If all design practitioners were as ambitious as Ron Rezek, the innovation, quality and function present in daily life would increase by leaps and bounds. A graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, Rezek spent his early career teaching in the school’s art and architecture departments, as well as at Art Center and the Southern California Institute of Architecture. In addition to his professorate, Rezek has been designing products for various markets for nearly 40 years, including a lifeguard rescue float in 1969—used around the world, and seen weekly on Baywatch. After working for architects Deborah Sussman and Frank Gehry, Rezek started Ron Rezek Lighting in 1978 with the goal to help modernize the decorative lighting industry. Co-owned with Artemide, Ron Rezek Lighting produces state-of-the-art lighting that reflects the designer’s philosophy of “simplicity in form and economy in production.” Rezek was also responsible in 1990 for opening the first Highlights showroom, which is now a national retail “gallery of lights featuring the best modern designs.”
Rezek’s penchant for sleek, modern and energy-efficient forms in turn led to The Modern Fan Company—another successful business that has since filled the gap left by traditional, Victorian-minded ceiling fans. Since 1997, The Modern Fan Company—a charter member of EPA’s Energy Star Program and the first to produce ceiling fans that incorporated fluorescent lighting, upward lighting and low-voltage lighting—has made available 12 sophisticated ceiling fans that have virtually defined the genre’s 21st century aesthetic. By minimizing components, maximizing efficiency and economy of production, Rezek has originated a patented single-piece rotor for his fans. The rotor has accomplished the two things that didn’t previously seem possible in ceiling fan design: made installation easier and diminished the proverbial wobble. Rezek’s leadership in the design of lighting and ceiling fans has expanded the two product areas beyond the realm of pure function to relevant, design-conscious expression.