The Ever-Shifting Works of Architect and Designer Ron Arad

Ron Arad, an Israeli-born architect and designer who shot to fame in the eighties, is generating buzz again thanks to a stunning new work. Arad, who studied architecture in London and design in Italy before going on to create the Design Museum of Holon, among other projects, is a fascinating hybrid of talent. An architect by training, Arad has nonetheless been discovered by a large audience through his work as a designer, particularly thanks to the success of his Bookworm shelf. The steel and plastic design, which debuted in 1993, has become part the pop culture consciousness thanks to Arad’s partnership with design manufacturers Kartell.

Arad makes his furniture the way a sculptor would approach his craft; lines are pure and simple, resulting in exquisites and voluptuous designs. Indeed, the rounded shape of Arad’s “furniture-sculptures” evoke the curves of a woman. Throughout the years, Arad has explained that his works can be taken as the hybrid they are, or they can be deconstructed as architecture or deign. For example, Arad’s tables can be used only for their primary, utilitarian function. Or, for those who view them as a work of art, the legs can be removed to allowed the tables to be hung on the wall. A table, a sculpture or a painting – the piece’s owner decides!

For his myriad fans, it can be difficult to track down Arad pieces; most of his designs are either unique or part of a limited edition. This is due to the mediums Arad favors to transform objects, as he frequently experiments with new technologies that cannot be made in mass production. For example, Arad’s current favorite medium is steel, mixed carbon, aluminum and silicone. For those not lucky enough to visit one of his workshops (located in Italy and the Netherlands), you can see his works on display now at the Downtown Gallery in Paris or at the Design Miami Art Fair in December.

Delphine de Causans was born and raised in Paris. After graduating from La Sorbonne University with a Masters Degree in Contemporary Art, she is now studying at Christies while working as a freelance art advisor and critic.