Interviews | October 13, 2016

Ron Arad

The Israeli Designer of pq Eyewear reminds us the importance of technology, but he’s really aware that is still a tool to develop ideas, not the final result of the creative process

words  Enrico S. Benincasa

How much influences from other fields are important for you?

In my studio we design eyewear, but we also design buildings and make public sculptures. We do a lot of things. we try to use the same approach to everything, but we recognize there’s a big di erence between designing a piece for the industry or for a gallery. We don’t pretend it’s the same because the fi nal destination matters, but we want to realize something seriously new. It’s a rich world outside, everything is a possible source of inspiration. We should be free to use everything present in this world, doesn’t matter where it comes from. I can go to the dentist and be interested in the machinery used there and get ideas from that experience. Every idea that you can have in the most remote place could dominate the world if it has a value. There are a lot of things to be excited by.

So we may say it’s fundamental being free and connected to the world outside our offices…

I don’t know any other way to create. For me it’s the only way. Other people can be focused on one source of influence, I simply can’t. Sometimes you  find yourself concentrated in something that interests you, but it doesn’t mean you are devoted to it. I know that people can be devoted to an idea and be supermethodical and hardworking about it. I have respect for this approach, but it’s not made for me.

Is it also important for “being antiordinary and for doing something never done before”, like the mindset of pq Eyewear?

It’s not a matter of importance, that’s the way we are. We say that boredom is the mother of creativity and everything is run by curiosity. For me design means doing something new. About eyewear industry, I’m not interested in just styling the frames, it’s not enough for me. Style comes, but it’s not the raison d’être. You caught me working on a new idea about customizing eyewear. It has to be really good and significant, different from what is currently present on the market.

Are we living in an era dominated by creativity and innovation in the eyewear sector?

There are a lot of innovative attempts coming from different places and young designers. The old companies are realizing they need to do something for not staying behind. And no one wants to stay behind.

Is customization the future of eyewear?

I think it’s something really valuable and exciting, an op on that pq Eyewear offers and wants to develop in the future. But I don’t believe in manifestos and I can’t say this is the only way to do things.

I guess that the same answer could be valid for 3D printing…

It’s one of the techniques, not the only one. There’s nothing wrong with any technique, all of them are good, depends on what you want to do with them. It’s important to use 3d printing with a goal, not just to say to people: “Oh, it’s made with 3d printing!” You have to understand what this process offers us in terms of performances and costs. you have to have a real advantage with it, otherwise it’s boring and not interesting.

Have you seen a lot of wrong uses of 3D printing?

The worst example that comes to my mind is the 3d printed guns. It’s a terrible exercise of the use of this technology. I’m very upset that the Victoria and Albert Museum actually got one. I think this encourages sending wrong messages.

Using modern technologies such as 3D printing is the only way to innovate nowadays?

Modern technologies can help innovation, but there are other ways to create something new, you can do things in different ways. we should always remember that technology is a tool to serve us, it’s not something to serve. By the way, I really admire people who create and develop new techniques and instruments to help us in the crea ve process.

Is it hard for you working on different projects at the same time?

It’s hard for me working at only one thing. I need to work to several projects at the same  me, but I don’t de ne myself a workaholic. I usually work at my office, rarely at home.