Ron Arad is the most successful Israeli designer of all time. His works are characterized by a postmodern style and generally consist of metals bent into amorphous shapes with a raw and industrial look. Arad was born in Tel Aviv in 1951, the son of an artist and a photographer (his mother and father respectively). In 1973, after a year of studies in the Department of Industrial and Environmental Design at Bezalel, he traveled to London, where he went to the prestigious AA School of Architecture and completed his studies.
Then, he worked for a few years at an architects’ office in London.
His breakthrough was in the field of furniture design, after he established the One Off company in 1981. Today, Arad designs pieces of furniture, rooms and buildings for the furniture industry in Italy, Switzerland and the US. His furniture is typically made up of forms that are inspired by nature and abstract art.
His curved metal armchairs are positioned in the most modernist hotel lounges in the world. Arad’s flower armchairs were placed in the lobby of the Dan Hotel in Eilat. One of his most important architectural works is the Duomo Hotel in the city of Rimini in Italy, which was inaugurated in 2006. His masterpiece in Israel is the Design Museum Holon and the split-level vestibule of the Performing Arts Center in Tel Aviv.
His works are sold at luxury stores abroad and displayed in prominent exhibitions and museums. These include the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Pompidou Center in Paris, where his retrospective was held, presenting a summary of two years of design work. In 2002, Arad received an honorary membership from the Royal Academy of Arts in Britain.
How did you get to the eyeglass field?
The glasses came to me, following an offer from Asaf Raviv.
Have you enjoyed the project?
Without a doubt.
Much more than I thought I would.
Do you have any plans for the future in the fashion field?
Definitely. Next month, a project of mine will be launched with the FitFlop shoe company, titled ZipFlop.
What do you like the most about your job?
That in the morning something doesn’t exist and at the end of the day it does.
What’s with your love of hats?
I would rather have a passion for hairdos, but as you can see I have none.
How many hats do you have?
Lots, but I lost my favorite hat. It’s black, red and orange, has anyone seen it by any chance?
Have you designed any hats yet?
Sure, the one I’m wearing now. By the way, you can get hats like this one at the Holon Museum. There, the hats are in better condition than the one on my head.
What do you have in store for us at present?
An exhibit at the Holon Museum in May, and I’m not saying any more, it’s all top secret, so this time they won’t write anything before, only after.
I heard that towards February you’re planning a project with the Riedel wine glass company.
Quite right, I’m in the midst of the project together with Yair Haidu. We have an exclusive five-year wine glass contract.
Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
I hope I’ll be living in the same place, that my studio will be in the same place, but that I’ll have more time.