In the age of Ikea, Walmart, and Super everything, quality has been relegated to the era of walking uphill both ways in the snow just to get to school. Most of the furniture that populates the living rooms of the western world has a shorter lifespan than our grandparents clothing. Things are meant to be used and then thrown out at the end of their meek life among st the living. How depressing. Against this backdrop there is a small group of designers who have grown sick of this fast-food culture, and set out to buck the system and bring generational lifespans back to the objects we use everyday. One such designer is Lars Amhoff of Kinky form . From his home base in Germany, he initiates collaborations that span continents and bring wonderful cross discipline objects into the world.

AC: Hey Lars! So you are the man behind Kinkyform. Could you explain to our readers just what exactly Kinkyform is and what it stands for?

Lars: Kinky form is my way to break free from the commercial world like we know it today. It’s all about manufacturing more products for a huge amount of people with the lowest possible prices. Millions of people all over the world have the same looking living grooms because they buy it from a huge manufacturer who throws out products with nearly the worst quality possible. That’s what Kinky form tries to avoid and change. All the products are limited to keep up the factor of individuality, and the quality is the best you can get for such pieces. I’m keeping the production in country to have total control over the manufacturing process and keep everything perfect. So in short, Kinky form stands for Quality and Individuality.

AC: When did you found it?

Lars: I started Kinkyform in early 2004. After I got my product design degree in 2003 I started working in a furniture design office, but I never really liked doing work for the big furniture companies, so I quit to found Kinkyform and carry my design education further. The first “real” manufactured product was the Inkywood table in 2006.

AC: The projects you have produced already are pretty impressive for such a young company. Do you see yourself moving on to larger, more high profile projects, or are you content doing the kind of very personal work that you have shown in previous projects?

Lars: This personal area is really great. I enjoy being close to the customer and connecting with the people who like my work. I think it keeps the whole company even more attractive to people when they are able to interact with it. Some people even send photos of their house with Kinkyform furniture in it! I really love the fact to see where my work end up and how people interpret it and use it. But of course doing high profile projects is attractive to me. I’m always open for new ways of doing things. I’d really like to get deeper into interior design, for example, but everything has it’s time right? I’ll keep everything small but I’m planning to have a wider range of products available.

AC: I know a lot of designers who are a bit suspicious of fame. How do you see exposure and notoriety playing a role in the life of Kinkyform?

Lars: Kinkyform lives on exposure. Without it Kinkyform would be nothing. Unknown. Exposure is directly linked to sales so it’s pretty obvious that Kinkyform is dependent on it. I never did any ads or commercial work to promote my company, or myself and I think that’s an amazing thing. If the people out there like what you’re doing they will tell other people about it and so on. Companies can be built on word of mouth propaganda. I’ve been lucky to be able to found my company in the age of the internet. I think in the end no company can say they don’t want exposure.

AC: Several of your new projects are more fashion than industrial design. Do you see a hybridization happening here?

Lars: Yes! I really like that whole jewelry/watch business and I’d like to get even deeper into that. You have to take care to not do too much and specialize on something. In my opinion, jewelry and watches merge perfectly into the whole furniture design and art thing. For example, I’m working on a piece of furniture with Alex Truchot which will have a matching watch.

AC: You’ve said before that you like to work closely with local manufactures when producing your objects. I would imagine your work is different than the things they normally work on. How do they react to you and the projects you bring to their table?

Lars: The products are definitely different. That leads the manufactures out of their usual routine, and into something new which is hard for them. I’ve been biting on granite like we say here. Some just don’t want to try things they don’t know about. But on the other side I’ve met many people who really enjoy this young work and are open to changes and experiments. For example Mr. Riedel, the watchmaker who’s helping me on all the watch and jewelry work I do. He’s been one of the first people who’ve put their trust in the work I do and that is really something special here. The industry trusting young artists/designers like it does in the US isn’t the same here. I said it before, you have to be 50 and have grey hair and a suit to be trusted and employed by the big companies here. That’s a really sad thing because it makes it hard for young designers to build their own company.

AC: What’s your favorite project in the Kinkyform catalog?

Lars: That’s a really hard question. I’ve put so much work and energy in every single product and I love them all haha. But if I had to pick I’d take the Opus Duae watch. The watch because it combines the trust of a great man’s work like Mr. Riedel’s with my international collaborative work. In addition to that it contains what I said Kinkyform stands for: Quality and Individuality. Oh and right now I’m personally stoked about my first single handed jewelry release, the Chaos/Order Gear.

AC: I love the motto of quality before quantity. Does your vision of the market involve quality goods becoming more popular with normal people, or do you think it will be limited to the young and fashionable crowd?

Lars: Quality should be something the general crowd should look out for. You have to pay another price for a cheap product and that price is higher than the price you pay for quality. People just need to think about why the products they buy are so cheap. Ask yourself why is that watch so cheap? Because some company in China put that crap together and they made 1 million pieces of that watch. The prices of cheap products come from weak quality standards and 3rd world workers. Why is that H&M shirt so cheap? Because the fabric is crap and some 10-year old kid in Guatemala sewed it. If you buy a high quality product you have to pay for great materials, craftsmanship and durability. Like an old quote from the Gucci family says: “Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten.”

AC: I heard Kanye ordered a BWC Watch. Is that true?

Lars: Haha well… Lupe Fiasco is a close friend of Le Messie (FALSE) with whom I’m working on The Black Watch Company. So the connection between Lupe Fiasco and Kanye could lead to the purchase of a BWC watch, yes.

AC: If you had absolute control over the growth of Kinkyform, where would you place it in 5 years?

Lars: In 5 years, I hope Kinkyform and my other brands will earn me enough money to make a nice living haha. I don’t want it to be a huge office with 42 employees and many parallel projects. I will always keep it small, with a nice range of available products. I also plan to do more consulting work because I see artists / designers / illustrators willing to get their work combined with new manufacturing techniques or products but they just don’t know anything about it or how to do it. I have the resources to help those guys and I’m willing to share it with them. I’ll do that with The Substain, which is my head-brand and portal for such missions.

AC: Do you hope to stay accessible to normal people?

Lars: I will. High quality and limited products are expensive to manufacture, which increases the price, but I’m always doing my best to keep the prices in a reasonable range. I’m definitely trying to make good products more accessible to a wider range of people, but they will still stay limited so everybody needs to hurry and get their share!

AC: Is there anyone you think is overrated?

Lars: I’ve heard D. Savage is overrated but to tell the truth…he’s an amazing visual artist.

AC: Thanks Lars. You’re a great sport.

Lars Amhoff is the founder and brain behind Kinkyform and The Substain. You can see and purchase his work at http://thesubstain.com/ and http://www.kinkyform.com/