Ralph Ball

Professor of Design at Central Saint Martins University of the Arts, London. Graduating from the Royal College of Art in 1980 Ball has achieved both critical and commercial success across the design field with work ranging from one-off commissions to mass-manufactured products.

In the early 1980s, at Foster and Partners, Architects, London, Ball designed signature furniture for the Renault Building (Swindon UK) and for HSBC’s corporate headquarters in Hong Kong. The ‘Renault Furniture’ established the benchmark for the Foster ‘Nomos’ office system and is widely acclaimed.

His award-winning, influential furniture and lighting design, has been exhibited extensively in the UK, across Europe, Scandinavia, Asia, Australia and the USA, and includes 2 solo exhibitions in London. Ball has received numerous design honours including awards from the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA); Concord Illumination (Best Lighting) and the British Design and Industries Association. His work is held in permanent collections in the UK, France and the USA and has featured in many design journals and books.

Ball has extensive academic experience in the Art and Design Higher Eduction sector in the UK and US with involment in Furniture, Applied Arts, Jewellery and Metalwork, Interior Design, Architecture and Industrial Design. He has given lectures and presentations world wide.  In 1988 he was appointed Professor and Chair of Industrial Design at the University of Washington USA, returning to the UK in 1993 to take up academic roles at the Royal College of Art and subsequently at Central Saint Martins.

Professor Ball’s research work is in Critical Design Practice and concerns the generation of conceptual artifacts, which both illuminate and question contemporary design culture. It employs what Ball terms specifically as embodied visual rhetoric to act as observation and critique on the ideologiical preoccupations of Modernism, Postmodernism and contemporary design. His  work specifically rejects the discrete distinctions of Art, Craft and Design. It explores and embraces the conceptual, provocative, poetic and lyrical possibilities of the spaces in between.


Contact: ralph@studioball.co.uk