Name: Misha Kahn
Current projects: Right now I’m producing a series of lamps for a room made by Bjarne Melgaard for the Whitney Biennial.
Mission: I think that, especially in the U.S., we have such a rigid aesthetic view of how things get built and constructed, and it can be very constraining. So I’m hoping to help infuse the material culture with a little more looseness and an easier, more accessible way of making things.
Above: Misha Kahn. Top image: Kahn’s Neon Table
Kahn’s Pig Bench, made with urethane resin and layers of trash
When did you decide that you wanted to be a designer? I think, for most people, you kind of stumble into it, because there’s not much else that you could be. I dabbled in a lot of things. As a kid, I liked to make Claymation films, with lots of miniature furniture. I also like making clothes a lot, and I segued into making furniture at school. For me, furniture is a really nice scale to work on. You can make it by yourself or with a few people—it’s kind of the largest thing that’s possible to realize in a very tangible way.
Education: I mostly went to RISD—that’s where I got my furniture degree. I also did a Fulbright right after school and took some classes at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design.
First design job: My first internship was doing windows at Bergdorf’s, which I think had a weird amount of influence on me.
Who is your design hero? I promised my roommate/partner-in-crime Katie Stout that I would say it’s her. We’re both working in a similar vein, so it’s very consoling that there’s someone else who sees things in much the same way.
A table from Kahn’s Geometric Figures and Solids series