Ron Arad harks from a generation of self-taught designers who began the 1980’s making their work out of necessity and ended it as darlings of the noveau riche, commanding gallery prices for one-of-a-kind pieces. Arad mischievously exploits formal and functional possibilities to the fullest, combining playful forms and experiments with advanced technologies. His sculptural forms often have an unexpected impact which first emerges during use, and are as much a result of graphic design as experimental work. The Tom Vac stackable chair for Vitra, and the Book Worm for Kartell are just two of a decade’s worth of collaborations with these and other companies including Driade, Cassina, Alessi and Magis.
Ron Arad was educated at the Jerusalem Academy of Art and later at the Architectural Association in London where he studied under Peter Cook, founder of Archigram.
With Caroline Thorman, he co-founded the design and production studio One Off in 1981 and, in 1989, the architecture and design practice Ron Arad Associates. In 1994 he established the design and production unit Ron Arad Studio, in Como, Italy. Arad is currently Professor of Design Products at the Royal College of Art in London and lectures on his work regularly at universities and design schools worldwide.
Ron Arad Associates is now predominantly architecturally-focused, including such architectural projects as Magis: Headquarters; Motta di Livenza; Treviso; the Design Museum in Holon, Israel; Y’s (Yohji Yamamoto) flagship store in Roppongi Hills, Tokyo; and the Selfridges Technology Hall in London.
In June 2002, Luminaire hosted an informative lecture by the unconventional and celebrated designer at the Chicago showroom and featured his work in an exhibition for Art Loves Design during Art Basel Miami Beach in Miami, Florida, December 2003. In 2006, Arad transformed a plastic white puppy into a poetic declaration. Half of the puppy spoke through expressive scribbles in black, while the other half stayed silent, dress entirely in black paint. The puppy was auctioned as part of PuppyLove, the proceeds of which went to fund cancer research.
In a dream collaboration with Ingo Maurer in 2008, Arad helped design aR ingo, a statuesque diffused light created from an aluminum and steel honeycomb structure. At over 6 feet tall, aR ingo soars to new heights, and combines the playfulness and poetry marked by both Ron Arad and Ingo Maurer. And later in the year, Arad once again contributed work to be auctioned in the fight against cancer in the second ‘Love’ series exhibition, PaperLove. His drawing ‘Soft Heart’ shows a three dimensional heart rocking on its side, it’s motion reflected in passionate scribbles of black and red. Once again, proceeds benefited research to find a cure for cancer.
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