Omer Arbel leads OAO (Omer Arbel Office), a multidisciplinary design practice and he acts as Creative Director for the Design and Manufacturing company Bocci. Both companies have achieved near instant critical and commercial success, and position Arbel as a voice within the international design community.
Bocci is one of the world’s leading lighting design firms, a young company with its design and manufacturing operations under one roof in Vancouver, Canada. Founded in 2005 by Randy Bishop and overseen by Creative Director Omer Arbel, Bocci has built up an enviable portfolio of contemporary lighting design, ranging from substantial bespoke chandeliers through to compact task lighting.
What does Design mean to you?
We are inspired by the tension between the way materials interact intrinsically, and how they respond to human touch or intention. what is it that makes us different from animals? What is it that makes us conscious… is it that we make things?
What inspires you?
There are so many sources of inspiration, that the challenge is rather to edit and be strategic. There is inspiration everywhere, if you have the eyes to see it.
What would be your ideal collaboration?
The idea of collaboration implies a combination of the wills and intentions and skills of two or more people. It can be a difficult act, at its worst similar to a devastating war, at its best similar to great sex. The ideal collaboration has some measure of balance of the destructive and creative forces of the individuals involved, one that is able to yield truly original work that wouldn’t be possible had any of the individuals attempted it on their own.
How do you think digital technology and social media affect the creative industries?
Digital technology has had a major impact on our ability to visualize and consider space and objects, but people confuse the message for the medium. Its actually a boring topic. These are tools, nothing more, nothing less. Social media, I don’t care to comment on.
What are the different challenges and benefits of growing a global business?
This happened organically, and I prefer to keep these kinds of thoughts in the subconscious.
In what ways do you find climate, culture and environment affect the way you design?
In no way.
What projects are you looking forward to working on (or seeing) this year?
We are working on six new items we hope to launch in Milan, 2015.. traditionally we only develop one new thing a year, so this is a departure. We may not finish all 6 in time, but hopefully at least a few of them will make it! They are wonderful projects.