Out of the Clouds
February 24, 2023, Anne V Muhlethaler

S3:E09 Tal Zur

on the language of crochet, trust and creating social impact through design

Tal Zur of Iota Project on the Out of the Clouds podcast

Tal Zur is a trained industrial designer who lectures at the Holon Institute of Technology. She is also the co-founder of Iota Project, a Tel Aviv-based lifestyle start-up with the goal to create social impact through design. At the core of this enterprise is an ancient technology, or rather, a technique: crochet.

In this interview, Tal talks to Anne about how she came to study industrial design, curatorship and patisserie (an eclectic combination), how she chose to move away from working in fashion and, while she was considering the next steps in her career, how she had a serendipitous connection with her co-founder, Shula Mozes, the one to brainstorm the idea of crochet as the basis for their social mission. 

Tal explains how industrial design is like a methodology and how she became inclined to approach crochet in a modern way, all the while drawing on old Greek doilies as inspiration. As she tells it, crochet can be communicated and replicated like one could a piece of music, and that’s how Iota Project is able to share design drawings with women and collaborate with skilled communities over several countries. 

Anne and Tal also discuss the meaning and importance of slow design, and how Iota Project aims to create sustainable social impact by being a platform for change, which includes putting the opportunity in the hands of the consumers, designers, architects and other entities that will engage with their products. 

The two finish by talking about how Tal approaches her life as a mother (of three!) while being an entrepreneur, the importance of trust and not micromanaging when working remotely, and how teaching in front of design students twice a week is a bubble that keeps her feeling creatively connected. 

A very inspiring interview with a compelling and fascinating woman. Enjoy! 

Selected links from episode

You can find more about Iota Project and Tal at https://iotaproject.com/

as well as connect with them on Facebook IotaHandStitched

and Instagram @IotaSoftLiving

And you can find Tal on LinkedIn

The Hulon Institute of Technology

Il Camino de Santiago

The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston

The exhibition ‘Fiber Sculpture from 1960 until today‘ that inspired Tal to launch Iota Project

Jaipur Rugs – https://www.jaipurrugs.com/

Who needs a swing? Here’s the current range of swings by Iota Project

The Peugeot x Iota Project collaboration

Tal’s book pick is the History of Love by Nicole Krauss

Tal’s go to song is Blackbird by the Beatles

Discover the full playlist from Out of the Clouds’s guests