Launched in 2012 in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood, Vonnegut/Kraft is a design studio specializing in furniture and home accessories. The studio creates functional objects characterized by graphic, sculptural forms. Utilizing local and regional resources, Vonnegut/Kraft is dedicated to maintaining a balance between technological manufacturing and traditional, hand craftsmanship that embraces the intrinsic qualities of the materials used. Their minimalist pieces—produced made to order or in small editions— are detailed with dynamic joinery that references architectural forms and historical artifacts.
Founders Katrina Vonnegut and Brian Kraft first met in passing on a street in New York; they turned out to be neighbors and not long after, in the spring of 2011, began collaborating on furniture projects. In the summer of 2013, the studio moved and expanded to a space in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
Vonnegut (born in 1986 in San Francisco, California) studied at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in furniture design in 2009. Kraft (born in 1975 in Newton, New Jersey) studied English literature at New York University (NYU), graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in 1998. He is a self-taught furniture maker and builder; prior to Vonnegut/Kraft, he designed and built numerous high-end, custom projects for architects, designers, and artists, including Opening Ceremony (2006), Santiago Calatrava (2000), David Adjaye (2005), Terrence Koh (2011), and Lenny Kravitz (2012).
Describing their working relationship, the designers say: “Brian’s years of building has given him an acute sense for details, construction, and composition. Katrina’s investigation of material and striking forms are the foundation of Vonnegut/Kraft’s design vocabulary.”
Vonnegut/Kraft’s work has been exhibited at several galleries and fairs, including Jack Chiles Gallery (New York, 2016); Messler Gallery, Center for Furniture Craftsmanship (Rockport, Maine, 2015-2016); Colony (New York, 2015); curator Lidewij Edelkoort’s Trend_Works exhibition at ZOW (Bad Salzuflen, Germany and Istanbul, Turkey, 2015); and ICFF (New York, 2013 and 2014), among others. Additionally, in 2015, Vonnegut/Kraft licensed multiple lighting designs to New York’s Matter gallery for its Matter-Made collection; that same year, the studio collaborated with retailer Totokaelo on concepts and objects for its first New York City store.