You may not recognise Karl Zahn’s name, but I’m positive that you would have come across his product design before. Particularly his selection of designed wooden toys for Brooklyn-based company AREAWARE. I was pleased to see this newer collection of objects from him which offer a unique twist from his conventional design of everyday functional objects.
These certainly have a sculptural flavour, with Karl’s idea being to do something other than make a product that has a function and serves a purpose. He wanted to mix product and architecture to make jewellery for the home, what I think he’s created is a great mix of sculptural forms that blend in well with a contemporary setting.
His designs are simplistic and modernist in appearance, but you can tell of his appreciation for craftsmanship. No doubt this comes from his upbringing in rural Vermont, his work with wood and natural materials is an extension of the teachings from his home and time spent playing in forests and woodshops. After studying product design he travelled to San Francisco where he immersed himself in the creative metal working culture that thrives there. These two crafts combine successfully in this collaboration with design company MATTER to create a collection of work that’s cohesive and well-balanced. Designed to withstand the passing of trends.