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YATZER / Omar Arbel 113

published on 19/09/2020

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Vancouver-based artist, architect, designer and inventor, Omer Arbel, is if anything else a contemporary Renaissance man. From private residences, to sculptural vases, to suspended installations for institutions like the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Barbican Centre, to producing unique hand-crafted light fittings for Bocci, a design and manufacturing company Arbel founded in 2005, his multidisciplinary creativity knowns no limits. What unites such diverse endeavours is his “alchemical” passion for experimenting with materials and inventing new manufacturing processes that take advantage of their intrinsic chemical, physical or mechanical properties. As opposed to most designers, he doesn’t dictate what the finished artefacts look like but rather allows the materials to prescribe their own form. His accomplishments as an inventor include a technique of pouring concrete into a fabric formwork to explore the material’s plastic nature whether it be for buildings or sculptures, electroplating copper wires for thousands of times while submerged into an emulsified nickel solution to produce unique jewellery pieces, and reviving ancient Bohemian glassmaking formulas that utilize the bones of a rare breed of cattle.

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