Taking some of the most traditional architectural materials such as wood and concrete and transforming them into warm, peaceful accents for home has been Kyle Comeaux's pursuit as a designer. Like monoliths, each of Komolab's designs takes bold precedence in their environment, giving them a sense of peace and wisdom. The designs are stunning sculptures that playing with the dominance of each material, and their contrasting nature. Kyle gives us a peak at his world and passion for craftsmanship and minimal elegance.
Hi! Komolab, tell us a little bit about the company and the founders.
While getting close to graduating from architecture school, I started working for a company producing detailed drawings for cabinets and other types of millwork. We had large commercial projects like hospitals, banks, schools, etc., so the work was very tedious. Since the product was manufactured in-house, I could literally watch what I drew come to life. I hated my desk job, but the production part of it was interesting to me. I think this made me want to start crafting my own ideas.
I’d always had ideas for items and furnishings while in design school but living in apartments kept that from happening. Then my fiancé and I moved in together in a house where I could use half the garage. I had one $100 saw that my dad gave me, so I built a table, then started experimenting with ideas on that table.
What drew you to focus on wood and concrete as your main materials?
Architecture, most likely. Those two materials are so basic and used everywhere for their functions. But when you see them presented together architecturally, they come alive by how they are arranged. I’m attracted to the juxtaposition of them, not just visually, but in how concrete has a feeling of being more permanent than wood and thus making the wood feel more alive.
What does your creative process look like?
Usually very random. It happens in different ways. An idea might happen spontaneously, and I’ll write it down as a reminder to work on later. Then I may see that reminder days later and realize it wasn’t as great as I thought! If I’m excited enough about it, I'll develop the concept on sketch paper until it's at a point where I can begin figuring out details on the computer, before spending too much time making the idea come to life though. It's important to spend time visualizing alongside the existing Komolab collection.
What makes a Komolab product?
A bold presence.
What should people know about concrete?
It’s actually sustainable.
What is your favorite part of making a product?
If it’s a new product; that moment when a problem leads to a solution you wouldn’t have thought of.
What are some of the setbacks or challenges you have faced?
In the early beginnings, working in a very tight space. -And doing so ‘after’ my full-time job back then. I would get off at 5 pm, then work on Komolab stuff until going to sleep.
What do you hope customers experience when they use your products?
Satisfaction. I know that sounds obvious. I want them to be satisfied with how the product exists in their space. Everything exists the way that it does because of the context.
What product can't you leave home without?
Depends where I’m going or course. My favorite places to go are anywhere that causes me to pack my Nikon though.
What music sets the creative tone at the office?
Lately, I’ve been listening to playlists on YouTube under the search “lo-fi beats”. If you need your brain to relax and focus, try it! I’ve always been a Radiohead fan also for setting the creative tone. Anything from late Radiohead or Thom York solo albums gets my creative energy really high.
A brand not related to your market that you admire
Porsche. I’m not even a car-person at all. I just love how they created the 911 in a way that never goes out of style. It’s a timeless machine even from the 70s.
What is the vision for your brand in the next years to come?
I will soon be remodeling a house that has been in my family for around 100 years. It’s located in a rural area surrounded by sugar cane fields. On that same property, I will be building my permanent workplace/shop. I’m planning to grow from here by evolving and adding to the current collection of products and spending more time on unique custom furniture, and developing aesthetics within the larger pieces of work. Also, I would like to begin utilizing more local craftspeople for their skills in specific materials like steel and upholstery by outsourcing certain parts of the building process.
A brand not related to your market that you admire
I've checked out some of the other brands, and it's always great to be introduced to new creatives. It's like having a curated database of artists and designers that I have available to connect with.
Some of Komolab products
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