What one writes down, the other completes or corrects. There is a great dynamic between the two of them, owing to which their roles fulfilled in their work together also evolve organically and evidently. Even though the objects they design are manufactured in Ada by local craftsmen, Adrienn Király and Bálint Szalai live in a small apartment in Budakeszi, and this is where they build their new brand, itthon., too.
Bálint | Even though not in the same year, but both of us attended the Design BA course at MOME. This is where we first met, we also worked on a school project together. But I already remember Adri from the entrance exam.
Adri | Then both of us suspended our studies at MOME for either internships abroad or to study elsewhere, and finally became classmates on the MA course. This was when we got to know each other better and we were already living together during the last year.
Bálint | So we have been working at the same table for some time now, but we had also influenced the other’s projects already before that, and since the summer we have been designing together and building our brand under the name itthon.
Adri | Our home in Budakeszi is also our studio at the same time. Because of itthon., we frequently go to Ada to the craftsmen and of course to Bálint’s family—in this case both our home and the office is there. Over the past years we moved a lot, often abroad, and so we were forced to adapt to this nomadic way of life.
Bálint | I’m rather the type that sits in one place, while Adri keeps moving around in the flat. But we are still learning how to better separate work from our private life, because right now the two often merge. We hope in a place dedicated only to work this will be separated better.
Adri | Bálint’s stamina and preciseness is enviable I think. And he can get along with practically anyone—I learn from him a lot on this area.
Bálint | I am perhaps a more philosophic and thorough person: I like to get immersed into my thoughts and work on the details of a project. Luckily Adri is more practical than me, she starts things quicker which provides a basis for me to build on. I think this dynamic is a very important part of our work together.
Adri | So what I write down…
Bálint | … I finish. Or correct.
Adri | But this is not very intentional: our roles filled in our work evolved organically.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OR CRITICISM
Bálint | I am very critical in terms of work, but I always try to make sure I share my opinion kindly.
Adri | I consider it a great advantage if someone can criticize in a way helping and motivating the other. Both of us seek to bring out the best in the other with this, too. By the way I can accept acknowledgement better and I try to make sure that we take time for appreciating our successes.
Adri and Bálint | We would like to build a cooperating community and a well-known brand out of the itthon. collection. We hope this project can provide the basis for a studio where we could work together with graphic designers and architects on other creative fields in addition to designing objects. This is our professional goal. Otherwise we often fantasize about traveling and having a home of our own with a small workshop. We already have a notebook full of our sketches.
Adri | Last year we found a Windsor chair replica on the bank of the Danube, near Olimpia park to be more accurate, which I liked very much. I immediately wanted to take it home so that we could renovate it for ourselves. But Bálint thought that someone must have left it there for a reason next to the benches so that he or she could sit on it, and if we took it, it would have been theft practically.
Bálint | Yes, because where we live, old people leave their chairs on the streets so that they can talk to each other while sitting on them. This chair was jammed between two benches just like this, as if someone left it there for a reason and he or she would count on it to stay there.
Adri | We tried to convince each other for minutes but eventually I gave up. To my regrets we said goodbye to the chair and then to each other, too, because Bálint was going back home to Ada. It only turned out weeks later that he actually took the chair in secret so that he could surprise me. Since then, we have restored it together and this story made me love it even more.
Bálint | If someone recognized their beloved chair that disappeared from Olimpia park last January based on the description, we can offer it back in a restored condition together with our apologies.
In our Artist duo article series, we ask artist duos we love and respect (spouses and creative duos) about the same six topics.