Vonnegut/Kraft is a New York based design studio coming to collaborate in different backgrounds in fabrication and design. The founders strive to create functional objects using graphically minimal elements. palettes and most importantly, an emphasis on function.
Who are you?
Katrina Vonnegut and Brian Kraft. Our studio is called Vonnegut/Kraft.
What do you do?
We are furniture designers and makers.
Where did you grow up?
Katrina: I grew up in the Lake Champlain Islands in Vermont, very close to Canadian border. My respect and love for the natural world came from growing up here.
Brian: I grew up in Northern New Jersey from a town called Newton. The close proximity to NYC shaped my early years being able to skateboard there at a young age.
When did you take your first big risk in life?
Katrina: My first big risk, must have been starting a business with Brian. I think we were both aware of the mental and financial strain it would have on us, but we love what we do, so it always felt worth it.
Brian: Similarly, starting a studio and wood shop on our own felt like a huge risk at the time.
Why have you persisted with the path you’re currently on?
Katrina: I’ve always been obsessed with making and designing which has felt like a necessity and less of a conscious decision. I also love that the more I make and design, the more of an understanding I have of new materials and techniques and that keeps me curious and motivated to move forward, while it also allows more possibilities to open up.
Brian: I grew up building homes with my dad and later went to NYU and studied English Literature. I then returned to building, but had no formal training in furniture making and then became a self-taught furniture maker. I’ve pursued this work because I enjoy problem solving in design and engineering.
Who is someone you’d love to work with, but can’t?
Katrina: Eileen Gray
Brian: I would have liked to spend some time in the studio with Ken Price.
What are you working on now?
We’re working on developing a new collection to be released next spring 2016.
Who are a few people in your field that have influenced you?
Katrina and Brian: We’re really inspired by Eileen Gray, Rudolf Steiner, Alvar Aalto, Charlotte Perriand, Shiro Kuramata.
What do you think is your biggest success so far?
Katrina: I don’t know that I’ve had a “biggest success”. Its been small successes that add up to the big success of just being able to make our studio work. Success definitely feels incremental.
Brian: I think our most successful piece we’ve made so far is our Crescent Lounge. It hasn’t changed the way I look at success at all.