The return to sustainable, natural materials and organic design has been manifesting itself for a while and still continues. It is an evolution that designer Inge Lagae looks at with great enthusiasm. Under the slogan ‘Timeless beauty to pass on’, she creates timeless furniture pieces that converge in her young collection Kāna Objects:
With her designs, Inge Lagae wants to get away from the idea of a consumer society, where trends follow each other quickly and the environment is often the last aspect that is considered. For years, she has been creating bespoke furniture for residential projects, because existing brands did not always offer what she needed. There was always an issue with the size, colour, or finish, and the best solution appeared to create her own designs. A selection of those was recently moulded into a small, exclusive collection, and Kāna Objects was born. The brand focuses on architects and interior designers and offers a wide range of sizes and designs and even customisation.
Focus on aesthetics
This collection did not just come about, but was preceded by many years of experience and a great love of design. As a child, Lagae was already very interested in design. Creativity was not only stimulated at home, but also at her primary school. The designer has fond mem-ories of one of her teachers, a very artistic man who taught her how to make ceramics, paint, and write plays.
It was through him that she joined studio Greta Bruggeman as a ten-year-old, where they made artful puppets and designed the set for a puppet theatre. Lagae immediately understood that this was what she wanted to do. After that, she studied set design, lived in Brussels for a while, and left shortly after to live in Indonesia. There, she worked for herself and a number of Brussels antique dealers. Upon her return in Belgium, she combined interior design with freelance jobs in the architecture and furniture industry. Her path crossed that of architect-artist Ola-dele Kuku, which meant the start of a beautiful collaboration. For eight years, they worked together on the realisation of his Opera Domestica project, and they were also given private commissions.
In 2005, she went her own way again and started designing customised furniture. Her designs were already being displayed at diverse international fairs, such as the Belgian Collectible Design Fair, Design September, and The Salonny in New York. This interesting trajectory eventually led to Kāna Objects, which offers timeless, high-quality furniture pieces that can be passed on for generations. One thing that immediately strikes you, is that Lagae loves to work with organic materials. ‘Wood is my favourite material,’ she tells us. ‘I am a nature lover and have a soft spot for trees.’
The designer therefore selects the wood at the tree sawmill herself. She also checks its processing before the material leaves for the furniture maker. The latter makes all pieces by hand. The wood is heavily and often manually brushed or sandblasted, because the rougher it is, the better it combines with the clean lines of the designs. The designer is also a fan of elegant types of natural stone such as marble and travertine. In general, she has a penchant for colours that are difficult to define. Natural shades are often her preference thanks to their many interesting gradations. Think, for example, of bog oak, silver oak, and smoked oak. Lagae explains that while designing, she does not think like a product developer, but puts her creative ideas on paper and leaves the diffi-culty of construction to the furniture mak-er. Unsurprisingly, every piece therefore becomes a new challenge, because designs are not made in function of their economical or technical feasibility, but mostly with an eye for aesthetic aspects. It is that difficulty that makes this collection stand out. Because they are adorned by a certain simplicity, the designs will fit into many interiors. Each piece stands on its own and does not need a certain context or style. Both in classic mansions as well as in sleek interiors and rustic, eclectic homes, her designs have already been used, and they always find their place. This diversity contributes to the sustainability of the objects, because it means that they can be easily passed on and integrated into another interior.
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