In choosing our featured designers and their modern designs to offer on 212Concept, our mission is to bring you the very best pieces at accessible prices from emerging designers whose designs are evocative of modern iconic classics: aesthetically masterful yet practical, functional and meaningful.
With that in mind, we excitedly bring you the modern furniture design collective of Italian-based Kubikoff. Each of their designs embodies the enduring qualities of a true modern classic while evoking the daring spirit of modern technology, innovation and ingenuity. These very designs are highly indicative of the company’s founders, Matthieu and Gino Lemsons' daring yet reverent approach to modern furniture design and their inspiring story of passion, progress and success.
The Young Brothers meet fate
Their story starts in the early ‘90s with the fateful discovery of an old, forgotten yet fortuitous manuscript from the early 20th century. The brothers had long been interested in the history of furniture and often spent their time looking for relevant antiques, vintage items, drawings and manuscripts. As fate would have it, in a store in the city of Antwerp. Belgium, they found an old manuscript. Intrigued, they bought it immediately. To their delight, they found the manuscript contained drawings and lecture notes in German by one of the pupils of Aleksander Kubikov, a member of modern design’s original school and an early 20th century Russian designer and architect who lived and worked in Moscow.
Kubikov, who had fallen victim to Stalin’s repressive regime, emerged defiantly with furniture designs in wood and metal that boasted bold unusual shapes, controversial abstract forms and functional and purposeful design. His designs were provocative and radically departed from the regime’s imposed cannons of taste. They immediately drew the attention of government officials, who fatally proclaimed him a German spy and enemy of the people, for his refusal, like other creative visionaries of the time, to give up his artistic visions.
While the majority of his futuristic designs most likely died with him or remain lost, a few fortuitously made their way out of Russia in the form of the brother’s found manuscript with Kubikov’s original calculations, drawings, graphics and engineering notes. The Lemsons' knew the value of the knowledge they possessed, intently studying Kubikov’s manuscript in detail. They soon began creating test samples and prototypes of furniture based on the designs. Their profound experience fostered the passion and spirit they would draw from during the coming years.
Kubo 4 Seater Sofa by Gino Lemson for Kubikoff
Destined for success
Building on Kubikov’s visionary modern designs, the innately talented, forward thinking brothers, then just 17 and 19, had a shared vision of creating a versatile modular sofa with hip aesthetics they would offer at an affordable price point. To produce their design, they opened a furniture shop, GM Living Style, in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. It was there that Gino set about creating prototypes of his own modern seating designs. The duo’s first envisioned sofa became a huge hit and they soon began opening shop after shop across Rotterdam.
Propelled by their initial accomplishments, Matthieu and Gino founded their first furniture factory, Neuvo, to create a line of upholstered seating. Their factory and the pieces they produced, such as Gino’s bestselling “Piaceri” model, were monumentally successful.
They became quite popular with Italian companies and were drawn to Tuscany in 2004, where they established what is now their most distinctive and well-known brand ‘Kubikoff srl’, duly named for their revered teacher and fateful muse. (In the confusion of the move, sadly they lost the container which held the manuscripts and hold out hope they will be returned one day.)
Emerging designers discover Kubikoff
Just two years later, at the Milan Furniture Show, while showcasing their inventive and dynamic products, they gained the attention of other entrepreneurial furniture designers from all over the globe. Thus began their highly successful collaboration with brilliant young designers like Ruud Bos, Jutta Friedrichs, Sander Mulder, and Stolt Designs.
The landmark Angel Armchair by Ruud Bos
The Mies Dining Table design by Gino Lemeson
Slice Chair by Sander Mulder for Kubikoff
The Diamond Barstool by Stolt Design and Kubikoff
The Bitter-Sweet Sofa by Jutta Friedrichs
The fruits of their collective efforts are found in Kubikoff’s stunning modern furniture designs of polycarbonate, metal and wood materials masterfully transformed into versatile, functional and highly aesthetic reinterpretations of the iconic classics of Mies Van der Rohe, Eero Saarinen and the Eames’ to name a few. These designs have given birth to a new breed of modern furniture which they have made widely available to many modern design enthusiasts through affordability.
13 in twenty thirteen
In 2013, the Brothers Lemsons have the design world on notice with their ever-growing, captivating presence in the very world they are helping to shape, define and create. In their annual edition of the Kubikoff magazine, they offer a heartfelt message of new beginnings and endless possibilities.
“The year of the adverse Mayan prophecy being past and gone, a new era opens before us. 13 is going to be the name of our work for twenty thirteen, where the desire to grow, make interesting plans and implement our personal idea of design, DESIGN WITHIN REACH, IN STOCK AND READY TO SHIP, has led us to place a bet also on new languages and stimulating conversations with contemporary art.
This is the spirit that underlies our new collaboration with the artist Ivana Volpe and our renewed cooperation with Sander Mulder, Stolt Design and the other designers with whom we have been collaborating for quite some time. We look at the near future with optimism and passion, in the certainty that building an idea of a comfortable, attractive and accessible design is leading us in the right direction.
With a bit of luck.
Matthieu and Gino Lemsons
S Wire Chair Prototype by Jan Plechác
While they note they are firmly holding true to Kubikov’s original design philosophy and visionary designs, the Lemsons are forging their own courageous path and building a fast emerging furniture brand and wildly popular design identity.
We can’t wait to see what the Lemsons and their dynamic Kubikoff design collective have in store for us next.