F5: Yaara Gooner Shares How She Gets Out of Her Head, the Art of Dance + More
As head of architecture and design, Yaara Gooner is the creative eye behind LABTech’s unique and innovative workspaces: LABS and their latest residential living concept, STAY. She is a highly talented designer and architect, and during her studies her final project was awarded the Highest Achievement Award by the Azrieli Architecture Competition for creativity, originality and architectural quality. After graduating, Yaara joined Kimmel Eshkolot Architects where she was part of an award winning team, winning first prize architectural competitions and bids to work on landmark projects.
Prior to LABTech, she was an architect and designer at Baranowitz + Kronenberg, where she led interior design projects for high-end hospitality properties in Israel and Europe. This role developed Yaara’s interior style as she studied the conditions and characteristics of iconic buildings and developed designs that complemented their best features. As a specialist in premium and boutique design, she’s had the chance to work with five-star hotels, luxury restaurants and flagship commercial properties.
Passionate about using design and architecture to improve lives and transform areas, Yaara has led pro-bono projects to help local communities. Notably she led a team of architects in the renovation of a drug rehabilitation center in Tel Aviv that included a complex set of psychological and social criteria and severe land constraints.
Today Yaara joins us for Friday Five!
1. Travel + Explore
I have an obsession for walking and exploring our surroundings, whether it’s nature or urban landscapes. I try not to walk the same path twice, and often if I stay too much in one place I begin to feel trapped. Traveling is a big part of my life, it keeps me creative, opens my mind and gets me inspired. One of my biggest challenges in the past year has been the inability to travel, but it has brought new opportunities. It has forced me to learn even more about my surroundings and to pay attention to things that I hadn’t noticed before. And as a result of Covid-19, many of the streets are now empty, meaning you can really take in buildings and the negative spaces between them from a greater perspective.
I always like to add a vintage touch or hand made crafts to my minimal designs. Items from different eras always uplifts a space, adding a layer of interest and richness to the story. I like to go in-person to flea markets to find treasures for my projects and I love the challenge that comes with sourcing the perfect piece to fit a space – usually found digging around in a big pile of items. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.
In all projects I challenge the team to create bespoke pieces and to learn new fields of design, from furniture, to joinery, lighting features and textiles. I also try to learn new techniques and explore new materials myself. As a designer, it is essential that we continue to explore, push our own boundaries and challenge ourselves. The bespoke items develop in many forms, handmade crafted features, ceramic artworks, or polish plaster finish applied to the wall and ceiling. Bespoke items and textures elevate spaces and add an artisanal feeling that is much more welcoming and individual.
4. Dance + Movement
As a former dancer, I still always get inspired by the art of dance and the way our bodies move. My favorite dance company these days is L-E-V, which is led by Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar. I get inspired by the way Eyal creates atmosphere and emotion from the performance. The way she understands the human body and searches inside of it in order to find the movement and creation. She creates a simple and clean set design while adding layers of intense emotions by the pure movement and sound of her dancers.
5. Japanese Zen Gardens
I am a big believer in the art of ‘less is more’, which can be found in Japanese Minimalism. Japanese aesthetics revolve around clean lines, the beauty of simplicity, holding tightly to balance and routine life and a love for natural beauty. This simplicity of design and its discipline has informed all aspects of traditional Japanese culture from lifestyle to visual arts to culinary. In my own designs I like to find the simplicity, the balance between materials, and the spiritual moment in larger spaces.
Work by Yara Gooner: