In 1986, Ron Rezek was approached with the idea of updating the 100-year-old ceiling fan. An accomplished industrial designer with notable achievements in areas from lighting and furniture to life-saving and rescue equipment, Rezek embraced the opportunity to introduce contemporary design to this previously overlooked product category.
The Stratos fan (1988) was born and forged the path for a much needed evolution in ceiling fan design. Three decades later, Rezek’s collection of Modern Fans are celebrated for their sophisticated and timeless originality. His influence on the entire ceiling fan industry is undeniable and can be seen in many of today’s most popular products.More on Ron Rezek Less on Ron Rezek
Rezek earned his bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design and a master’s in Fine Arts in Industrial Design at UCLA. There, his professors included designers Henry Dreyfuss, Charles Eames, Niels Diffrient and Don Chadwick. While in graduate school, Rezek also worked in the offices of Frank Gehry, Deborah Sussman and Gere Kavanaugh, all of whom provided valuable influence and mentorship during his early years as a designer and entrepreneur.
In 1970, when approached by Los Angeles County Lifeguard Captain, Bob Burnside, Rezek leveraged his thesis project (a study in rotational molding) to design and develop a modernized version of the rescue “can”. He founded Surf-Saving International to manufacture and distribute the iconic rescue float, known as the Burnside Buoy, which remains standard issue for lifeguards worldwide.
In 1978, after the sale of Surf Saving International, he founded Ron Rezek Lighting in Culver City, CA. Inspiration had come while instructing at UCLA and ArtCenter College of Design, where Rezek’s students showed broad creativity in response to several light fixture design assignments. With his new company, Rezek sought to apply his own brand of modern design to a collection of architectural and decorative light fixtures. Rezek’s designs were met with great appreciation, leading to a long-term partnership with (and eventual sale to) the Italian lighting firm, Artemide.
In 1986, it was also one of Rezek’s students who pointed him to his next design opportunity, the ceiling fan. By way of an introduction to the student’s family who owned and operated a ceiling fan company, Rezek was called upon to develop a modern interpretation of the ceiling fan. The resulting Stratos fan was the beginning of Rezek’s long career designing and producing contemporary ceiling fans and led to the founding of The Modern Fan Co. in 1997. The Modern Fan Co. continues to operate in Ashland, OR where Rezek lives, produces wine and restores classic cars.
Guto Indio Da Costa
A Brazilian designer and the Director of Rio de Janeiro based Indio da Costa A.U.D.T., Guto Indio da Costa is the newest contributor to Modern Fan’s assortment. His experience and expertise related to ceiling fans is extensive, dating back to his design of the award-winning Spirit fan released to the Brazilian market in 2001.
The IC/Air2 and IC/Air3 (2017) represent Indio da Costa’s first ceiling fan project aimed at the North American market and were built on Modern Fan’s latest performance platform. These models incorporate our newest high efficiency DC motor, LED lighting and optimized blade profiles… all in a sleek, ultra-modern design.More on Guto Indio Da Costa Less on Guto Indio Da Costa
Guto Indio da Costa, born in 1969 in Rio de Janeiro, studied product design and graduated from the Art Center College of Design in Switzerland in 1993. As the founder and chief designer of Indio da Costa Design, Guto and his team have designed products for a wide variety of companies, markets and segments, ranging from pens, home appliances and electronics to urban furniture, boats and trains.
Indio da Costa Design has been internationally awarded with several design prizes, such as the IF Design Award, the German Iconic Award, the Red Dot Design Award, the IDEA and the Good Design, among others. Guto has also been active as a lecturer and as a jury member for various design competitions and awards.
While working to broaden the Company’s international reach, Modern Fan identified Jorge Pensi as an ideal partner to help introduce the brand to European markets. The Barcelona based designer, perhaps best known for his Toledo chair (1986), is recognized internationally for his work in lighting and furniture.
His reputation and talents have fostered collaboration with some of the most respected companies in these industries. His namesake design for Modern Fan, the Pensi (2008), is a well-executed study in geometry, casting aside the superfluous in exchange for clean lines, pure forms and closely considered proportions.More on Jorge Pensi Less on Jorge Pensi
Born in 1946, Jorge Pensi studied architecture in his home city of Buenos Aires. In search of new challenges and broader horizons, he set off for Barcelona in 1975, ultimately becoming a Spanish citizen.After several years in partnership with Alberto Lievore, he formed Jorge Pensi Design Studio in 1984.
Over the ensuing years, Pensi formed a team of trusted and like-minded professionals with whom he could offer personalized and optimum support to his clients. This team includes Diego Slemenson since 1987, Toni Casares since 1990. Constanze Schütz since 1995 and Roman Proubasta since 1999. For graphic design projects he is able to call on his wife, Carme Casares, and for interior design projects, Eduardo Campoamor. The studio has solidified its position as a global point of reference for contemporary design. Some of its early products, such as the Toledo chair and the Regina lamp, have become Spanish design icons.
Pensi’s minimalist and expressive designs have received numerous prizes and awards, including the Spanish National Design Prize in 1997, awarded by the Ministry of Industry and Energy for outstanding professional achievement. The studio’s working method is characterized by intensive communication between the team and their clients throughout the design process, from the initial idea to the final product, in a relaxed and creative environment. If there is one thing which defines Jorge Pensi Design Studio’s products, it is their timelessness. They constantly seek a balance between poetry and realism, material and space, abstraction and emotion. The aim is to create as many sensations as possible with as few resources as possible, challenging the usual logic in order to establish whether or not it is possible to create something new. The result is not always predetermined. The best is yet to come.
Dave Ellis has benefited from over two decades of exposure to the design process while with The Modern Fan Co. Although focused on the operational side of the business during much of this time, he has amassed enough know-how to successfully develop a well-rounded suite of products. In fact, the Company’s most recent introductions, the Arbor, Arbor Flush and the LeatherLuxe (2020) are the result of his latest round of study and creativity. With these designs, he has remained true to Modern Fan’s history of simplicity and refinement, while introducing the warmth and texture of hand-finished solid wood blades, genuine leather and a new “Graphite” finish.
Also credited to Ellis are the Torsion (2014) and the Stella (2011). The “constructed” details of these two designs are intentionally emphasized, somewhat of a departure from the Company’s more minimalist expressions.
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With his contributions, Ellis has helped to expand the aesthetic range of Modern Fan’s offering while also broadening his role within the company to oversee product design and development.