transfer all you learn and experience as a student. Practical experience is a major part of success.
How do you think designers should present their work?
Presenting work should be followed by the most attractive way that the product users expect, adding some of your personal touches. I don't really like that work is being present in a sophisticated way.
What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?
I just hope to keep on working on really great concepts, new technologies pups-up very fast, and I wish that I will be in the position to identify new technologies, materials, and processes and to join them right into great products.
What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?
I am not sure about the "esteemed" description... In the end, I prefer to be related to the fact that I do whatever it takes to lead my projects as far as possible while continuing to be happy and to have a normal life with my family.
How does design help create a better society?
Designers have multidisciplinary skills. This is what makes them unique in the way that they can do the "connections" in society. They also have the point of view to see the wide picture, and by that, to make the right corrections.
What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?
Zikit is a project that has many plans for the future. I would like that ASAP we will make some custom versions for high-end users, also we are working on a bass Drum version, which that will be very cool.
Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?
By far Zikit. I was dreaming about this project for more than 10 years. I was so happy finally to be able to work on it, and I will be more than happy that our end-users, the drummer's community, will have this opportunity to increase their versatility by using Zikit.
What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?
If I will take one of the international design exhibitions as an example, we can see that it splits to 10% of very interesting concepts, and unlimited fill from one side, and 90% very ordinary product from the other side. I think that we all want that this 10% will get bigger. I wish that designers will blend inside big companies and will keep on working on some unordinary concepts. We have the tools for that, but most of the time, profitability is standing at the top of the list in big companies, and I hope that we will see it change.
Where do you think the design field is headed next?
I believe that design should stand in its place. Too many things are moving forward. Designers have the point of view to understand what headed next, we should also experience in new fields and get as many skills as we can, but finally, we should remember that the world is not only for those that can keep up the speed.
When you have a new design project, where do you start?
I build a model of a product-market fit, start to have an interaction with end-users, with designers that already tried to find solutions, speak with some of my colleagues, and trying to get the best perspective on the project.
What is your life motto as a designer?
Find what motivates you as a professional, look for your internal true. Then use your skills to follow that true.
What is the role of technology when you design?
Technology should follow the answers that you ask yourself or asking end-users, how can I solve the problem that I am here for.
What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?
I think for the best tools to communicate with the end-user, and I build my toolbox according to that.
What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?
It should also follow the answers that you ask yourself or asking end-users, how can I solve the problem that I am here for.
What do you wish people to ask about your design?
what were your obstacles in the way? How did you learn from failure?
When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?
I have a special folder for that. I save it and write down in one sentence what came up on my mind when I saw it first.
Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?
It really depends on the project, and even more in the designer personality. I definitely don't think that designers should work alone.
Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?
Engineers. Electronic, mechanical, software, plastics est. the leading engineers have practical access to all that is new in technology and materials.
How did you develop your skills as a master designer?
I don't think I am a master designer. I believe in planning ahead your goals, and to be able to start over again and again.
What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?
I have no favorites. We are in an amazing creation 24/7, and anything has its own beauty in its purpose.
Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?
The first job I got as a designer in a studio was funny. I met my future boss a minute before my interview, while I was changing my clothes in the car. My boss, Ayala Zarfati, just parked beside me, and this was our first meeting.
What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
The end-users. If you get that you make products that brings added value to there lives, that motivates me.
What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?
The world will be in a different state of mind. We are just waiting for the time that the right man will be chosen to bring this new "awareness" to the whole world, in a very pure way.

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