We're extremely excited to introduce the sixth instalment of the JF Dialogues series, with Brooklyn based design practice, KIN & COMPANY. These guys have been making waves in the design scene since their inception in '17, and they've been a huge influence to us ever since we first learned of them. Thank you to Kira and Joseph for offering such thoughtful and inspiring answers.
"Grounded in precision and strong attention to detail, their latest collections expand on the themes first presented in their Thin and Crescent series to push the limits of steel even further. Inspired by the overlapping circles, arcs and planes of Russian Constructivism, they take simple, fundamental geometry and find moments to subvert the form in order to create kinetic and expressive objects."
1. How has your work evolved in the past year?We’ve spent a large portion of the year exploring oxidation and patinas. By using different blends of chemicals and heat we can transform an infinitely thin layer of metal at the surface into a vast array of different textures and colors reminiscent of algae, lichen and other natural phenomena. Most recently we’ve started experimenting with removing parts of the surface all together to create intricate custom perforation patterns. An example of this can be seen in our new Thin Check Table and Thin Check Chaise, a collaboration with textile designer Dusen Dusen.
2. What would you like to achieve?We’re very interested in designing and producing larger, site specific installations. We’ve started a line of outdoor furniture and it would be wonderful to think about designing an entire landscape of furniture integrated into the surrounding environment. We’re also very excited about researching more methods of manipulating metal, specifically casting and combining different alloys to make a metal terrazzo.
3. What’s the most rewarding element of your process?Our partnership has always been one of the most rewarding parts! We’re cousins and have been very close our entire lives. Getting to work with someone you trust and care deeply about is usually the best part of our day. In regards to process, experimenting with actual materials at full scale is a very important part of our practice. We are constantly moving back and forth through making and drawing to create an integrated flow of ideas.
4. What book has influenced you?Ways of Seeing by John Berger (although there are many, many others!).
5. What’s been your most rewarding project?The Thin Series has been one of the most rewarding projects so far. We started with the Thin Table and Thin Chair as an exploration into creating simple, dynamic forms from a single steel plate. This initial investigation lead to the development of our signature aesthetic of bent, rolled and curved metal forms.
6. Where do your ideas come from?We draw many of our ideas from fine art and architecture. We started our careers as artists and have always developed our work to be sculptural as well as functional. For us this boundary is highly mutable, lending itself to the creation of novel forms.
7. When people experience your work, what emotion(s) do you want them to feel?Curiosity. We want the viewer to be compelled to come closer, intrigued by the shape and the surface. There is a very conscious effort in our creative practice to use material, texture and form to subvert any preconceived expectations for what a piece of furniture can be.
8. What does your studio look like?It’s constantly changing! We have various workspaces that shift from welding, to finishing, to design all within a single day.
9. How would you describe your design philosophy?Textured, candid and easy.
10. If you could go back in time, would you navigate your career differently?This depends on how far back we go! Prior to launching our furniture line we both had careers in the design field and studied fine art in college. Ultimately we believe that timing is critical for success and we knew that there was much to learn before starting a company. Inevitably our previous careers prepared us for the challenges of being young entrepreneurs and have influenced our aesthetic. Perhaps, if we could really go back in time, we might have considered minoring in a business degree...
You can find more of KIN & COMPANY's work on their website, or follow the instagram to keep up to date with their latest projects.