Thursday, December, 4, 2003

In 1951, Ron Arad was born in Tel Aviv in 1951 into a defiantly artsy, communist family. His free and easy childhood left him with no reason or opportunity to experiment with rebellion or belligerence. Perhaps this is what led Arad to become one of the design world’s most unruly, insubordinate thinkers and creators.

In celebration of Art Basel Miami Beach 2003, Luminaire presented the work of this ‘punk-baroque’ designer, unveiling a sofa by B&B Italia that has been 37 years in the making. His furniture, like the spiraling metal Bookworm shelves in Luminaire’s collection and the Well-Tempered Chair, with its ballooning upholstery in sharp steel, are often designed to be appreciated for their witty allusions more than for their usefulness.

However, his later work, like the Victoria and Albert sofa, continue to add humor to design but also impart comfort and functionality. Arad speaks about the design process as though he were a poet or pirate, exploring his ideas in an unconventional but almost mystical way:

‘I make things, irresponsible things, that give pleasure….I’m curious. I’m curious to see things. I start things and I don’t know how they’re going to turn out. I have an idea, why don’t I do this or that and the next thing, it’s there.’

During Art Loves Design, a Saturday evening celebration hosted during Art Basel Miami Beach, culture enthusiasts and the Miami public invade the streets, galleries and showrooms of the Miami Design District. Until late at night the district offers a showcase of music, performance, food and over fifteen exhibitions. Over 20,000 of the art and design communities’ elite viewed Arad’s latest design.

Inspired by a spirit of discovery and nonconformity, Arad’s work demonstrated that design is a conceptually strong discipline which, like a magician, can appear in many forms and mystically enchant the lives of those it encounters.