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Maker Monday: An Aspire Exclusive Interview With Christiaan Bunce

Christiaan Bunce links his work with a passion for new experiences and a devotion to artistic excellence. As a principal designer at KGBL, he crafts luxury modern furniture grounded in simplicity, beauty, and durability. Having grown up in the Midwest, Bunce brings a purity, as witness to unrefined beauty, to his design. Ever committed to quality, Bunce creates while thinking of the experiences his work, as objects in the lives of others, can provide. Introducing this week’s Maker Monday, Christiaan Bunce.

The table centered in the room of this Greenwich residence reflects the inner simplicity of the boundless nature outside.

The table centered in the room of this Greenwich residence reflects the inner simplicity of the boundless nature outside.

Andrew Joseph: If you weren’t a designer, you’d be a …?
Christiaan Bunce: Tugboat Captain… at least I hope I would.

Andrew: What is the last book you read?
Christiaan: Kitchen Confidential. Reread.

Andrew: What are your ideal weekend plans?
Christiaan: Going to my studio early in the a.m. on Saturday when nobody else is there. Playing around with materials. Dreaming about cool new creations. Going for a bike ride around prospect park. Cooking a great meal for my family and some friends. Sipping on a well-made cocktail and hearing about what’s going on in folks’ lives. Having a cup of coffee early on Sunday a.m. in a piping hot coffee mug while sitting on the stoop watching early birds jog by.

Coated unexpectedly in a bright blue, the Johansson cabinet’s body alludes to texture in an alluring myriad of color and natural pattern.

Coated unexpectedly in a bright blue, the Johansson cabinet’s body alludes to texture in an alluring myriad of color and natural pattern.

Andrew: What was your first job?
Christiaan: Detasseling corn. I’m a midwestern kid and grew up near rural and agricultural areas. It’s amazing more kids weren’t hospitalized for heatstroke. There must have been something in the grape soda they kept passing to us.

Andrew: Are you a good cook? If so, what’s your specialty?
Christiaan: I would say I know my way around a kitchen. When I was young, I wanted to be a chef and worked an internship in a restaurant in the French Pyrenees. My daughter says my specialty is being able to cook almost anything without a recipe. She loves my paella and anything pasta. Ah, the joys of being young, having a lightning-quick metabolism, and eating anything and any amount you want.

Andrew: What’s one ingredient you put in everything?
Christiaan: Care.

KGBL’s Zaragosa coffee table grounds the living area of this New York residence as a neutral, aesthetically accessible centerpiece.

KGBL’s Zaragosa coffee table grounds the living area of this New York residence as a neutral, aesthetically accessible centerpiece.

Andrew: What would you like to be remembered for?
Christiaan: My commitment to designing and crafting memorable objects, experiences, food, relationships, as well as my commitment to supporting others who genuinely care for, appreciate, understand, and engage in the sacrifice of that commitment.

Andrew: What are you most proud of?
Christiaan: I’m most proud of my daughter. She is a special person with such an incredibly positive attitude about everything. I feel so blessed she miraculously arose from this ole chunk of Nordic coal.

Andrew: If you had one more hour in the day what would you do with it?
Christiaan: Sleep. I so miss sleeping well.

Andrew: How would you define your work in three words?
Christiaan: Luxurious, Colorful, Direct.


About The Maker | Christiaan Bunce spent his childhood moving around the Midwest. He gained a Master of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Washington and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He then opened his own firm, Christiaan Bunce Design, while teaching sculpture and furniture design at the Pratt Institute.

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