Omer Arbel

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Omer Arbel
Born 1976
Jerusalem, Israel
Nationality Canadian
Alma mater University of Waterloo
Practice Omer Arbel Office

Omer Arbel (born 1976) leads Omer Arbel Office (or OAO), a Vancouver-based design practice which aims to collapse traditional boundaries between the professions of building and industrial design, craft and materials research. OAO focuses on experimenting with material properties and fabrication methodology.[1] The practice produces designs for buildings, objects, furniture, lighting and electrical accessories. Arbel is also the creative director of manufacturing and design company Bocci.

Omer Arbel was born in Jerusalem, moving to Vancouver as a child. Between the ages of 17 and 21, Arbel was active in an athletic career in the sport of fencing.[2] He represented Canada as part of four cadet and junior National teams, retiring in 1997. He studied architecture at the University of Waterloo, and gained work experience with the Catalan architect Enric Miralles in Barcelona and Canadian architects John and Patricia Patkau in Vancouver.[3][4] After a graduate degree, he worked for two architecture firms, before setting up on his own practice in 2005.[5]

Omer Arbel Office began by designing and making limited edition furniture, most notably the 2.4 Chair, which was critically acclaimed, and is currently considered a collector's item.[6] These early pieces were accessioned into various institutional and private collections, and exhibited in galleries including Spazio Rossana Orlandi, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Chicago Athenaeum Museum.[6][7] Since then, several of Arbel's design pieces have gone into widespread production, most notably the 14 series chandelier,[8] and 22 series plug socket,[9] which also won a 2009 red dot design award.[10] There are two built architectural works by Arbel, a penthouse interior,[11] and a private residence called 23.2,[12] which was shortlisted for a 2010 World Architecture Festival Award.[13] Arbel was awarded the commission to design the 2010 Winter Olympic medals, in collaboration with Artist Corrine Hunt.[14][15] Arbel is the recipient of the Canada Council’s 2010 Ron Thom early design achievement Award.[16]

Arbel is active as a guest critic, speaker and master’s thesis committee member at the University of British Columbia School of Architecture.[17][18]


  1. ^ "Office". Omer Abel Office. Retrieved 2009-08-24. 
  2. ^ "Men's Epee (Junior)". Archived from the original on 2009-10-20. 
  3. ^ "A community centre in West Vancouver combines artistic and athletic programs under one big roof". Canadian Architect. January 2005. 
  4. ^ "Gleneagles Community Centre: Governor General's Medal Winner". Canadian Architect. May 2008. 
  5. ^ "Arbel has designs on the go". Vancouver Sun. May 30, 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-24. 
  6. ^ a b "Is Omer Arbel’s 2.4 Chair Hiding Something?". Retrieved 2009-08-24. 
  7. ^ "Emerging Vancouver artists featured in conjunction with A Modern Life: Art and Design in British Columbia 1945-1960". Vancouver Art Gallery. Retrieved 2008-09-24. 
  8. ^ "14 Standard, Omer Arbel". Luminaire. Retrieved 2009-08-24. 
  9. ^ "22 Series electrical wall accessory". Retrieved 2009-08-24. 
  10. ^ "22 Electrical Wall Accessory". red dot. Retrieved 2009-08-24. 
  11. ^ "An Interior Landscape With a Glow Built In". New York Times. January 24, 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-24. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Omer Arbel's shortlisted to WAF awards". Architecture Wanted. August 18, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-18. 
  14. ^ "Vancouver 2010: Meet the Medals". Retrieved 2009-10-18. 
  15. ^ "2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games medals unveiled". Vancouver Sun. October 14, 2010. Retrieved 2009-10-18. 
  16. ^ "Ron Thom early design achievement Award". 
  17. ^ "UBC Thesis Reviews". 
  18. ^ "UBC School of Architecture Curriculum Proposal". 

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