(Roni Cnaani)
children's play spaces

Sarit Shani Hay Studio in Tel Aviv wins Dezeen reader award for outstanding projects and exhibitions that foster child-centric experiences.

By Abigail Klein Leichman, ISRAEL21c

Sarit Shani Hay Studio of Tel Aviv won the Dezeen 2021 Awards’ public vote for best interior design studio.

Hay tells ISRAEL21c that despite the challenges of the pandemic, her all-female studio accomplished many child-centric projects in 2020 and 2021.

Dezeen, a globally influential architecture and design website, has featured several of Hay’s projects – including a pioneering inclusive school in Tel Aviv — and approached her about applying for the interior design studio of the year award.

Finalists were whittled down to five, and the public was invited to vote online for its favorite. Sarit Shani Hay Studio received 29 percent of votes.

children's space

Sarit Shani Hay Studio’s installation at the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv. (Roni Cnaani)

The projects presented included two luxury hotel playrooms – a desert-themed one at the new Six Senses Shaharut and a Jerusalem-themed one taking up a full floor at the David Citadel.

She also presented photos of child-friendly areas her studio designed at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, Abarbanel Mental Health Center in Bat Yam and Shamir Medical Center in Be’er Ya’akov.

Also submitted for consideration were Hay’s recent exhibitions at the Design Museum Holon featuring handmade animals, and for the Biennale at the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv.

In 2020, Hay published a bilingual book, Creative Spaces for Children.

Hay says her studio has specialized for more than 25 years in designing spaces that have “a formative impact on a child’s development, wellbeing and creative thinking.”