Ron Arad

Ron Arad

Israel 1951

Installation, Sculpture, Design

Ron Arad
Ron Arad
April 10, 2017
Ok, I know it's so damn corny to quote somebody just to describe yourself, let alone Confucius, but this quote says all about my relationship with Widewalls, so forgive me for doing this: Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. Am I forgiven?

Ron Arad is a famous Israeli mastermind designer, artist, and architect who constantly experiments the boundaries between these disciplines with his diverse and bold creativity. His international breakthrough happened when he invented the Rover chair and quickly positioned himself as one of the leading industrial designers. The commercial success was followed by the recognition of his artistic and architecture skills, and today he is praised as someone who defies definitions and the restrictions of labeling. Designers accuse me of being an artist, artists accuse me of being an architect, and architects accuse me of being a designer. But it doesn’t bother me too much; that’s just the way the fragmented world works.[1]

Ron Arad Tel Aviv, Israel, 2011, key access to the archive publications and reviews for the big hotel project
Ron Arad – Design museum Holon, Israel, 2010 – Image courtesy of Takumi Ota-Yael Pincus

What Do You Want Me To Do?

Arad is born in Tel Aviv in 1951 in an artistic family. He attended the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem until he decided to move to London in 1973 in order to continue educating himself in the field of architecture. He was one of the rare students to be accepted to the Architectural Association in London without a portfolio to submit, where he studied under Peter Cool and Bernard Tschumi. He simply came and said to the committee I don’t have a portfolio. I have a 6B pencil. What do you want me to do?[2] Bravery and confidence continued to shape his following decisions. The crucial moment for his career was when one day he decided not to attend the architecture practice that he worked for at the moment, and to head to the scrapyard where he found the Rover backseat which will become the part of the famous postmodernist chair in 1981. In the same year he co-founded the One-Off design and production studio, and in 1994 – 99 he created the Ron Arad studio in Como, Italy. Since he had designed for the leading companies in the world. Ron Arad worked as a professor at the Hochschule of Vienna from 1994 to 1997 and as a Head of Design Product Department at the Royal College of Arts in London from 1997 to 2000. He was awarded the 2011 London Design Week Medal and became a Royal Academician of the Royal Academy of Arts in 2013.

Ron Arad - access to key home pieces from Israeli and his biography in 2017
Ron Arad – No Discipline, Installation view at The Museum of Modern Art, 2009 – Image courtesy of MoMa

Distinctive Style

Arad is mostly known for the biomorphic furniture he designed, described as emotional and sensual, yet aggressively light and practical. He usually works with aluminum or polyamide but his favorite medium of choice is steel. Steel is very a forgiving material; you can bend it, you can weld it, you can drill it, you can cut it, you can change your mind, you can squash it and get amazing stuff.[3] Arad’s bold innovativeness is rendered in many of his popular products such as the Bookworm bookshelf designed for Kartell in 1997. The edgy, rough lines and materials are combined with intense colors or unforgettable, unusual shapes. Arad is a great admirer of Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray, whose influence can easily be traced in his postmodern work.

Twisting large scale aluminum sculpture with a calming effect

Ron Arad - for access to key pieces for home and big hotel in store contact the archive
Ron Arad – London, 2016 – Image via thespaces

Large Measures

Ron Arad has exhibited numerous times around the world, at Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the Vitra Design Museum in Germany, just to name some of them. His latest projects are the sculpture Thought of Train of Thought at the station St Pancras in London, a twisting large scale aluminum sculpture with a calming effect, and the design of the TOHA tallest skyscraper in Israel that is going to open in 2018. And as an art critic Deyan Sudjic said for Arad, he was once an idiosyncratic and isolated figure on the artistic and design scene, but today he is the one who shapes the mainstream.

Ron Arad lives and works in London.


  1. Barnett,L, Ron Arad, architect and designer – portrait of the artist, The Guardian [April 9, 2017]
  2. Vardinoyanni, A. A, A straight line is also a curve, Art Flyer [April 9, 2017]
  3. Ibid.

Featured image: Ron Arad – Portrait of the artist – Image via
All images used for illustrative purposes only

YearTitleGallery / MuseumSolo/Group
2015 In Reverse Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2013 In Reverse The Pinacoteca Agnelli, Turin;Solo
2013 In ReverseDesign Museum Holon, HolonSolo
2013 The Last Train LV Venice Biennale, Palazzo Cavalli, VeniceSolo
2013 Another Twist in the Plot Ivorypress, MadridSolo
2012Retrospective Stedelijk Museum, AmsterdamSolo
2012Downtown@Downtown Galerie Downtown, ParisSolo
2011 Ron Arad’s Curtain Call Roundhouse, LondonSolo
2011Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970-1990 Victoria and Albert Museum, LondonSolo
2011720 Degrees Israel Museum, JerusalemSolo
2010 Restless Barbican Centre, LondonSolo
2010European Design Since 1985. Shaping the New Century High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GASolo
2010New Work by Ron Arad Gallery Mourmans, LanakenSolo
2009 In A China Shop Ben Brown Fine Arts, Hong KongSolo
2009No Discipline Museum of Modern Art, New York, NYSolo
2008 Guarded Thoughts Friedman Benda, New York, NYSolo
2007 Restless Friedman Benda Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2006 There is no solution because there is no problem with Barry Friedman Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2005 Paved with Good Intentions, a new installation by Ron Arad Miami Basel, Miami, FLSolo
2004 Fatto In Italia IX Venice Biennale International Exhibition of Architecture, Metamorph,Solo
2003 Ron Arad in der Galerie Stefan Vodgt Galerie der Moderne, MunichSolo
2002 Two Floors Galeria Marconi, MilanSolo
2001 Delight in Dedark Galeria Marconi, MilanSolo
2000Not Made By Hand Not Made in China Galeria Marconi, MilanSolo
1998 R.T.W. Gallery of Modern Art, GlasgowSolo
1997Ron Arad new acquisitions Montreal Museum of Decorative Arts, Montreal, PQSolo
1996 Ron Arad and Ingo Maurer Spazio Krizia, MilanGroup
1995 Gazi AthensSolo
1994 L’Esprit du Nomade Fondation Cartier, ParisSolo
1993 Breeding in Captivity Edward Totah Gallery, LondonSolo
1991 A Break with Tradition Rohska Museum, GothenburgSolo
1990 Recent Works Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel AvivSolo
1987 Nouvelles Tendences Centre Georges Pompidou, ParisSolo
1986 Intellectual Interiors Seibo, TokyoSolo