Exclusive Interview: Kevin Kane of Arktura
Trends & Events
We’re going to keep this intro short and sweet so you can get straight to reading this interview with Kevin Kane, a partner at the awesome Los Angeles-based modern furniture company Arktura, a recent edition to the 2Modern line-up.
As you can see by the photos, they combine clean lines and simple shapes with stunning, digital-inspired pattern to create dynamic pieces that would spice up just about any space. We asked Kevin some questions about Arktura and his role at the company:
2M: I know there are many people behind Arktura, but what do you do specifically? How do you guys distribute the work load? Do you specialize in different areas or is it product/project at a time?
KK: I have quite a bit of different tasks. But to speak directly to the projects and products, that mostly means helping directing design and management for projects. Distribution of workload is specific to the project in every instance and the project team fluctuates based on the project from number of designers and project managers, to design engineers and production staff because of how large we are. We have staff that specialize in certain parts of the process from complex fabrication or project management to engineering and materials testing.
2M: How did you get into this field? When did you know you wanted to be in a creative field?
KK: I naturally fell into it after being on the architectural side of the industry for years. It’s great to be producing designs at a smaller scale because it allows us all to be involved in every aspect of the process. I’ve always wanted to be in a creative field, mainly to be challenged in terms of finding creative solutions to problems.
2M: What’s exciting you in the design world right now?
KK: The return to more ‘distilled’ designs. It’s very easy to get curious and caught up in the novelty of digital tools, so I think everyone is excited for a change and quite possibly a more critical look at pure technique and what ‘smart and simple’ design really means.
2M: How would you describe you or your company’s style? Is it hard coming up with a style or look when there are so many designers involved?
KK: We try not to follow styles, but I think a common strategy we all share is, how can we solve this problem differently, and innovate it, and still achieve our project goals? We don’t believe a style or look is something that you direct. In most of our cases it’s a byproduct, but if the end result isn’t beautiful there’s something wrong.
2M: Do you live by any specific design philosophy? What about Arktura?
KK: Don’t let yourself get bored, constantly challenge the easy solution and be responsible to your environment. Arktura likes to have fun, work hard and everyone excels here at bringing something fresh to the table constantly. We tell everyone to ask a lot of questions which helps us evaluate every step of the process.
2M: How did Arktura become so successful?
KK: Lots of hard work and collective decision making! It’s been an incredible ride to watch how fast we continue to grow year after year.
2M: I know you guys definitely have a passion for new technologies and new manufacturing processes, can you talk about some of the new things you guys have been getting into in recent projects and products?
KK: We are always trying to make ourselves more responsible when it comes to our environment. So we are constantly changing the ways in which we make, from testing new materials to substituting techniques that may be more sustainable. We also have been working on (for some time now) how automation plays a role within the design process. We can’t talk about too much right now, but look for some interesting new things next year.
2M: What challenges do you face on a daily basis? The company faces?
KK: When to stop and say we’ve solved this problem as much as we can. In terms of projects, knowing how to balance the clients budget and delivering an amazing and unique product in a timely fashion.
2M: Where do Arktura’s designers find inspiration?
KK: In everyday objects, old and new, to things we see around us to interesting subcultures and current events.
2M: Favorite thing about your job?
KK: We have a blast and get to experiment a lot.
2M: Anything new and exciting that you want to share with the 2Modern readers?
KK: Look out for a new line of products and a new website early next year!