Michael Aram

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Birth name Michael Aram Wolohojian
Other names Micheal Aram
Birthplace Providence Rhode Island
Birth date 1963
Lived in New York, New Delhi
Education Bates College
Profession Metal-ware Designer

Michael Aram Wolohojian (born in 1963 in Providence Rhode Island, United States) is a renowned metal-ware designer. He launched his first collection in 1989 after taking a trip to India where he began working with traditional artisanal techniques. Michael Aram sells his work in over 600 locations worldwide and opened his first namesake boutique in Manhattan in 2007.

Biography

Born Michael Aram Wolohojian in Providence Rhode Island in 1963, Aram grew up in a tightly-knit Armenian family in Scarsdale, New York. After graduating from High School where his creative and artistic leanings were already evident, he obtained a degree in Art History from Bates College. He studied fine-art in Florence, Italy at the Studio Art Center International and the University of Florence. Back in New York, he attended the New York Art Students League before taking a job designing books and posters in the editorial department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

But it was shortly thereafter, while travelling through India that Michael Aram became enamored of the exquisite handcrafted metalwork which was still being produced using time-honored methods such as sand casting and hand forging. Aram immediately began studying metal-craft techniques and started working with local craftsmen on pieces of his own design. Aram was hooked—the rest is design history.

The designer currently lives between New Delhi and New York City with his partner Aret Tikiryan and their two children, Anabel and Thadeus.

Design

“Iconic,” “remarkably inventive”[1] and “playfully sensual”[2] are some of the adjectives that people have used to describe Michael Aram’s unique take on home furnishings and tableware. Inspired by the millennial tradition of Indian metal work, Aram successfully launched his first thematic collection in 1989. The company and brand have grown steadily ever since. Using nature and his immediate surroundings for inspiration, Aram has built his brand’s reputation by creating high-quality craft-based pieces which are largely inspired by the natural world. Aram’s empathetic and holistic worldviews have also made him a popular guest speaker, while he has remained active in philanthropic endeavors throughout his career.

In addition to the Michael Aram flagship store located at 136 West 18th Street in New York City, there are Michael Aram “shop-in-shops” in Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and select Macy’s stores. In total, Michael Aram’s work is sold in over 600 major department stores and independent boutiques worldwide. The Michael Aram Export Company (M.A. Exports Pvt. Ltd.) operates out of Delhi, India.

Design Inspirations

The core of Michael Aram’s vision lies in a deep attraction to nature, and in particular to the fascinating variety of the world’s trees and plants. This is reflected in many of Michael Aram’s signature pieces, including the charmingly twisted “Sleepy Hollow” collection, his “Twigare” cutlery, and the “Fantasy Bloom” serving pieces all of which have brought a new whimsy and elegance to the American table. Aram also has collections which are inspired by the natural elements from the Ocean and others which are inspired purely by the craft process.

Brand Philosophy and Identity

Central to the Michael Aram Design Company’s brand identity is the belief that people’s home and dining environments should be simultaneously elegant, personal, artful, functional and fun. The brand is also unique in that it successfully bridges the sometimes elusive gap between decorative and fine arts.

Aram has said that he derives the most satisfaction professionally “from working side by side with our artisans in India creating works that will hopefully give joy to our customers. The works’ handmade quality reflects nature’s amazing variety, as no two products we create are ever the same.”

The company employs over 200 artisans in its own workshop in Noida, India.

Collaborations

Apart from working exclusively in metals, Michael Aram has also collaborated with Waterford Crystal, under the brand “Michael Aram for Waterford”[3], designing porcelain and crystal. He also designed the “Michael Aram for Hartmann” line of luggage, and has recently launched a new brand called “MADhouse” (Michael Aram Design house) which produces paper products and melamine giftware.

Awards and Recognition

Michael Aram has received numerous recognitions and awards in his career, including: • Metropolitan Home’s “Design 100” (1994) • Designer of the Year Award by Elle Décor India (2003) • The Overall Excellence in Design Award, New York International Gift Show (2003) • Retailer Excellence (2011) and Gift for Life Industry Achievement Award (2011) • Ellis Island Medal of Honor (2012)[4] • The EDIDA (Elle Décor India Design Forum) Award (2013)

References

  1. Elle Décor, October 2009
  2. Texas Monthly,August 2009
  3. Exotic Touches: Metalwork artisan Michael Aram introduces three new collections of elegant tableware for Waterford, by Aimée Morgan, Brides Magazine, September-October 2009
  4. http://www.neco.org/medal-of-honor/medalists-search/

A:Coveted Crib: Michael Aram's West Village Wonder, Casa Sugar, August 1, 2008

B: L.A. at Home: Designer Michael Aram and the secrets to keeping summer party guests happy, Los Angeles Times, Home and Garden section, 2009 Template:AFC submission

C:http://www.michaelaram.com/nsite/assistance.aspx?ptype=A