Wrap Your Arms Around Me 2016

kinder MODERN, in an innovative PULSE prize nominated exhibition blending the lines of art and design, commissioned dynamic design team Chen Chen & Kai Williams to investigate the lasting legacy of historical child design through their ingenious material-based contemporary lens. Using innovative manufacturing approaches, the duo explores the physical connection between the past and the present, examining and reinterpreting the joinery found in child design of the twentieth century.

In these two contrasting collections of one-of-a-kind studio prototypes, Chen and Williams manipulate two completely different materials: hard, single sheet fiberglass and soft, multi-layered compressed homasote. Through these unique functional furniture series the intricate joinery is thrown into stark relief, inviting the viewer to more deeply investigate these often overlooked details and, most importantly, contemplate the future of child design. Chen and Williams have seamlessly melded iconic details and contemporary flair in these heirlooms for a new generation, asking us to consider art, design, history, influence, and pedagogy all while enjoying the functional and historical references in this series of chairs, shelving and storage.

Chen Chen and Kai Williams for kinder MODERN was inspired by traditional modernist design education, which began in the post-kindergarten era, as avant-garde designers created new forms in furniture and toys, hoping to stimulate imaginations and create the society of the future by playing with line, plane, and volume. Additionally, their own formal training at the prestigious Pratt Institute, their daily studio experimentation practice, and Williams parents' original production of a homasote chair for a museum show on design for living all influenced the collection directly. With this experimental collection of their own, Chen and Williams expose and examine the original handcraft and distinct forms that have shaped the material world of today’s child.

kinder MODERN is thrilled to engage, support, and motivate these illuminations in design for our youngest generation and the families who love them.



















Wrap Your Arms Around Me was a collaborative exhibition of historic and contemporary children’s furniture and design presented by kinder MODERN and Miami’s Nina Johnson Gallery (formerly Gallery Diet). Wrap Your Arms Around Me examined the ways in which children, small in size, but large in our lives, are both literally and metaphorically embraced, contained, and surrounded by the objects and people they encounter. Contemporary design by acclaimed international designers Katie Stout (USA), Lucas Maassen (Netherlands), Sarit Shani Hay (Israel), and Philippe Nacson (France) were displayed alongside pieces of historical significance from the 1940s to the 1980s by ADO (Netherlands), Eero Aarnio (Finland), Henner Kuckuck (Germany), and more. Both the contemporary and vintage design served to explore and engender dialogue about the place of the child's body in the world. 

Nina Johnson Gallery also commissioned Miami-based painter and MANA Wynwood artist-in-residence Michael Clifford to create a series of paintings exploring the themes and formal principals investigated in the exhibition. The paintings shown were produced in dialogue with the expressive, gestural, often naive-like qualities that are a relished quality of childhood. New York City-based artist and Yale MFA graduate Nate Heiges exhibited a recent body of large works on paper inspired by language. Heiges' series explored memory, nostalgia, and repression in its layering and texture. His work is included in the permanent collection of The Drawing Center, New York; this was his first exhibition in Miami.


Wanted design 2016

At Wanted Design 2016, kM presented the best new ideas in international child design with work by Philippe Nacson (France), Alexander Kanygin (Russia), Michael Yates (USA), Dan Michalik (USA), Mexa (Mexico), and more. kM also presented outstanding European furniture and objects from Elements Optimal, XO, Zieta, and Kotona. The all-contemporary exhibition was a unique blend of kinder MODERN’s continued efforts to highlight ground-breaking design for children and the family home, and to incorporate fantasy and function into the creation of celebrated heirlooms for future generations.



kinder MODERN presented a life-size interactive game of “design chess” at Sight Unseen OFFSITE 2016, featuring a bespoke kinder GROUND geometric carpet as the game board and child design "chess chairs” by prominent and emerging furniture designers from around the world, including Matthew Sullivan (AQQ Design), WINTERCHECK FACTORY®, Matthew Yates, Mexa, and more. Child design goes far beyond furniture for the under-12 set and this conceptual exhibition of high design illuminated the fantasy, form, and play essential to this unique design niche. With design greats and some of the best (little) players in the city tackling the game, kinder MODERN encouraged design as sport, breaking all rules and expectations.


PULSE New York

kinder MODERN’s exhibition of The Chair Affair at PULSE New York (March 2016) was the US debut of this thought-provoking photo series, examining physicality and sexual desire through stunning prints and sculpture. A collaborative project by artist Margriet Craens and designer Lucas Maassen, the project was both an expression of both their own intimate relationship and their artistic exploration of the implied intimacy of every day objects. kinder MODERN was thrilled to present this provocative art and design project, as part of the gallery’s dedication to the complex visual and functional narrative of family, as well as the physical space in which a family lives and functions. Family extends far beyond the rooms we share with our partners, our parents, our children, and our lovers and this exhibition aims to engender a stimulating dialogue about the dynamic intersections between love, design, relationships, and value.



At the Architectural Digest Design Show in March 2016, kinder MODERN presented the best new work in child design with pieces by Philippe Nacson, Michael Yates, WINTERCHECK FACTORY®, Dan Michalik Furniture Designkinder GROUND, Mexashop, Lawrence Slater, Fortmakers, and Zieta. Returning kinder MODERN designers included Matthew SullivanElements Optimal, Visser + Meijwaard, Erik Nystrom, Lucas Maassen & Sons, and Michael Garman. kinder’s first ever all contemporary show was a unique blend of fantasy and function, playfully celebrating the cherished objects our children use every day with innovative materiality and ground-breaking interpretations.


ICFF 2014 & IDS 2015


kinder MODERN’s design lab, kinder STUDIO, celebrated the US launch of its premiere product line, kinder GROUND, at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) 2014 in New York City and its international launch at the Interior Design Show (IDS) 2015 in Toronto, Canada. kG’s first collection of vibrant geometric modular carpet received enthusiastic critical praise and industry awards at both shows, including the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Top Shelf design award for flooring at ICFF and a Designlines Loves commendation at IDS.

kinder GROUND is currently available in our NYC Showroom and at Y & Co Carpet & Textile in Toronto, Canada. kinder GROUND can also be found online at 1stDibs and 2Modern



kinder MODERN launched at the inaugural Collective Design fair in New York City in 2013. The exhibition included historical vintage pieces from prominent mid-century European designers, including Max Bill, Ernest Igl, and Hans Wegner. kM also collaborated with two contemporary designers, Lucas Maassen and Matthew Sullivan, whose unique perspectives completed this one-of-a-kind exhibition on child design.

kM’s second Collective show, in 2014, deepened the exploration into international child design throughout the 20th century, featuring an eclectic, yet cohesive, range of historical vintage pieces by designers such as Alvar Aalto, Arturo Pani, Karin Mobring, H.T. Huang, and Ko Verzuu

kM’s 2015 Collective exhibition highlighted a series of international contemporary designers, including Material Lust, Lucas Maassen, Matthew Sullivan / AQQ Design, Guillaumit, and kinder STUDIO. The exhibition also included kM’s first gallery collaboration, with Berlin gallery Jochum Rodgers, featuring a limited edition piece by the Swiss architect and designer Clemens Tissi. All three shows received extensive critical acclaim and were featured in Wallpaper*Vogue LivingArchitectural Digest, and more.