In this case, the task is furniture design. “I first learned about synesthesia when reading about Mozart” says industrial designer Ken Reinhard. “Mozart is said to have composed music
using all his senses. That is how I design.”
This philosophy works. Reinhard’s award-winning designs are distinguished by their simplicity, timeless elegance and crisp contemporary lines. His designs are manufactured by many of the most well-known producers of contract and health care furniture in the United States.
Reinhard’s work has been widely recognized. His designs have won three “Best of Neocon” awards along with Interior Design’s “Best of Year” award.
Inspiration for his work comes from nature, ancient architecture, travel and looking out the window of his studio. It is not inconsequential that the view from his studio takes in the beauties of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay. A two-acre property at the
water’s edge is home, studio and prototype workshop.
But the real impetus for design comes from the sensory input of Reinhard’s hands. Every stage of the design is done by hand. From initial sketches to refined scale models and final prototypes, “I like to feel directly how the materials are responding.”
Reinhard received degrees from Kendall College of Art and Design and Michigan State University where he graduated with honors majoring in Industrial Design. In each consecutive job after graduation, he explored unique segments of the contract furniture market building a rich understanding of the industry.
In the early 1970s, he gathered all of his
experience and much of his nerve and established Ken Reinhard Design Associates.
Today, Reinhard combines knowledge of leading-edge manufacturing technology with a timeless sense of design and craftsmanship. The results speak for themselves. “Ultimately, the materials
tell me what they want to be,” he says with characteristic modesty.
In addition to his primary work as a furniture designer, Reinhard continues his quest to create objects of beauty and function using his hands as a maker working with clay and stained glass.
Please visit the Personal Work category to see some examples of his recent efforts using both of these materials.
“A successful design allows the materials to reveal their best faces in service to the human form.”
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