Kiel Mead's Dual Designs

Kiel Mead has his cake and eats it too. While studying at Pratt, Mead absorbed the experimental and off-beat sensibilities of his fellow Brooklyn artists, but refused to pick a single craft through which to channel this inspiration. Instead, Mead splits his time between furniture and accessories design.

When it comes to jewelry, Mead looks to the mundane for inspiration—his first venture into jewelry design came from bending car keys until they reached just the shape he wanted. Despite several failed efforts, he eventually perfected the process, creating something aesthetically pleasing out of a purely functional item. The finished product was produced for Brooklyn boutique Future Perfect, thereby giving birth to Mead’s eponymous label.

Even his latest designs continue this theme of the familiar turned unfamiliar. Standout pieces include a retainer necklace and decorative chewing gum pendants. The bestselling “Forget Me Not” rings are made from string bows seemingly suspended in metal, made in a range of colors in addition to the standard silver and gold.

These accessories sit happily alongside Mead’s furniture, where the former’s quirky aesthetic gives way to a more clean and simple approach. In fact, Mead’s range of chairs owes more to modernist Danish design than anything else—least of all daily ephemera. The furniture making process is time-consuming in terms of planning and production, but each finished product is a testament to Mead’s versatility as a designer.

Currently selling his work at the likes of Steve Alan, ODIN, Built by Wendy and MOMA, Mead is also a founding member of creative community the American Design Club.

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—Lena Dystant

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