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Ron Arad

Israeli  •  b. 1951

Biography

Ron Arad's work and career is characterized by his movement between modes and constant experimentation. Arad was born in Tel Aviv, Israel in 1951 and studied at the Jerusalem Academy of Art before moving to London in 1973. He began his practice in London in the early 1980s and set up One Off Ltd, focused on limited edition objects, with his partner Caroline Thorman. A decade later he had moved to industrial production techniques and collaborations with large design firms such as Vitra and Kartell.

A persistent theme throughout his work is innovation and the idea of the "new." Still producing work today, Arad uses the latest technology to produce his designs and also integrates it within his pieces, such as his Lolita Chandelier (2004) that can receive and display text messages. Arad also continually experiments with materials and has an exceptional skill to coax volume and undulation out of them, with a particular affinity for metal. His works such as The Big Easy chair (1988) walk the line between design and sculpture. Once an outsider, Arad's relentless energy to design, build and collaborate has placed him firmly within the highest ranks of the design world.

Insights

  • Arad was Professor of Design Product at the Royal College of Art in London up until 2009.

  • MoMA held a retrospective of Arad's work entitled "Ron Arard: No Discipline" in 2009.

  • Ron Arad architectural projects range from opera houses (Tel Aviv Opera, 1994) to fashion boutiques (Yohji Yamamoto's Y's Store, Tokyo 2003).

  • In December 2007 Phillips set the record price for Arad's D Sofa (2003) at $409,000. Phillips also sold the prototype for the D Sofa (1993) for $257,000 in the December 2015 Design Masters sale.

"I am not very good at doing what other people expect me to do, I don’t have the discipline."

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