Ron Arad’s Materials #Ron Arad
In 1981, the Israeli designer Ron Arad, recently out of the Architectural Association, presented his Rover Chair. Rather an object trouvé than a designed product, it consisted in a car seat from an old car in a scrapyard mounted on a structure of steel tubes for scaffolding, all of them prefabricated elements used in a radically non-standard way.
The same concept of reusing and juxtaposing materials is on the base of other coetaneous designs, such as the Round Rail Bed or the Aerial Light, but it is still present in later designs such as the Tom Vac Chair or the Bookworm shelf.
For a long time, art has not at all been concerned with giving shape to things and so design possibly took the place of art in giving shape and colour to the world.Ron Arad, 2011
In time, Ron Arad’s work evolved into more ambitious pieces that reflected his interest in pushing the limits of the tension between shape and material. The Well Tempered Chair and the Big Easy Chair are made of steel sheets. These sheets are cut with the help of moulds and then bent and welded or riveted. They finally become sculptural volumes halfway between industrial prototypes and works of art. These designs were only mass-produced as the Bad Tempered Chair and the Soft Big Easy Chair by using different, more functional and economic, materials.The move from metals to plastics has allowed Arad to go deeper in his interest for sculpture and searching expressive but comfortable shapes that combine solid and void, concave and convex or positive and negative, such as the chair series MT or the Voido rocking chair.