Joe Munson is the rare artist who brings to every project a perfect blend of daring design, mechanical ingenuity and finely finished fabrication – from lustrous aluminum furniture to spectacular transforming glass walls. Part artist and part engineer, Munson is known for his minimalistic aesthetic and intensive, perfectionistic approach to craftsmanship. Using the most durable mediums, Munson’s designs are built to last.
“Our studio produces functional art pieces. Every detail must be precisely choreographed into a beautiful form to fully define a physical space.”
Playing Against Type
Joe Munson’s prototype furniture and craftwork defies mass-market demand and invites attention from an audience informed by design. A scarlet carpet cuts across the sidewalk at 1803 Wyandotte and leads guests into the first floor of W Lofts, where furniture designer and fabricator Joe Munson hosts what he has named, “Prototype2.” The private exhibition, held March 2013, displays ten original works by Munson, road-trip inspired photography by Bob Greenspan and a sleek drink cart designed by Chris Fein of Forward Design | Architecture…
Born in Kansas City, Mo., Munson was raised with an intensive Midwest work ethic. His aesthetic point-of-view was greatly influenced while attending The American Academy in London and traveling throughout Europe. In NYC, Munson’s design and fabrication work transformed a broad spectrum of Manhattan real estate, including work stations for Weiden & Kennedy Advertising, high-end displays for the flagship Swatch Store, fixtures for the Wolff Shoe showroom, and interiors for New York’s chic bars and restaurants, including the Sapphire Lounge. He has collaborated on diverse projects with renowned design teams across the country, from Gluckman Mayner Architects in New York to Exhibit group Giltspur in Dallas where he led the company’s design and installation of retail kiosks for the nationwide rollout of LEGO stores.
In 2006, Munson returned to his Midwest roots and opened Sukhoi, a design firm in Kansas City’s Creative Crossroads District. Sukhoi was recognized internationally for its sleek, award-winning Series One furniture line. In 2009, Joe launched Joe Munson Studios to focus on custom pieces for corporate, cultural, commercial and residential environments. Munson currently also serves as a guest lecturer on furniture design at Kansas State University’s College of Architecture, Planning and Development.
Joe has the ability to address quality, design and functionality with ease. He cares about every detail of the project and the process. For our projects, there is no one else in the KC area with his skill set and overall passion to create aesthetic, custom work.
What I like the most about Joe is his level of detail and his work ethic. He is obviously a very talented designer and fabricator but putting something on paper and actually getting it to its completed state is something that, in my experience, many artists can't do, or if they do, it's not on time. He is able to stay on task, plan in advance and deliver a product that is exactly, or better, then what he promised. He is always intensely focused on his work. He lives and breathes it. That level of interest and commitment shows in his designs and in his finished product.
Joe's attention to detail and craft are the most important aspects to his work. He is very adaptable aesthetically. With Joe its always top notch.
Joe is the only designer I know who can take a big idea and create it into something even better than you could have imagined. All aspects of the process from design to complete installation are innovative. The way he thinks is incredible – he is an inventor. Joe’s brain is a perfect balance of right and left. His creativity and design aesthetic are seamlessly supplemented by his ability to integrate the technical engineering that separates his pieces from the rest. Not to mention, Joe is a pleasure to work with every step of the process. Anyone lucky enough to have a Joe Munson design in their project will understand his impact on the entirety of a project.
Joe has a talent for making something look beautiful by keeping it simple, while making it work for daily human use. I've met many brilliant designers, architects, artists, craftsmen, and builders from all over the world. I haven't met any that can be all of these. So often today's professionals are one dimensional or very specialized . . . Joe's experience with all of these trades afford him to truly think outside of the traditional realm and create something unique and functional. I also admire his dedication to getting the most out of a project. I often cave into budget, time or level of difficulty, but Joe refuses to sacrifice. I swear he doesn't know the definition of the word difficult. I could go on and on and on.