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Kin Coda
Art and design collide in a thought-provoking show that encapsulates the beauty of brotherly collaboration
by Karen Day
on 17 November 2011
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A project four years in the making, Kin Coda comprises a range of 25 uniquely crafted keepsake boxes, each an assemblage of art by the diverse design collective We-Are-Familia. Since graphic designer Jennifer Garcia began the project in 2007, several of the first 11 boxes have been featured in galleries or snapped up by discerning collectors, debuting at Colette and then coming stateside to Open Space in Beacon, NY and Fountain Art Fair.

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For boxes 12-25, We-Are-Familia used damaged furniture from the sustainably-minded Danish brand Fritz Hansen. In order to protect the integrity of their classic designs, Fritz Hansen is forced to destroy a small amount of unusable furniture each season, and when sales director for North America David Obel Rosenkvist heard about the collective's forward-thinking project, he and his team decided to donate the damaged chairs and tables to Garcia and her team.

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Garcia originally started the project to exemplify the synonymous nature of art and design, and has brought her point to life with this second wave of furniture-based conceptual boxes, currently on view at NYC's Fritz Hansen store. Several notable designers, including David Weeks, Iacoli & McAllister, Kiel Mead, Joe Doucet, UM Project and more, have put their own distinctive twist on the Fritz Hansen furniture, which rounds out the project. Serving as a stimulating foundation for the ingenious designers, the Fritz Hansen furniture takes new shape in works like Chen Chen and Kai Williams' deconstructed Star Base Swivel Chair in fire engine red, or Nightwood's rustic Swan chair-turned-"Hunter-Gatherer Chair," and UM Project's modern armoire made from Arne Jacobsen Series 7 chairs.

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Living up to the We are Familia name, Garcia tells us that when one of the pieces sells—prices top off at $10,000—they all split the profit. It's with this communal enthusiasm that the designers created the singular keepsakes, each brimming with the works of 40 different artists. The full collection of collaborative creations, combined with the support of Fritz Hansen, perfectly illustrates the familial spirit of the artists' collective.

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Kin Coda will be on display for just a short time at Fritz Hansen, from 17-23 November 2011. To see more of the series, including the original 11 keepsakes, check out the gallery below.

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