We are proud and delighted to unveil a fantastic new work by famed contemporary designer and artist Ron Arad in collaboration with OKA, England’s leading high-end interior lifestyle brand.
With his unmistakable disruptive avant-gardism, Ron Arad delivers a very personal and playful interpretation of one of OKA’s emblematic pieces, the Washiake chair, an eye-catching dining chair, hand-made from oak wood, with fluted legs and a dreamcatcher-inspired back.
This new design masterfully blends OKA’s design ethos with Arad’s own powerful aesthetic.
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.
Besides his creative genius, Ron Arad is also a brilliant wordsmith, mastering the written word with playful titles: each piece of this limited collectors-edition of 10 bears its own catchy title, written on the back of the chair and reflected on the inside of the metal sheet. “Time to Reflect” “Correkt Me if I’m Wrong”, “Reserved Reversed”, … All puns intended!
We caught up with Arad (also known as “the man always wearing a hat”) in his Camden studio, to ask a few questions:
How would you describe your style in a few words?
Curiosity! But I do not think about a style. My work is not about “styling”… Although, from the outside, people might label it, they see a few curves and will say “Ron Arad’s style: It’s curvy!”. Once a piece is finished, it is not up to me to say which style it is. People are free to see whatever they want to see.
Which past designers and/or architects have inspired your work?
Many, many, many… even the bad ones! Everything can inspire me; the last thing I saw yesterday at 5pm can be an inspiration. Then, of course, I can give you a list of names, I like Castiglioni, I like Prouvé, I like…. Of course: everybody likes Mozart!
The most useful piece of design related advice you’ve received and would like to pass on ?
To young designers? I’d say: don’t listen to any advice. Do your own thing! Design is not like economy or finance where you need some advice to better invest your money. One thing though, design-wise: Nothing is as good as it seems, and nothing is as bad as it seems.
The piece of furniture you most like to design?
The one I’m working on right now! Also, I enjoyed very much working on the M’Afrique collection for Moroso. I went to Senegal and met some great artisans there. I couldn’t have done it without them… and them without me…
Last but not least: where do you buy your hats?
I don’t buy, them. I make them.
It figures, no object can resist him…: Hats off Ron!
Discover and shop now the AKO chairs by Ron Arad x OKA sold exclusively on The Invisible Collection: Only 10 chairs available… don’t sit this one out!