Floor 07: Ron Arad
Born in Tel Aviv in 1951, Ron Arad studied at the Academy of Art in Jerusalem before coming to London in 1973 where for five years he studied at the Architectural Association School of Architecture. With Caroline Thorman, he went on to found a design studio, workshops and show room known as One Off Ltd. In 1993, this studio incorporated Ron Arad Associates, the company he had founded in 1989, when the production of his pieces became consolidated in commercial circuits. Fascinated by experimentation, he claims that his working watchword is “never be bored or boring”.
Amongst the pioneers of recycling, he soon became a master, although as he has always admitted, he was not inspired in this by any ecological fervour: he frequently uses lead in his works. He has created some of his most celebrated designs, like the ROVER chair manufactured from old car seats, from second-hand or leftover materials.
He has taken part in several architectural projects including a hotel at the Kristallwelten in Wattens (Austria): the Holon Design Museum, Israel; the hotel set between the four chimneys on top of the Battersea Power Station, London; the Yohji Yamamoto store in Roppongi Hills, Tokyo; and the restoration of the Duomo Hotel in Rimini, Italy, among others. Arad’s interpretation of design strengthens its links with art, a clear consequence of his artistic training, and leads him to go through a phase of non-industrial production before introducing his pieces onto the market.
This feature of his work, with its potential for recycling materials, has helped Ron Arad win several prizes and awards such as the Guardó Internacional Barcelona Disseny 2001, conceded during Primavera del Diseño, and his 2002 recognition as Royal Designer for Industry (RDI) for his aesthetic and efficient designs for industry.