fruitsuper is a Seattle based design studio founded in 2008 by Sallyann Corn and Joe Kent. Partners in business and life, our collaboration is a balance of our complementary skill sets; she is the why, he is the how. Celebrants of constraints, obsessive over details, and dedicated to quality, fruitsuper focuses on creating elevated everyday objects. Our collection is designed with intent and integrity, crafted for living, and always American made.
While earning our first Industrial Design Degrees in 2002, we quickly realized the strength in our combined talents. We later went on to Pratt Institute to pursue our interests in entrepreneurship. During this time we spent a summer studying in Copenhagen, which greatly impacted our approach to honest materiality and appreciation of straightforward design. With a never ending thirst for creative challenges, we also currently teach Design at Cornish College of the Arts and are Managing Members of JOIN Design.
You will often find us scheming, dreaming, and drawing over cocktails or lost behind a teetering pile of books. We believe in surrounding yourself with things that you love and that every object has a story to tell. Our products, your story.
Q: What does BALANCE mean to you when you think about design?
SC + JK: That’s a word we’ve been discussing at great length recently. As creatives, we often discuss and debate the idea of the work/life balance. This idea has always left us a bit perplexed—as our work is so integral to our lives. Our work is our passion and raison d’etre, not just our livelihood. So it has always felt strange to want to push that aside in order to balance our life with our work. During two recent refueling trips (one to Los Angeles to visit the Eames House and one to Marfa to visit Donald Judd’s studios) we realized we were not alone in our thinking. And were instead reminded that the balance of a creative life is not in life and work, but in active and rest. Or in seeking and release, balancing times of respite with flurries of activity. This is the balance we seek in our practice. This simple mindset shift has released us from feelings of guilt when we’re overactive and taught us to know when to create opportunities for daydreaming.
Q: What do you predict is going to be BIG in 2019 in terms of design?
SC + JK: Simplicity; in spaces, in objects, in interactions. We believe we’re all seeking practical and honest realness.
Q: How do you explain what you do for a living?
SC + JK: We design for the everyday.
Q: What are your go-tos for when you’re seeking inspiration?
SC + JK: Books, museums, travel. Getting lost in the library stacks and pages of a good book will always be our go-to for inspiration. Museums (especially cultural and historical) leave us giddy with knowledge and creative energy. And travel as a reminder that beauty surrounds us everywhere with everything.
Q: Tell us about a project that you worked on that you are most proud of
SC + JK: Our current gallery exhibition (Solids and Voids at studio e gallery in Georgetown) pushed us out of our daily comfort zones and forced us to explore our own creative boundaries. This collection of works introduced new constraints and materiality experiments. We’re super proud of this new body of work and look forward to diving even deeper into these new realms.
Q: If you were to give a TED talk, what would it be about?
SC + JK: Visual literacy.
Q: If you could sum up your outlook on life in a bumper sticker, what would it say?
SC + JK: SEEK
PLUS, don’t miss fruitsuper at the ByDesign 2019 Pop Up Shop, March 16 & 17, 2pm – 7:30pm both days! More info at bit.ly/nwbydesign.