Saturday, February 27, 2010

Iconoclastic Design

The word “Iconoclastic” rolls of the tongue with the dips and turns of a roller coaster. I came across it recently when reading an article about industrial designer, artist and architect, Ron Arad. Simply put in the context I use it now, it is someone who challenges or overturns traditional beliefs, customs and values.

In architecture, we know of Frank Lloyd Wright, in art there are hundreds we can easily recognize, Picasso of particular note to our generation. We may not always recognize their names, but we remember their work, because it blasts us with its originality.

Above is a detail shot of Ron Arad’s latest blast of original design, the Design Museum Holon located four miles South of Tel Aviv. In recent years, Holon city leaders have launched a campaign to turn the turn area into a cultural destination, opening in succession the Israeli Cartoon Museum, the Israel Children’s Museum, the Israel Center for Digital Arts, and the Museum of Historical Vehicles. Arad’s master plan for Holon juxtaposed two simple rectangular galleries, enveloped in five sinuous ribbons of Cor-ten steel.

Arad’s work has often featured spirals and coils, from his Bouncing Vase to the lobby of the Tel Aviv Opera House that he wrapped in bands of steel and concrete. “Everything that happened until four o’clock yesterday is an influence,” he says.

The museum’s inaugural exhibition, “The State of Things,” (March 04 - May 15, 2010) features more than 100 objects reflecting 21st-century ingenuity by employing the latest technological breakthroughs. Among the work on display is Ted Ciamillo’s Lunocet fin, which enhances swimming performance; Joris Laarman’s swirly Wirepod outlet for electric appliances; and Fabrication’s Lifelines textile, which is decorated with a pattern of AIDS cells. The building itself, however, is likely to remain the main event.

(c) 2009 - Ruth Mitchell - all rights reserved

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