Dear Ingo chandelier, 2003

Ron Gilad

Location: New York, New York
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Ron Gilad’s functional design objects are conversation pieces that talk to each other. From porcelain vases a mere 2 1/2” high to a chandelier of adjustable task lamps, these objects share a sophisticated wit, humor, elegance, and precision that make Gilad’s creations so distinctive.

Gilad is fascinated with deconstructing the function of an object. Often it begins with a found object that he reinterprets and ultimately transforms into something at once familiar and jarring. Porcelain Platters are put on a pedestal, physically and figuratively. Water bottles, coffee cups, and champagne glasses become pedestals as well as vessels for his Vase Maker and Candlestick Maker. In isolation, the porcelain tops are useless; but by conjoining with a bottom half or its “missing limb,” the user can create a unique flower- or candleholder that defies implications of mass production. Similarly, each of Gilad’s Run Over By Car (R.O.B.C.) vases is one of a kind, since the car’s impact always leaves slightly different curves and dimples. As part of his recent “design through destruction” series, R.O.B.C. explores the results of losing control and allows fate to rule the object’s final form.

A graduate of the industrial design department at the renowned Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, Israel, Gilad formed Designfenzider with Lior Haramaty in 2001, soon after Gilad arrived in New York. There is a conceptual edge to Gilad’s designs in that the object is not always an end in itself, but sometimes cause for analysis and reflection. His studies with porcelain tableware, for example, are almost completely enveloped by a colored balloon, making it functionless as a drinking vessel but potentially a point of departure for an examination of form, material, and color. In Dear Ingo, Gilad takes the individual task lamp and makes it a more communal chandelier. Both an ode to the German lighting designer Ingo Maurer and a contemporary update of Serge Mouille’s ceiling lamps of the 1950s, it is like a spider crawling across the ceiling. It can curl up into a ball or spread its legs, allowing those underneath to be caught in its web of light.