Industrial Designer and Architect Ron Arad Infuses Metal with a Free Creative Spirit

Photo: Mike Atkinson

British industrial designer and architect Ron Arad’s artistic medium of choice is steel. Working from his exploratory lab, Ron Arad Studio, the artist has been prolific. His experimentation extends to materials, technique and engineering, directed at the full range of formal and functional possibilities achievable with biomorphic shapes. One such outcome is Ron’s Thumbprint (above), a chair made from mirror-polished S31600 stainless steel rods that are tightly wrapped into a seamless object. According to Ron, The only way we can produce it is to apply the rods one after the other. It’s a very labor-intensive process, but the results are striking because you get patterns that are dictated by the morphology of the piece and not by your will. Ron’s vision of metal is mind over matter.

A monograph of Ron’s work is being exhibited for the first time in France, at the Centre Pompidou. It will then travel on to the MoMA, New York, in 2009 and The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, in 2010.

Read more about the artist in Reflections in Stainless Steel by Thom Loree, Nickel Institute.

Nate Burgos

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