Founded in Eindhoven in 2007 by Jos Kranen and Johannes Gille, Kranen/Gille is a design studio specializing in furniture, lighting, and accessories. In 2010, the studio relocated to 's-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands. Kranen/Gille’s work celebrates juxtapositions—such as unexpected industrial and natural material combinations—and the studio aims to find new ways to intertwine different disciplines, crafts, and techniques.
From its beginning, the studio has exhibited limited-edition work at major design fairs and galleries, including Design Miami, Salone Del Mobile, London Design Week, Gallery FUMI, Priveekollektie, Rossana Orlandi, and Dilmos Milano. Soon after launching, they expanded into open edition pieces for brands such as Functionals, West Elm, and others. The designers note: “We felt we had to take another path simultaneously, one that led directly to the customer. Limited-edition design objects tend to disappear into private collections, never to be seen again. But a product should take part in society. A designer’s view should be 360 degrees, not focused on just one aspect of the job.”
Notable projects to date include Islands (2011), a furniture and lighting series inspired by the heavy machinery of the Industrial Revolution and the steel sea forts that defended the British coast in WWII; as well as Plant (2013), a collection of furniture and lighting conceived as “industrial growths” that grow plant-like to suit a particular function. In 2014, the Dutch heritage museum Zuiderzeemuseum Enkhuizen commissioned Kranen/Gille to respond to the institution’s permanent collection, which resulted in the Combers Cabinet (2015). For this series, the designers took on the role of “beachcombers,” surveying the museum’s acquisitions; inspired by the museum’s goal “to collect and conserve,” they picked nine objects and displayed them in a series of upside-down glass jars, presenting them as lamps.
Kranen (born in Tegelen, The Netherlands in 1977) and Gille (born in Marburg, Germany, in 1979) met while studying at the Design Academy Eindhoven. Both graduated with Bachelor’s degrees in 2004.