Chef Ferran Adria isn’t the only innovator changing the world of dining. Based in New York City, Dror Benshetrit is a new leading designer whose reconceptualization of space and form is changing the very structure of restaurant furniture from floor to ceiling.
Though now represented by New York’s prestigious Culture & Commerce Inc., Dror grew up in Israel where his father was a mechanic and his mother was a midwife and make-up artist. Initially Dror was interested by art, inspired by such artists as Paul Gauguin and Rodin.
Yet always nagging at him as he studied art was a growing interest in physics and abstract geometry. His expanding interest led him to explore such giants of design as Noguchi, Achille Castiglioni and Buckminster Fuller.
In 2006, after completing his studies at the Eindhoven Design Academy in Holland, Dror began experimenting with new shapes which he generated through innovative “space truss geometry”. The resulting discovery, later entitled and patented as the “QuaDror”, was a unit made from four identical L-shaped pieces.
When combined, the resulting collapsible system allowed for rapid assembly and a transition from closed and flat to open and self-standing. When applied to the furnishings of a restaurant or hotel, new compact and easily stored items could be created.
Working with the legendary Swarovski Crystal firm of Austria, Dror designed a stunning new chandelier, ideal for floor or table lighting. It is truly a piece of art brought forward into the functionality of a grand gala – an elegance light source made as real as a sparkling champagne glass. Just imagine its beauty if raised overhead to the ceiling of a grand ballroom.
Using the same QuaDror form, banquet tables equally can now change their heavy decades-old appearance. By enlarging Dror’s innovative truss form, two base units or "sawhorses" can easily be opened and topped with a transparent top, making traditional table linen unnecessary as traditional banquet tables can now become a stunning visual tour de force.
But Dror goes still further. He and his staff have even recreated the basic guest chair. By thinking outside the box, they have crafted a "pick chair" that folds from the floor to become hanging wall art when not in use.
Still a young designer, Dror has a brilliant and amazing future ahead of him as does our industry when the traditions of the past are honored and changed by all that’s new, creative, useful and beautiful.
Your Culinary World copyright Ana Kinkaid/Peter Schlagel 2011