TRUCK FURNITURE X STEPHEN KENN X DEUS
I first met Stephen Kenn when we were designing our Venice compound, not only was his clever steel frame and webbing furniture perfect for the space but he was equally as excited talking about motorcycles so was enlisted as a collaborator.
Visitors to our LA Emporium will recognise the beaten-in comfort of the recycled army canvas sofa that graces the cafe. It’s skeletal frame and distinctive webbing distinguish it as perfect example of form meeting function, Stephen did a special charcoal dye on the fabric to compliment the charred cedar shou sugi ban used throughout the building.
When work began designing our Tokyo flagship this year I called Stephen to ask if he was interested in making something for Japan. A parallel discussion was ongoing with Tok from TRUCK furniture in Osaka. We have admired the work and philosophy of TRUCK for a long time and I wanted to do something special with Tok on the Tokyo project. At this stage the idea was floated that perhaps TRUCK and Stephen Kenn (who were mutual friends) could make something together for Deus Tokyo.
Stephen said about the project –
‘ In August of 2014 I was commissioned by Deus Creative Director Carby Tuckwell on a new project; building sofas for the soon to be open Deus Tokyo flagship store. The idea surfaced to extend an invitation to mutual friend and furniture maker Tokuhiko ‘Tok’ Kise of Truck Furniture in Japan to join the project.
Phone calls were made and soon enough Tok and I were working in collaboration. Two like minded craftsmen guided by their own unique design philosophies sharing their wares and knowledge, our designs soon to grace the Deus Tokyo store affectionately known as The Residence of Impermanence. After many discussions over materials and design options, a trading of skins would be initiated. Truck Furniture Boomerang chairs would be covered in my signature reclaimed military fabric. In response my Inheritance Collection sofas were covered in Truck’s signature “dirt” suede and oversized corduroy.
Tok touched down in East Los Angeles to reconnect with us in our hometown. Here we would oversee the final creation of each piece in between exploring the Californian coastline on two vintage Triumph motorcycles loaned from the Deus Venice Store.
This project was a reminder to both of us that design is about more than making things, it’s also about who we meet and learn from along the way. ‘
The sofas made their way across the pacific and are now installed in their new home at the Deus Tokyo flagship.