Tapping into its memorable ‘Chair by its Cover’ series from the 80s, Arad turned OKA’s Washakie chair into AKO (!), by literally half-wrapping it with a metal sheet of reflective copper and stainless steel. This metal encirclement – all hand-made – celebrates the original design by reflecting its form at all angles, whilst creating a totally new, bold throne-like shape… Arad’s inspiration was not for the metal shell to touch the chair, just encircle it and create a skin to elevate it. “OKA is the other side of the spectrum from what I do, although of course it’s actually the same – a chair or sofa is to be sat on, but I never did things for interior design, I just did them because I was interested in them.” says Ron Arad in conversation with Sue Jones, OKA’s co-founder and artistic director.
Ron Arad’s constant experimentation with the possibilities of materials such as steel, aluminum or polyamide and his radical re-conception of the form and structure of furniture has put him at the forefront of contemporary design. His unique talent and bald approach to materials and shapes set him apart: his designs are as much coveted as they are most unexpected; they are popular and at the same time cutting edge. Emerging in the early eighties as one of the most distinctive new talents in the world of design, Arad has always defied easy categorization. Designer, artist, architect, teacher, poet of shapes, master of experimentation… he always finds a way to do things differently; putting out there new ideas that first take us by surprise and then conquer us.