Ron Arad: No Discipline

Ron Arad. Vitra Design Museum Workshop

Audio courtesy of Acoustiguide

PAOLA ANTONELLI: Every summer The Vitra Design Museum in Switzerland holds a workshop for students and designers and in 1990, Ron led that workshop. The Museum asked him what materials he wanted to run the workshop and he requested 1.5 millimeter thick tempered steel coils.

RON ARAD: So when I turned to the workshop they had like five rolls of this stuff in the tent. And I had some 20 students eager to start doing something and I had no idea what I was going to do. So I started making loops of them and started rolling them and bouncing them, and discovering that they behave like blown-up pieces of mercury except bouncy. Very much like sort of space gravity to them – the way they deform and bounce, and the sound they made. And very shortly after that I started making pieces of furniture out of them.

Sit! is a good example. The main idea there is to let the tempered steel remain, moving, springy. And the result is like a dialogue between the will of the material and the will of the designer, if you want. But there it sort of gradually moves from one to the other.

PAOLA ANTONELLI: Let Sleeping Dogs Lie is another piece in this family. I remember the first time that I sat and then lay down on it. It's the most surprising feeling. First of all, you think that it's going to be really unstable. And instead, it's perfectly stable. But oh, the feeling; it's almost like reinventing the hammock. You bounce and roll and float, as you’ve never done before.

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