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This year Luminaire had the distinct pleasure of welcoming Omer Arbel, founder of Vancouver-based Omer Arbel Office and Creative Director of Bocci, to Chicago to open eyes, stimulate minds and stir souls. On June 11 at Art Institute of Chicago, Arbel shared insights on his design methodology and body of work. Following the talk, the designer engaged guests as they experienced his ethereal designs in the Luminaire showroom.

Omer Arbel was born in Jerusalem, Israel in 1976 and raised in Vancouver where he currently lives and works. Trained as an architect, Arbel was only in his twenties when he established his own design firm Omer Arbel Offices (OAO). As Creative Director of manufacturing house Bocci, he also produces innovative, emotionally sensitive lighting. Intimately combining the fields of industrial design, architecture, manufacturing and materials research, Arbel's work is characterized not only by its own inherent physical qualities but also by the way it connect others to the spaces through which they move.

Arbel seeks inspiration in the intrinsic qualities of materials, fascinated by physical, chemical and mechanical processes and the opportunities he finds to manipulate them.  Among his most celebrated work is the critically acclaimed 2.4 Chair, currently considered a collector’s item. Many of his other designs are currently in widespread production, notably the 14 series chandelier which hangs in the entrance of the Luminaire Chicago showroom and bears the effect of many tiny candles floating in delicate spheres of water.  His architectural work includes both the interior of a Vancouver penthouse and 23.2, a private family residence located on large, rural plot of land just outside Vancouver.

Arbel's work has received some of the highest honors of contemporary industrial design and has been published extensively.  Some of his accolades include several Red Dot and iF Awards, the Ron Thom Early Design Achievement Award, a World Architecture Festival Shortlist and, with Corrine Hunt, the commission to design the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Medals.

It gave us great pleasure to offer our public the extraordinary experience of this event with Omer Arbel. Whether a long-time design enthusiast or only experiencing the transformative power of great design for the first time, everyone is encouraged to continue to learn more about Omer Arbel and take in this mesmerizing exhibition on view through the end of July.