As part of an ongoing commitment to bringing the best in contemporary design to the public, Luminaire is honored to host internationally-renowned designer Omer Arbel, founder of Omer Arbel Office (OAO), a Vancouver-based design practice, and creative director of design and manufacturing house Bocci, for a lecture from 6-7pm at the Art Institute of Chicago, followed immediately by a stunning exhibition and reception at Luminaire Chicago.
Omer Arbel finds form in the intrinsic qualities of materials and the processes we have at our disposal to manipulate them. Thus, projects tend towards the particular rather than the universal, and have a formal appropriateness to them derived from physical, chemical or mechanical processes, rather then from abstract ideas in the author’s imagination. Direct access to high craft ateliers has meant that design at all scales is investigated as an analog, sculptural exploration, using technology only as a secondary analytical tool.
Arbel’s practice has evolved to intimately combining the fields of industrial design, architecture, manufacturing and materials research. “I am interested in the form of things, particularly because the only light we are able to perceive is reflected or diffused by form and the diverse materials from which form is made. Light reflecting from, or diffused by form, is a phenomena that is at once intimate and ephemeral… and the combination of these attributes – sensuality and transience – has the potential to lift the human experience from the ordinary to the extraordinary.”
Among his most notable pieces is the 2.4 Chair, which was critically acclaimed, and is currently considered a collector’s item. Many of Arbel’s pieces have gone into widespread production, most notably the 14 series chandelier, and 22 series plug socket, which also won a 2009 Red Dot Design Award. There are two built architectural works by Arbel, a penthouse interior, and a private residence called 23.2.
Arbel’s accolades include several Red Dot and iF Awards, A Yellow Pencil Yearbook Entry, the Ron Thom Early Design Achievement Award, a World Architecture Festival Shortlist and, with Corrine Hunt, the commission to design the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Medals.