Well Tempered Chair

Ron Arad

Design: 1986
Production: 1986 - 93
Manufacturer: Vitra AG, Basel
Size: 80 x 98.5 x 80; seat height c. 48 cms
Material: high-grade sheet steel, thumb screws

In his seemingly sculptural furniture, Ron Arad favors materials and objects from areas outside the domain of traditional furniture production. Since the mid-eighties his London studio has increasingly produced individual pieces made of sheet steel, and he always mischievously exploits their formal and functional possibilities to the full. The forms often have an unexpected impact which first emerges during use, and are just as much a result of graphic design as the experimental work that goes on in the workshop. The sort of minimalist attitude expressed by the “Well Tempered Chair,” designed for the “Vitra Edition,” is quite a novelty in comparison to Arad’s earlier works. The first fifty models of the “Well Tempered Chair” were fabricated out of four sheets of stainless steel. Vitra assembled the 100 additional chairs from five pieces of steel sheeting. Here, Arad reduces the massive volume of the classic armchair, leaving only the pure surface of its rounded forms. At first glance, the cool gleam and the sharp-edged cut of the metal raise doubts whether the object can actually be used. But the “Well Tempered Chair” offers a unique kind of seating comfort: sitting amidst the steel loops, which after some time take on the body temperature of the user, you waver between coziness and uncertainty. MSC

Ron Arad

Ron Arad Well Tempered Chair