Tom Kundig Collection
The Tom Kundig Collection is a hardware and home furnishings line that grew out of Tom Kundig’s longstanding interest in crafting intimate, human-scaled experiences within architecture.
Like his well-known kinetic building elements, the Tom Kundig Collection celebrates moments where people touch and physically engage the buildings they inhabit. Each piece in the collection is crafted or finished by hand, reminding us of the simple beauty found in the architectural elements we touch every day.
“The line represents my interest in a holistic approach to architecture. There’s often an assumption that architecture is about larger, more flamboyant responses, but I don’t think that’s necessarily true. I believe a true architectural experience is one that operates on both a macro and a micro scale. When design is done well, you may not be able to articulate or identify how it’s operating, but you just know it’s a holistic experience. That’s one reason I’m interested in this smaller-scale element of touch – it contributes to the overall experience of architecture.” –Tom Kundig, Principal Designer
What began as a hardware collection of twenty-five small-scale steel pieces including cabinet pulls, rollers and door handles has expanded to a compendium of over 125 products, including furniture, lighting and household tools. Since its launch in 2012, the collection has continued to focus on straightforward yet materially rich designs that speak to Kundig’s commitment to the craft of architecture.
Seattle-based 12th Avenue Iron fabricates each piece in the collection at their local metalworking studio. Kundig worked with 12th Avenue Iron for several years on the fabrication of custom-designed architectural elements prior to teaming with them to develop the initial Tom Kundig Collection prototypes. In the beginning and still today, each new product in the collection develops from a project-specific design need.
“When we started designing products, the intention was to create a hand-crafted hardware line that represented something we couldn’t find in the marketplace. What we do as architects and designers is identify things we can’t find in the marketplace, and respond with an alternative. We have a long history of collaborating with craftspeople and a deep understanding and appreciation of craft, so a collaboration with 12th Avenue Iron was a natural outgrowth of that work.” –Tom Kundig, Principal Designer
One of the earliest products in the line, the tKnobler door pull, exemplifies Kundig’s interest in “hot-rodding” commodity components – that is, transforming standard industrial shapes and materials into bespoke designs. The tKnobler was developed from standard steel tubing, a shape which has continued to inform products in the line, such as the Bongnormous series of door pulls and the Perf and Pipe pendant lights. This infusion of the poetics into the pragmatic remains a constant in the line, as Kundig continues to develop new products out of the same standard commodity components that were the basis of the collection.
Commercially available through 12th Avenue Iron, The Tom Kundig Collection is an extension of Kundig’s interest in designing approachable architecture that conveys an honesty of materials and emphasizes moments of human connection. Blackened steel remains a primary material for the collection, but most products are now also offered in bronze and stainless steel. The line translates Olson Kundig’s renowned full-service design approach to everyday objects that are tactile, human-scale and accessible.
“The collection is intended to appeal to a wider audience who appreciates design and craft at all levels. Our customer is someone who is looking for something out of the ordinary, at an achievable cost.” –Tom Kundig, Principal Designer