In addition to furniture design and production, the studio jointly owned by Norbert Juhász and Péter Nagy accepts also custom orders. In their work they primarily strive for functionality, employing simple forms, while their creative attitude is rooted in the Bauhaus and Scandinavian intellectual trends that defined the 20th century.
Please describe the brand in a few sentences.
On the one hand, Komok is a furniture brand, where we develop our own range of products together with Hungarian designers, and, on the other hand, it is a furniture design and production studio, where we fulfil individual orders, be it for built-in furniture, a custom dining table or even the complete furnishing of an apartment. We seek to bring together as many different skills as possible, which explains why we have also developed close relationships with designers, manufacturers and small manufactories over the past few years.
Who do you collaborate with most often?
The most exciting requests so far have almost always come from professionals—architects, interior designers, designers. This is probably because they are the ones who have a deeper understanding and perhaps a better appreciation of the attitude we represent, given that we are not just designers and not just builders, but more like a link between the two. Our projects cover a fairly broad spectrum. We have created small-series furniture, custom solid wood furniture and more classic built-in furniture.
What are the projects that particularly capture your imagination?
I’m always most interested in the latest projects in progress. Last year’s projects include the production design and manufacture of the Onyx chair, furniture for Urba’s office in Vienna, and the custom solid wood pieces for a private home in Budapest.
You have adopted a unique working method. What exactly does that involve?
The triad of COMmunication, COMbination and COMposition is the best way to describe our work, as our name also suggests. These three words sum it up perfectly. Komok acts as a bridge between the drawing board and the workshop table: we understand the designers’ requests, needs and visual concepts, because we ourselves are architects by training. We also have in-depth knowledge of manufacturing options, different technologies and materials. This role of an interpreter is always of paramount importance, and is perhaps what is most recognised in our work. The words ‘combination’ and ‘composition’ accurately describe how we think in the actual design phase: we start from available materials and technologies, combine them and compose them into a visually interesting and functional piece of furniture.
What challenges does responsible operation pose to you?
It is one of the primary aspects of our work, although it is often one of the biggest challenges, too. Today, it is difficult to run a business in a way to ensure that the product itself represents value, every element of its creation results from responsible decision-making, and the business also makes good economic sense. Unfortunately, environmental sustainability is still a luxury, given that mass-produced laminate plastic, for example, costs a fraction of the price of veneered or solid wood panels. At the same time, we are regularly faced with a lack of information, too. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to trace with absolute certainty where a given material comes from, how it has been processed and what chemicals have been used in its production. That is not very helpful for making responsible choices.
You regularly work with representatives of similar trades. What is attractive about these collaborations?
We really like these collaborations, they usually result in the best and most exciting projects. We also get to make better use of our knowledge because we can create in an intelligent environment, not to mention that each project provides us with many lessons to learn, which also helps our development.
How are you preparing for the Open Studios programme?
We’re excited because after several relocations, we’re finally able to set up our office and workshop in the same place, which we’d like to show to the public during an open day. We are planning a kind of educational event, where we will talk about the complex work that goes on here, the production processes, and we will also have a glimpse into the world of different materials, technologies and practical solutions.