Award winning Exhibit Designer jumps ship to make innovative furniture, Mid Century inspired
After 30 years in the corporate exhibit world, Mark Khan, industrial designer and graduate of Pratt Institute in NYC, designs and makes MCM inspired masterpieces that take you back in time while raising the bar.
Silverbait Design, an award winning exhibit design studio https://www.silverbait.com, announced today the launch of the Bones Bench https://www.bonesbench.com. A Mid Century inspired masterpiece, the Bones Bench has been in development on and off for over two years.
Lake Worth Beach is a small Bohemian town on the Atlantic coast of Florida, 60 miles north of Miami where creative juice flows. Writers, painters, sculptors, potters, glass blowers and musicians seem to end up here. With cool breezes running through the alleys and mango trees in almost every yard, Mark Khan finds real pleasure working on his furniture from a two car garage. This place reminds him of where he’s from, another coastal place, Georgetown, Guyana.
Growing up in Brooklyn, NY in the ’70s was great! Between stickball and roller hockey in school yards, Mark was building skateboard ramps, garden sheds and things for his mom, like a kitchen table for a breakfast nook in their Brooklyn home. Fast forward to 4 years ago, he moved his family to South Florida from the NYC area to escape the cold and live a tropical life. Transitioning to furniture design soon began. The Palm Beach Low Rider was created, a low shelving unit that sits behind a sofa. After gearing up for production, real paying exhibit projects came along and the idea to build furniture was shelved for a few years.
“My goal was really to capture in the Bones Bench, the tone, feel and styling of a bygone era… the era I grew up in as a child in Guyana in the 1960s.
“I’m seeking to express what I feel in a very hands on way. In me there’s over 40 years of design experience, thinking, wondering and dreaming. I’m now going to express all that stuff in what I love to do and that’s design and make furniture. Coming from a corporate exhibit background where structures are designed, built, assembled then discarded, this direction is the antithesis of that world,” says Mark. “I now make wooden jewels that can be passed on from generation to generation… furniture that can lift spirits and be a part of environments that make people feel good.”
“The Bones Bench is functional but it leans towards fine art, and I balance that functionality with sculptural sensitivity. I’m interested in detail and translucency and mixed materials,” says Mark. He explains that the Bones Bench presents an elegant and rhythmic pattern of wooden ribs separated by plexiglass spacers that expose polished aluminum truss rods which help to hold the whole bench together in compression. These are elements not ordinarily seen in Mid Century furniture but bring a personal layer into the pieces he works on. “I deeply connect with this piece and I can look at it for a long time moving from detail to detail, delighting in the oiled wood grain and watching how light pops reflections from plexiglass and aluminum while casting long grid shadows on the floor.
“What I’m doing is what most people dream of doing. Starting over, a clean slate, a fresh direction where the goal is self fulfillment. I’m following my heart in a rational, spontaneous and focused way bringing all my energy and acquired professional skills to the task.”
Mark Khan is also the inventor of the great new sport of Wikitball, as well as the inventor of the world’s first Modular Cricket bat, along with a group of products for the softball cricket world.