Sarit Shani Hay Founder & designer of Sarit Shani Hay Studio

Tel Aviv-based award-winning designer, Sarit Shani Hay is a pioneer in the field of children’s environments. As a multi-disciplinary designer, she combines art and design to create whimsical objects and dynamic spaces. After spending several years abroad (New York, London and Africa) and receiving a post-graduate diploma from London’s Chelsea College of Art and Design, Hay returned to Israel and launched her eponymous Tel Aviv design studio in 1995.

The acclaimed studio specializes in the design of pedagogical environments, interior design, and custom furniture for children and adults alike. Shani Hay’s world of design is filled with color, craftsmanship and wit, with eclectic references to comic books, fairy tales, modernist designers and african art.

Each design combines functionalism with humor, creating enchanting interiors. Working with a range of materials, textures and detailing, Shani Hay’s designs inspire the imagination, excite the senses and empower learning through play.

2020 FRAME Societal Award Nominee for The First Inclusive School in Tel Aviv

2018 A’ Design Award for Wholesale Market Kindergarten & Daycare Complex

2018 European Product Design Award for Cat-Dog bean bag

2013 A’ Design Award for Kfar Shemaryahu Educational Center

Interview with Sarit Shani Hay, founder of Sarit Shani Hay Studio

Why do you design environments and furniture for children?
Childhood has been a continuous source of inspiration and serves as the force behind my passion for design. My daughter’s birth and the desire to design for her were a type of rebirth for me in which I found my calling.  I believe that a well-designed environment can enhance a child’s well-being, develop their sensibility and provide an atmosphere in which they can feel free and safe, be creative and inspired, and most of all, feel loved. Children deserve to grow up with well-designed environments that are mindful of their physical proportions, empower their mental abilities, heal their emotional sensitivities and inspire their creative powers.

What is special about your design for kids?
My studio’s passion comes from our joy of creation. We believe in total design and therefore we design both objects and environments, from intimate to public spaces. When working with educational institutions, we aspire to translate the spirit and vision of 21st century education into a world children can experience through play and imagination.We combine craft together with advanced technology to create unique designs that take into consideration a child’s perspective. We strive for creativity and playfulness in our designs while still upholding a responsibility that comes with the profession, especially where children are involved.

When and where was your studio founded?
The Sarit Shani Hay Studio was founded in 1995 in Tel Aviv, Israel.

What do you do when you ARE NOT working?
I love to spend most of my spare time with my family. I believe in healing the mind, as well as the body so I exercise and swim regularly. I love to be constantly inspired by different artists in various fields and therefore you can also find me at a museum or enjoying a front row seat at a modern or contemporary dance performance.

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