Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Chiringuito Twister | Ron Arad | Alessi, Italy | 2004

Ron Arad Chiringuito twister Ron Arad
Alessi, Italy, 2004

Ron Arad was born in Tel Aviv, Israel in 1951 to artist parents. He studied at the Jerusalem Academy of Art from 1971 to 1973. He moved to London, England and studied from 1974 to 1979 at the prestigious Architectural Association, which promotes avant-garde architecture and design. There, Ron Arad studied with Peter Cook, founder of Archigram. He established several architecture and design firms thereafter.

Arad is well represented in museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Vitra Design Museum in Germany amongst others. He may be big into sheet metal but he’s also done plenty of design in plastic. Arad’s architectural projects include the Tel Aviv opera in Israel, the development of a concept of sport cafes for Adidas and the new flagship Adidas stadium, Paris, and the Maserati Headquarters showroom in Italy. Here is a a more complete cv.

Chiringuito twisterThe best way to see what’s going on with the Twister is a close up view, so here it is. Parallel ridges are present throughout the entire length of the Twister, except for a 3.1 cm length 5.2 cm from the top of the object where they run perpendicular. At the handle near the end, it says on alternate sides “ALESSI ITALY” and “RON ARAD 2004”. The spacing of the ridges and grooves is such that the parallel and perpendicular ridges fit perfectly inside one another. When two Twisters are held against each other at a right angle, the action of one against the other is essentially a gearing mechanism that causes both Twisters to, well, twist. Hopefully, one of them is hip deep in your drink, stirring away.

Ron Arad is a designer responsible for a lot of objects. Visit his web presence. While on the exterior humble, the Chiringuito Twister stirrer, released as part of the Alessi Spring/Summer 2004 collection, captures a simple elegance and some cool mechanics. Alberto Gozzi acted as design consultant. The pair of stirrers along with a mixing glass with strainer and a cocktail shaker make up the Chiringuito Bar Collection. The stirrer pair has the designation RA08 AZ (AZ for blue) and is made of a translucent blue polycarbonate. The stirrers have uniquely ribbed stems that work one against the other to spin and stir your favorite cocktail. The stirrers are 25.2 cm in length.

Other items in the set include the matching mixing glass with strainer, RA09, which is 4.3” x 3” x 6” tall and holds a volume of 0.14 gallons (2.2 cups) and the cocktail shaker in stainless steel, RA10 is 3" x 3" x 10" tall and holds a volume of 0.15 gallons (2.5 cups).

The set was described promotionally as follows:

Ron Arad has excelled himself creating a small family of objects that, as usual, are not only heavily iconic on the aesthetic plane, but each is hallmarked by an innovative, curious performance: The twisted shape of the shaker should make you think that the liquid inside is going to ‘twist’, then there is the spindle-type movement of the stirrer.

The entire bar collection is shown below.

Ron Arad bar collection

Chiringuito twisterAbove: Image source. The “how to,” as if you needed it…

I would be remiss if I did not include a video of the action, which also afforded me the excuse to stir a solidly delicious vodka tonic this past Friday night.

The list price on the stirrers was in the $20 range. They are not easy to find new and are out of stock at Alessi’s site, though the link still shows up. Fitzsu has them at $21.

Chiringuito twister box label

Above: Scan of the box label. Below: Both sides of the box insert, including instructions.

Chiringuito twister insert


Anonymous, (2000). Ron Arad, artist, designer, and architect. Retrieved February 13, 2009, from designboom Web site: http://www.designboom.com/eng/interview/arad.html

Anonymous, Ron Arad. Retrieved February 13, 2009, from Ketterer Kunst Web site: http://www.kettererkunst.com/bio/ron-arad-1951.shtml

Arad, R. (2002). Retrieved February 13, 2009, from The Gallery Mournams Web site: http://www.thegallerymourmans.com/archive/biography-arad.pdf

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