Designer of the Day: Kin & Company

Joe Vidich and Kira de Paola of Kin & Company talk about their evocative piece, Tète-â-Tète, which is essentially the furniture equivalent of a trust fall.

Joe Vidich and Kira de Paola of Kin & Company talk about their evocative piece, Tète-â-Tète, which is essentially the furniture equivalent of a trust fall.

Here, we ask a designer to take a selfie and give us an inside look at their life.

Age: 39 (Joe Vidich) and 36 (Kira de Paola)

Occupation: Designers

Hometown: New York, NY (Joe) and Oakland, CA (Kira)

Studio location: Brooklyn, NY

Describe what you make: We make contemporary furniture that engages both the user and the environment. The work is as much about the character embodied within the object as it is about the function it serves. Our current work utilizes metal as the primary material due to the dichotomies that are inherent within the medium: it is hard and soft, elastic and rigid. We enjoy exploring these contradictions.

The most important thing you’ve designed to date: Our most evocative piece to date is the Tète-â-Tète from our Thin Series. It’s a conversation or partner chair that requires two people to sit simultaneously in order to remain balanced. The form of the chair is really playful and intimate, piquing the user’s curiosity with simple questions like: will this fall when I sit? We premiered the piece this year at WantedDesign, and it was fascinating to see the strong emotions it elicited.

Describe the problem your work solves: We want our work to raise new questions about form and function as they relate to the body and the environment.

Describe the project you are working on now: We’re currently wrapping up several months of refining our business goals, processes, and procedures.

A new or forthcoming project we should know about: We’re developing a brand new collection, which we’re going to launch at the Architectural Digest Design Show in March (look for us in the MADE section). Right now, we’re intensely focused on innovating with some materials and techniques that we haven’t used before.

What you absolutely have to have in your studio: My collection of eclectic found objects and the fragments and failures from past projects. And coffee (Joe)! I just want a big window (Kira).

What you do when you’re not working: Hike, read, explore – find ways to mentally escape the city whether I actually leave or not (Joe). Cook, eat, parent (Kira).

Sources of creative envy: Tara Donovan’s ability to create complex environments from simple, prosaic items has always lead us to look more closely at everyday objects. Also, Gordon Matta-Clark, for the way he explores the concept of the section on a monumental scale. Both artists use simple techniques to transform the viewer’s world in unexpected and exceptional ways.

The distraction you want to eliminate: My own inner monologue (Joe). Well, I was going to say being too attached to my phone, but now I want to revise to inner monologue too (Kira)!

Concrete or Marble? Terrazzo, so I don’t have to choose (Joe). Marble (Kira).

High-rise or Townhouse?  Townhouse (Joe). Highrise for sure (Kira).

Aliens or Ghosts? Aliens, but it would be pretty cool if ghosts existed (Joe). Aliens. I don’t believe in ghosts (Kira).

Remember or Forget? Definitely remember (Joe). Definitely forget (Kira).

Dark or Light? Dark is sexier, but light is stronger (Joe). Light (Kira).

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