Last week O Apartamento brought to Lisbon two more creative minds. This time the chosen country was Belgium. Maša and Jon, the couple behind Klein Agency, a design studio based in Antwerp that turns into a private dining club on selected weekends. The six or seven-course tasting sequence, available only for a table of 12 people at a time, always follow a Californian inspiration. We´ve sat with the Kleins for a brief interview and this is what they told us.
Why did you decide to move to Antwerp?
We like to say that life kind of brought Antwerp to us and us to Antwerp. It all happened more or less by pure chance. We met in Berlin a good 5 years ago and after a couple of years of living there together, Maša ended up taking a job post in Brussels. A completely unexpected turn. It was one of those jobs one just cannot say no to. After living in Brussels for a few years, we were slowly getting ready to move back to the US when we met the owner of our current house at one of the pop-up shops we hosted in Brussels (for our product design brand, LMBRJK). Jon and the owner immediately hit it off and started talking about this great little house he had in Antwerp, where we could finally implement our dreams of having a space to live, work and host people. Three weeks later we were already settled in our new town. We fell in love with the little compound that we now call home; working on the ground floor and living right above.
Where did you learn how to cook? How did you come up with the idea of the Private Dinner Club?
We are not trained chefs. Rather a couple of creatives in love with food. We love to eat and have been for a while now travelling to destinations just to try new food and explore new restaurants. For us food serves as another medium of creative expression and we love to play with textures, colours, flavours… At the end of the day is a game of inspiration and trial-and-error.
Since we started our first product design studio, LMBRJK, we have been dreaming about having a studio space where we could welcome guests around a table set in the midst of our creative workspace. The idea has pretty much literally translated into reality and these days in Antwerp, we offer to our guests a dinning experience in the middle of our wood workshop. For us the Private Dinner Club is thus much more than just offering food, it is about a social experiment, seating 12 strangers around one table for a night and creating an environment where they can connect, meet new people, new worlds, new flavours in an unexpected setting.
Can you unveil what can we expect from Klein Agency in the future?
We have a very exciting couple of months ahead. First, mid November we are releasing our very first Klein home collection of furniture pieces. We have been working on it for quite a while now and are very excited to finally bring it to life. It will be a home collection with pieces like rocking chair, lounge chair, home bar, magazine rack… We are also expanding our family in winter of next year and thus our klein kitchen will soon go into somewhat winter hibernation, all focus of Klein Agency being put on to interior and furniture design.
What are your impressions about O Apartamento?
It is always awesome to see creative people opening up new and interesting spaces that go beyond expected and beyond the norm. O Apartamento is definitely one of those spaces where creativity can easily flourish and new worlds can be discovered. We loved our stay at O Apartamento and can’t wait what the future projects will bring to your space.
Photos: Arlindo Camacho