“Good design, like good painting, cooking, architecture, or whatever you like, is a manifestation of the capacity of the human spirit to transcend its limitations.”
These astounding words are by George Nelson, an American industrial designer and an inspiration for the works of Kin and Company, a Brooklyn based design practice.
Joseph Vidich, a Columbia University-trained architect and Kira de Paolo, an interior designer with immense knowledge in high-end furniture, also happen to be cousins, founded the firm that produces sculptural and lifelike pieces of work, grounded in precision and paying strong attention to details.
They have made continuous explorations with materials especially with metals. Their works have been exhibited and recognized at multiple occasions which stand as a testimony to the constant experimentation with the varied conceptual ideas and the technology needed to give them the appropriate finesse.
1. Wave Table 1
It is a piece of work that captures the dynamic moment of crusting waves through rolled sheets of steel that curl and peel away beneath a glass surface into a set of two arcs. The vibrant multi-colored steel surface is created through a unique heat treatment process through which molecules realign to capture and reflect selective wavelengths of light. This is one of their works that was exhibited at Maison and Objet Fall 2019.
2. Thin Shelf Single 2
This set of shelves projects a robust composition of single lines and arcs through various viewpoints. It is framed with a blackened steel arch that delicately extends upwards from the floor blurring the boundaries between structure and skin. This work was also exhibited at Maison and Objet Fall 2019.
3. Remains Light
A sculptural piece of work, born out of collaboration with Bianco and Lights, this exhibits a strong composition of geometric shapes that oddly create a balance, having varied texture through the rich palette of materials. Finished with patinated bronze, blackened steel, and marble, it is brought to life with the hand-cast glass glowing from purple to pink when illuminated.
Yet another minimalistic and classic work of art is the A-Table. It has clean lines and a simple form creating a sense of lightness and precision with steel having a black oxidized patina and a solid ash top with whitewash finish. A small reveal at the corners expresses the connection to the top and the structure hidden within.This, along with several works exhibited in a model apartment was featured in the Architectural Digest, October 2018 edition.
5. Step Chair
Strong curves of Kin and Company and the waves of Norwegian designer, Henrik Ødegaard came together to give this work for the Sight Unseen Project Norway X New York.
It is an amalgamation of folded steel plates with a minimal rolled bronze tube for a composite structure that acts as a chair, table, stair, storage at once. The bronze tube acts as a handle for the passer-by to take rest or walk alongside the chair.
To provide a visual connection, a hollow black steel pipe has been punched in the black steel plates to create space for storage and display. The Step Series was featured in the Wallpaper and a French online magazine, IDEAT.
6. Phase Pendant
The phase pendant is a slight deviation in terms of materials and colour palette as it is a unique collaboration between Kin and Company and Kim Markel, a resin artist. Materials like acrylic, resin, and steel bordered by a circular frame, have been put together for an iterative design process. The phase pendant along with other works has been featured in the Architectural Digest Design Show 2018.
7. Cascade Mobile
This hanging sculpture creates a hypnotic experience with a strong composition of discs, rings, and half-moons cascading from large sweeping arcs. The viewer may recall the dusty planets, shimmering comet tales, and stars from the surface textures used.
This work along with other pieces brought numerous accolades to the creators. The collaborations have been featured at several exhibitions like Maison and Objet, 2019 Design Fair along with a nomination for best Artisanal Wallcoverings at NYC X Design with Wallpaper Projects and winning entry in the category of “Made in Boroughs”.
8. Thin Check Double Chaise and Table Set
This is a part of the Thin Series, a series consisting of furniture like the Thin Shelves as mentioned earlier, but having a bold colour blocking for the Spring. It is a set of lounge chairs and side tables wherein anthropometry has played a key role in designing the seating arrangement. It exhibits one of the latest prints of renowned textile designer, Dusen, and Dusen where the checkerboard pattern is overlapped on another set of similar patterns, as a result giving an impression of “checks on checks”.
The double chaise and table set has been recognised at the Kin and Company’s curatorial collaboration with Asa Pingree for Inside/Out, an outdoor furniture exhibition. It was also featured in several magazines like Sight Unseen, Dezeen, and Surface magazine.
Inside/Out was mentioned in Surface Magazine in the article “Kin & Company and Asa Pingree Take Things Outside”
9. Eclipse Mirror
A piece showcasing the art of juxtaposition is the eclipse mirror where the arcs and lines have been put together, yet again to create a magical composition.
It is framed with a pair of offset steel arches and has two circular mirrors suspended delicately but slightly shifted, thus creating an image where the finished patina surface of one mirror pulls the gaze beyond the reflecting surface of the other mirror recreating a moment of the eclipse.
10. Thin Tête-à-Tête
This is a display of a minimalistic approach towards the interaction between two people and experimenting with the anthropometric composition.
It creates a unique system of balance between the forms and their intimacy. A similar composition can be seen in the Thin Check Double Chaise and Table Set as well.
This work of heat-tempered finish in steel and mirror-polished steel inlay has also received huge recognition and featured by the Dering Hall in the article “Meet 11 Young Makers You Need to Know”.
Quite interestingly, this is part of the Thin series where miniature versions of objects have been used for a different purpose like the Thin Chair has been used for Thin Bookends.
The works have exemplified how architectural notions generally drawn for buildings, can be implemented for any built form irrespective of the scale and purpose.
Kin and Company is a true example of crossing the limitations and embracing individualism by bringing together science and technology with the history of their culture.
As it has been rightly said by them at an interview featured on Sight Unseen that “It is a really important part of our work to explore the physicality of the materials alongside the conceptual development.”