My name is Shani Axelrad, 25 years old. I am currently a senior pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Jewelry Design; at Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, Israel. These past four years, I have explored and developed my design ideology - I realize that my identity is an influential part of my process and representation as a designer.
I am adopted - my biological ethnicity is Yemen, whereas my adoptive parents are Romanian. I am a fluent Romanian speaker, but due to my appearance, people have ideas and preconceived notions; and expectations based on my appearance solely.
The feeling of not fully belonging to one group or the other has made me feel that I must prove myself to both groups. This duality has always been a trigger \ motivating element to my work. I see myself as a mixed-medium designer whose goal is to challenge society's labels.
Hip Hop and street culture, in general, are inspirational sources for me. I see these mediums as unapologetic, pure, and honest platforms of communication. As a jewelry designer, I think that this world is open to accept the unfamiliar, raw, and unique voice of the individual.
In my work, I try to assemble different and opposite cultures, stories, and feelings into complete objects and jewelry.