Kegan Fisher and Liz Kinnmark are Design Glut. Design Glut is a webzine, and also a blog, and a Twitter feed, and a design studio. (Sometimes Design Glut also turns itself into a band called Made of Titanium, with Kinnmark on the synthesizer and Fisher on harp.) All of this goes down in Bushwick, which seems pretty much right, and it started two years ago, when Pratt classmates Kinnmark and Fisher shared a table at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF). Kinnmark’s ICFF contribution was “egg pants,” which are basically holders for soft-boiled eggs that make it look like your breakfast is wearing trousers. Fisher had a dream about ceramic tiles with half a teacup on them, so she woke up and made them, and that was what she brought. The response to these objects was positive, and Kinnmark and Fisher decided to go into business together, and also for a while to be roommates (Fisher now lives with her husband in Manhattan). They came up with a sort of manifesto, promising to only produce things they consider “good” and useful and, by their calculations, responsible.
“Coming right out of school, we saw a market that was oversaturated with brightly colored things and shiny objects and new lines created just to meet seasonal deadlines,” Fisher says. “And we realized it was our responsibility to not do that.”
So with the confidence of youth, they set out to make products that are “conceptual, relevant, or functional” (Fisher) or products that “start conversation” (Kinnmark). So far, that’s taken the form of necklaces based on crude-oil drums—“That talks about value,” Kinnmark explains—and a men’s hankie embroidered with the vertiginous line of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. “We come up with tons of ideas,” Fisher says, “but they’re maybe not the best thing for the marketplace. So we don’t produce them!”
They do, however, produce quite a bit: those hankies, those egg pants, those teacup tiles. And sometimes, even, they leave their manifesto behind. “I have a weakness,” says Fisher, “for beautiful objects. I can’t help it. When I see something gorgeous, I fall in love. I do.”