"Everything around us was once designed".

Interview with designer Stephen Kenn about vintage in the modern look.

Designer Stephen Kenn is known for his minimalistic, puristic work. His philosophy: authentic vintage materials with a modern design style. The Californian's "Inheritance Collection" demonstrates particularly impressively how he reduces simple seating furniture down and then stylishly combines it with high-quality vintage materials. Because he is convinced: good design should have the simplest and most functional form and the materials used should carry history and the past into the here and now.

Stephen, did you always want to be a designer?
No, this career desire actually developed over the course of time. In the beginning, my ideas were still limited to home-sewn t-shirts and then jeans. After that I began to develop bags. In the meantime, I dreamt about designing furniture. I hope to be able to take on architectural and artistic projects one day as well.
What do you like most about your profession?
I love to design! "Everything around us was once designed". I see the interaction between humans and products as a conversation between culture and the world. If someone has created a product or a piece of art, it will exist for a long time, even after the designer has passed away. Future generations will talk about what we created when discussing our epoch.
Where do you find the inspiration for your work?
I always ask myself the question: how can I solve this problem? I don't see problems as a bad thing, but rather as a source of inspiration. I love thinking about simple everyday problems. At the moment, I am considering an extendable dining table and am hugely looking forward to presenting it in May at the international fair for contemporary furniture in New York.
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Are you ever afraid of not being able to solve problems?
My best work comes about when I forget my fear of failing and take risks in order to bring wonderful objects into being. When I am designing, it feels like everything is possible.
Sounds like the ultimate freedom.
Freedom is a great word. It perfectly describes the feeling I have when I am sitting on the R nineT Scrambler. In my work and life, there are several things which are about this feeling of freedom when riding a motorcycle.
How did you come to riding motorcycles?
My wife actually got me into motorcycles and was the reason I bought my first bike: a 1975 Honda 360 Café Style. At the time, I had to find out the hard way everything that can go wrong with a vintage motorcycle. I wanted to take on several repairs myself, and in doing so I met loads of new people in Los Angeles. Many of them are still good friends today. So with motorcycles and motorcycling for me, it's about the community around riding.
Where has your motorcycle taken you already?
Last September, my wife and I rode for five days on a BMW 700 GS through the Scottish highlands. I have never seen anything so beautiful.
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What is the next destination?
We were thinking about flying to Australia in autumn and are really hoping to be able to ride BMW motorcycles there again. I have ridden through the Rocky Mountains several times, but have always dreamed of crossing the Pass with a motorcycle.
What does a perfect day on an R nineT Scrambler look like for you?
Ideally, I get up mega early, pack some food and make my way to the coast on the R nineT Scrambler. At lunchtime, I ride towards the Canyons and look for a brilliant look-out point for a little picnic. After that I ride along the coast on the Pacific Coast Highway. I love this route.
What does motorcycling mean to you personally?
Being in a position to try yourself out and become inspired. Both at the same time.
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Design studio.

Design studio.

Together with his wife, Stephen Kenn has been running his own design studio in Los Angeles since 2011. Here, he is mostly developing furniture and leather products. Driven by his curiosity, he plays with shapes and materials in order to reduce objects down to the minimum. He prefers to get his inspiration outside of riding motorcycles.

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He views each of his design projects as an experiment. The search for new materials, shapes and processes is always right at the beginning. And so is the search for a meaningful history. This is how functional objects with modern shapes and high-quality materials come about – all "Made in Downtown L.A."

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Honest. Untamed. Air-cooled.

Feel the wind, lean into every corner and experience the freedom in every metre you ride – the BMW R nineT Scrambler lets you be who you are. Tough, unconventional, and against established standards, it goes where you want. Made for everyone who wants their bike to be pure, minimalistic and break all the rules.

About the R nine T Scrambler

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