About a year ago, Johann and I had largely completed the design work for the Rugosa Collection. The final design came quite suddenly while we were sitting at a packed communal dining table at a hotel in northern Spain. Our journey to the hotel had involved a plane trip, several taxis, and a train ride from Madrid. As with so many things now, looking back it seems like a different world.
We finished 2019 with the most robust and organized schedule Kalon has ever had. It was loaded with photoshoots, events, and the release of several new collections that took us well into 2021. Obviously, things have changed. Along with everything else on that calendar, the release of this collection has been reshaped by the pandemic many times over. During these past few months, there has been a daily questioning of what is essential. What can be shed? What can be done differently or better? In many ways, this process closely resembles how we approach design. It is an act of distilling each piece down to its essentials.
The Rugosa Collection is deeply personal to us. It is named for a Rhode Island seaside home that is one of our favorite places. For nearly twenty summers, Rugosa is where we go to reset, plan our next year, and decide on new work. The collection draws from both the spirit of its namesake and from its comfortable, breeze-filled rooms. Home to generations of artists and scholars, Rugosa’s rooms invite you to spend long stretches of time either alone with your thoughts or immersed in conversation. This duality was the quality we most sought to capture in our design.
The Rugosa Collection is the culmination of a two-year conversation about living rooms. We’ve been living with several of the pieces for some time now, something we do so we can tweak the designs until they are right. These are our ideal living room pieces: warm, bright, functional, comfortable and boldly simple. Above all else they are pieces to live with and allow for a space where the mind can wander. Our choice of materials and colors reflect a causal, livable atmosphere, one that feels increasingly poignant to us now that we are spending so much of our time at home.
It feels strange to frame the release of this collection within the COVID crisis but also impossible not to. Equally impossible is to write this without mention of shops we work with who typically remain in the background when we release new work. Because of how Kalon is structured, with our rigorous focus on sustainable business practices, we employ small batch, domestic production. It’s a small part of what we do but it is the most brutally challenging. Incredibly, it is also the part of our business allowing us to keep going in the midst of the pandemic. We are deeply grateful for every one of our craftspeople and for the outstanding work they continue to do at a moment that is difficult for so many. We have never been so grateful for them, nor they for us. It is because of them that we are able to bring you this new collection.
Listen to Kalon’s Founders Michaele and Johann discuss what makes the pieces so unique.
The Rugosa Collection debuts May 18, 2020 as part of the online exhibition Offsite Online, the 2020 iteration of Sight Unseen’s yearly design fair that showcases what’s new and next in contemporary design.