biography

Furniture designer and educator Scott Klinker heads the graduate 3D design program at the renowned Cranbrook Academy of Art as Designer-in-Residence, where he also received his MFA in 1996. His work there builds on the Cranbrook tradition of modern design - searching for new forms to address our changing needs. In line with Cranbrook's tradition of integrating Design, Art and Craft, he believes that the best forms are not conceived in the mind, but discovered with the hands. While trained as an industrial designer, Scott’s primary inspirations come from the world of architecture and sculpture. His approach is driven by an interest in scale, proportion and furniture's connection to a space.

After years of designing in larger corporate contexts - as an in-house designer at Ericsson, and as senior staff at IDEO exploring advanced concepts for Steelcase - Klinker ventured to Japan in 1999 to lead a product design program at the Kanazawa International Design Institute and founded his independent studio, Scott Klinker Product Design to develop licensed designs for furniture, household goods and toys. He moved his practice to Cranbrook in 2001 and began to build partnerships with small, design-driven companies that shared his fascination with new materials, digital fabrication, modular systems, and new typologies for live/work environments. In 2004, Scott’s Spaceframe Builder’s Kit for Offi & Co. was selected by Fortune magazine as one of the top 25 products of the year. In 2006, he was featured as one of Newsweek’s annual ‘Design Dozen’ selection of best new designers. In 2009, he launched the Mix Modern Collection with a major Michigan-based retailer. In 2012, Scott completed a new product with Alessi, the Italian 'Design Factory', and led a collaborative project between Cranbrook and Herman Miller that earned the 'Best School' award at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in NYC. Scott has also curated design exhibitions in Kanazawa, Chicago, Detroit, New York and Milan. As an active agent in education, culture and commerce, Scott is building new works, connections and discussions to inspire design culture in America and abroad.