Yet it’s this idea that forms the basis of the new solo show from Ron Arad – a designer who is undoubtedly no stranger to unusual approach.
The In Reverse exhibition, which opens in Israel this week, sees Arad ‘reverse’ functional products, stripping them of their usefulness and creating in their place a series of redundant, yet fascinating pieces.
Housed at the Design Museum Holon, which Arad designed, the show will present three decades of Arad’s work in metal.
The final piece of the exhibition is a major new project looking at how a Fiat 500 car reacts to heavy-duty compression.
The six crushed Fiats are shown as almost flat forms, looking to ‘resemble the outcome of an accident in a cartoon or a child’s drawing that lacks a sense of depth’, according to the museum.
Forming the backdrop to these surreal vehicles is a group of Arad’s older steel design pieces, such as 1980s chairs, and a crushed a toy police car that the designer found 40 years ago in a street in Tel Aviv.
In the museum’s lower gallery visitors will get an insight into the crushing process thanks to a digital simulation film and a sculpture created from 3D printing one of the film’s frames.
Other recent sculptures created with the help of digital technologies are also on show.
Arad says, ‘In Reverse is an exhibition about the shift from the physical to the digital – except in reverse. Rather than manipulate materials to render them functional or render digital models towards a functional object, here I reverse perfectly functional objects and render them useless.’
Galit Gaon, chief curator of Design Museum Holon, adds, ‘In Reverse is a unique, one of a kind exhibition, not just because the museum building constitutes its single biggest exhibit, but also due to its sincerity and ingenuity in presenting Arad’s complex and multi-layered work process, both through its individual stages and end products.’
In Reverse By Ron Arad runs from 19 June – 19 October at Design Museum Holon, Pinhas Eilon St. 8 Holon, 5845400 Israel