Ron Arad was born in Tel Aviv in 1951 and studied Art and Design at the Bezalel Academy before arriving in London to complete his studies. It was the seventies and punk was happening. The cultural chemistry was perfect. Arad’s first design – a fusion of ready-mades (an old car seat and a scaffolding base) – became the iconic Rover chair. Read more.
From then on Arad was unstoppable. His reputation snow-balled formidably and he was recognised as being at the forefront of a radical movement to re-conceive the form and function of furniture.
In 1981, with Caroline Thorman, he formed One off, but this was eventually incorporated into The Ron Arad and Associates Architecture and Design Practise. From 1997 to 2009, he was the Head of Design Products at the RCA.
Arad’s first design for the domestic market, in 1994, was the Kartell Bookworm storage shelf, a book shelf that can be any shape you like. It remains one of their strongest sellers. He has also worked extensively with Magis – check out their Voido Rocking chair. It’s as sculptural as anything by Henry Moore – and so relaxing to sit on.
The punk design maverick who never wanted a career was honoured with a major retrospective in 2010 at the Barbican. Close.