“I am not really a teacher,” says Ron Arad. A strange remark from a man who has spent 12 years as Professor of Design Products at the Royal College of Art. Especially strange when one considers that he was speaking on a platform – part of the Beopen Talks in Basel – to discuss how we educate tomorrow’s innovators. But then in his own work Arad has achieved greatness by going against the grain. His Concrete Stereo (1983) was a hi-fi coated with protective resin, then encased in concrete before being chipped away to reveal rusting steel beneath. It is often seen as the emergence of a punk aesthetic in design: an emblem of the times. However as the Museum of Modern Art’s citation describes it, it was also “a surreal challenge to the sanctity of consumer electronics.”
Trafalgar Square, 19-23 September
London Design Festival 2012
This September sees the arrival of the BE OPEN Sound Portal in Trafalgar Square as part of the tenth anniversary of the London Design Festival 2012. Situated within one of London’s most iconic public spaces, the BE OPEN Sound Portal is an entirely new kind of installation that focuses on the design that you can’t see – that of acoustics and sound – rather than visual spectacle.