Israeli Designer lets visitors Scratch his room into Colour

By on 22nd May in Featured, Fun

This exhibition at Israel’s Design Museum Holon was created by Israeli Designer Itay Ohaly as part of the ‘childhood’ exhibition that runs until June 7.


The exhibition begins as an entirely black room filled with furniture and picture frames, which can then be scratched away to reveal a colourful underlay. This ‘colour etching’ technique is brilliant for anyone, no matter how much artistic talent they may have.

Itay says on his website that he thought of the idea when trying to recall the first drawings and creations he did as a child.

‘Color etching’ was one of the techniques I remember. As kids, we filled a piece of paper with random and colorful doodles, covered it all with black and then etched on it to make a drawing. It is a creative process which causes a sensation of surprise, discovery and magic, the same elements which characterize our experiences of childhood creations.


Ohaly has two identical rooms to express the different ways this could be explored. The first space was completely black, allowing visitors to etch away at the floors, walls and furniture as they pleased. The second space was one pre-etched by the artist using a CNC (controlled numerical control) router, showing the visitors his original idea for the piece.


As you can see from the pictures, there was a huge difference between the two.

Here is the visitors’ attempt:


And here is what the artist intended:


To make this type of surface, Itay painted the boards and furniture in a number of bright and vivid colours, sealed them with a layer of oil, and then added a thin layer of black paint over the top. The layer of oil meant that the top layer of paint could be etched away without any damage or disturbance to the layer underneath.



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