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7 Whimsical Ways To Redesign The Pencil

You’ll want every single one of these for your pencil case, from an implement for cavemen to a pencil you sharpen by squeezing.

It’s pretty common for teachers to task their design students with rethinking a ubiquitous object, so designers Luka Or and Keren Tomer weren’t exactly going rogue when they asked their third-year industrial design class at Israel’s Holon Institute of Technology to redesign the humble pencil. But what their students came up with transcends the usual half-hearted redesigns, spanning pencils that are applied like paint brushes, pencils shapes like paleolithic tools, and more.

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After encouraging their students to rethink the pencil from the ground up, Or and Tomer’s class presented 18 reinterpreted pencils, each with a new function, shape, or meaning. “We were looking for a short project to be able to give a good beginning to the subject of ‘gift products,'” Or says. “The pencil was the best candidate: it’s a very classic object with a big historical and cultural value but every student has an intimate knowledge of the object and affection toward it.”

The reconceptualized pencils mostly group together in two categories: the functional and the whimsical. Seven really stand out.

On the functional end of the spectrum, student Ofra Oberman made a series of brush pencils, which allow for a flowing, painterly sketching experience. There’s also the Roller Pencil by Noy Meiri, a pencil designed for people working in fashion; it has a toothed wheel at one end that lets you mark fabric. Gal Yacobi’s contribution merges a pencil together with a wax seal, allowing you to write and seal your letters with the same device. Student Yael Hasid’s +- Pencils, meanwhile, reinterpret the writing and erasing ends of the pencil into separate units: a pencil with two ends that write, and a pencil with two ends that erase.

On the whimsical end, the standout is Evgeny Barkov’s colorful pencils that resemble prehistoric tools: they look like they were plucked from the floor of the Chauvet Cave in southern France. There’s also Yam Amir’s Tube-Pencil, a pencil that you “sharpen” by squeezing the end like a tube of toothpaste. Weirdest of all is Eitan Bercovish’s Fairy Pencil: a pencil designed for children writing to the Tooth Fairy (is that a thing?) that looks like a tooth snapped off at the gum line.

I want all of these in my pencil case. If only H.I.T. had them for sale in their gift shop. Hint.

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