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the Inheritance Collection from Stephen Kenn

What better way to break the rules than bringing the most stylish military chic into your living room. The Inheritance collection by Stephen Kenn does just that and more, presenting a contemporary look at the world of military.

Featuring a sofa, loveseat, chair & ottoman, chaise lounge, and more, this smart collection explores rustic materials, prints, stitching and natural wear, that will transport you into a different time. No doubt, this seating collection brings out the fashionable side of history while unraveling stories from the past.

Meet The Designer
Stephen Kenn

What inspired you to get involved in product design?

I have always been intrigued with knowing how things are made. I like to learn how things are made by first taking them apart. I did it with jeans before I started my first denim company Iron Army, with bags before I started a bag line called Temple Bags, and then most recently with furniture before designing the Inheritance Collection.

Describe your style and approach to design.

I think of design as a series of problems that need to be solved. I am led by curiosity and sometimes a vision of an end product, and then I start making a list of problems that need to be solved in order to achieve the result I want… and then I dig into it. This is my favorite part of the process, although, it is a love/hate relationship. I love re-sculpting something over and over again in my head and try out new materials or angles with my imagination but it also plagues me, resulting in many sleepless nights. There is nothing more satisfying and nothing more frustrating than design.

What inspired you in creating the Inheritance Collection? (Describe your creative process, coming up with your design, choosing materials, etc.)

The Inheritance collection was my first entry into the furniture world. I tried to break rules and redefine process. I was incredibly inspired by the military materials, the rich history found in the printing, the stitching and natural wear. There is a story within the materials that was begging to be re-told and re-appreciated. My goal in the design was to make all the components easily understood, for anyone to assemble and disassemble on their own and for all the materials involved to be beautiful if they were to stand alone. While creating this collection I developed a personal design mantra that good design should embody the simplest, most functional form and the materials used should tell stories from the past and wear well into the future.

What is your dream project?

I would love to design a home for myself one day.

Who is your favorite designer?

There are many people that I admire, but lately I have been especially inspired by Max Lamb’s work. I love that he documents the process of his creations, and I love that he works with a wide range of materials. You can see his curiosity in everything he does.

What changes would you like to see in the design community in the future?

I would love to see designers and design companies place an emphasis on the concept “Design for the other 90%” I was first introduced to this idea while at MoMA a number of years ago and found it to be one of the most important challenges given to the mind of a creative. It has been my personal goal to identify a need in the world and carve out time and set aside money to prototype a product that can improve the life of someone who would be considered in the other 90% of the worlds population. Examples of these products would be the Q Drum by P.J. and J.P.S. Hendrikse, One laptop per child by Nicholas Negroponte, Lifestraw by VestergaardFrandsen

What’s new at Stephen Kenn design studio?

3 new collections are on the horizon; a leather bag collection, a dining collection and a fine art collection. We are excited to release these and continue a conversation about locally made product and what makes a space feel like a home.

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