Highlights from Kin & Company's Outdoor Furniture Exhibition 'Inside~Out'

A year spent largely indoors changed much for many of us—not least our relationship to the outdoors. For Kin & Company founder Kira de Paola, it afforded a little time to consider the potential of the design studio’s outdoor furniture exhibition Inside~Out, which debuted in 2019 in Brooklyn’s Vale Park as a casual, experiential alternative to traditional design fairs. “It was strange that we had planned a show specifically around spurring opportunities for social engagement and connection,” de Paola says, “and suddenly being around each other was verboten. The whole premise of the show became poignant.”

By lockdown, the roster for a second iteration had been mostly set. But in the spring, she says, “we sent a new open call, asking: How are you reimagining social connection through this new lens, this shared experience? Some people said, my original concept seemed prescient. Others wanted to rethink everything.” A digital preview launched last fall, followed, finally, by a full, live show hosted by Saint Marks Place in Boerum Hill. INC Architecture & Design clad the residential development with terracotta, while Terrain created its outdoor public areas. For the show, Kin & Company curated a playful, Memphis-forward slate of objects and furnishings. “I’m really interested to see how people use the furniture in person,” says de Paola. “I haven’t seen so many humans in one place in awhile.” And should any of them get inspired to rethink their own outdoors, the building has a maker studio ready for its residents.

Bailey Fountaine swells the friendly birdhouse to truly epic proportions with For the Birds, a full 84 inches of marine-grade plywood painted Cardinal red. Photography courtesy of Bailey Fountaine.
Stadium seating and the volume they create interact in expected ways within Bjarke Ballisager’s Together and Apart, in EVA foam and white oak. Photography courtesy of Bjarke Ballisager.
Some design is garbage; good design makes treasure from trash. Charles Osawa’s #03 LANGLEY and #06 EVA lamps are definitively the latter: their epoxy forms contain refuse given interest and illumination via LED strip lights. Photography courtesy of Charles Osawa.
Evan Z Crane balanced an extended oval of satin aluminum between ridged brushed bronze for his unforgettable Memorial Bench. Photography courtesy of Evan Z Crane.
Wave Bench, the curators’ own offering, comprises an optimistic series of arches in heat-treated stainless steel. Photography courtesy of Kin & Company.
Maryam Turkey’s Oikos stools are formed from clay made of recycled paper, along with plaster and resin, and boast diminutive, window-like openings in their bases. Photography courtesy of Maryam Turkey.
A mini-playground readymade for the roof, Micah Rosenblatt’s The Ol’ Ball and Chain swing set keeps its feet on the ground thanks to a 120-pound cast concrete orb and solid steel frame. Photography courtesy of Micah Rosenblatt.
Jewelry designer Sarah Sears has fashioned a gem of a series of vases: Balance swerves and squiggles in various sizes and shapes of copper. Photography courtesy of Sarah Sears.
Mexico City’s Sebastián Arroyo Hoebens and Mexico-born, London-based illustrator Elena Boils join up to create Akopechtli Komali, a side table in black and terracotta clays and porcelain, with a central indentation referencing the Comal, a Mexican traditional cooking utensil. Photo courtesy of Sebastián Arroyo Hoebens and Elena Boils.
For her Squish stools, Yuko Nishikawa builds forms of clay and lets them slightly dry, then places them together and give them a gentle, well, squish. The result brings to mind better days of friends gathering closely together. Photography courtesy of Yuko Nishikawa.
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