Numéro: One of your first pieces, the Rover Chair was born from the improbable fusing of a Land Rover car seat and steel pipe fittings. The Matrizia sofa is inspired by an old mattress found in New York. Can you still find treasures on the streets?
Ron Arad: There are still quite a lot of pretty things out there. Most of which could be hung in a gallery and in fact are much more beautiful than anything we could invent in a studio. What’s changed is that we no longer pay attention. We’ve got used to designers changing everything for us. The innocence has gone… we just wait for it to land on us. We look at things with the burden and privilege of knowledge.
You’ve created outdoor furniture for companies including Magis, Moroso and Vitra. Apart from using materials that can adapt to changing seasons, is there a different approach to creating a chair for the house and chair for the garden?
To be honest I don’t bother too much with those issues. I don’t really read the briefs given by the brands either. For example, I’m thrilled to discover these new waterproof fabrics as a consumer, but in my work I often end up creating my own material anyway. In the end what matters isn’t the method but the result. In my case I’d say that walking outside in the rain will give better results that asking me to make something by thinking about the rain. Even more importantly I don’t want to create for the outside what already exists for the inside. With the Tea Pavilion we wanted to make sure we didn’t lose the link with the environment. Even if the main function of a shelter is to keep out the elements, the final shape had to be fluid enough that we still feel outside, and not in a bubble isolated from everything else.