On the occasion of Ron Arad’s first architectural project going up in Israel, the Independent looks at his career and contributions to British design. Arad’s prototypes have been one of the few reliable items in the Design art sales in recent years. So it’s nice to see that he comes up with creative solutions to all sorts of design problems, even ones like piracy.
After college, he opened up a studio/gallery in Covent Garden, back then an edgy and recently revived part of London, and gained a certain celebrity for making radical one-off pieces from discarded objects, like Rover seats and wire shelving. Yet he’s become one of Britain’s most commercially successful furniture designers. Today, it’s hard to travel anywhere on the beaten track without coming across at least one restaurant, gallery or office filled with his Tom Vac chairs, a piece he originally designed in 1997 as a component of a towering sculpture to be shown at the Milan Furniture Fair. (Though the real ones are made by smart Swiss manufacturer Vitra, the design has been so liberally faked in China that Arad travelled to a couple of the factories to see if he couldn’t come up with a new design that they could really own).
Ron Arad: Curve Your Enthusiasm (Independent)