Brooklyn based designer Katie Stout (b. 1989) describes her work as “naïve pop,” a caricaturization of furniture as it is traditionally understood and of the motifs of suburban domestic life. She utilizes a diverse range of media and often unexpected techniques. Her expansive body of work includes lighting, seating, shelving, mirrors, carpets and curtains.
Stout’s practice is shaped by an urge to subtly subvert utilitarian forms and function to create an experience that pushes just past the threshold of what is comfortable– encouraging her audience to consider elements of the so-called deranged and demented in their everyday lives. Her work is refreshingly disarming in its simultaneous sense of dark irony and the joyful celebration of childhood innocence that it evokes. Stout’s intention is to peel back some of the layers of seriousness often associated with the concept of design as well as the melodrama of family household life. The pieces are meant to be well-used, elevating the idea of “wear and tear” as a welcome part of each work’s narrative.
Stout’s career to date boasts an impressive array of highlights, including a furniture collaboration with Bjarne Melgaard for his installation at the 2014 Whitney Biennial, her fantastical Bedroom Curio exhibition at Design Miami 2015, which was photographed by Juergen Teller for a Barney’s New York Rick Owens campaign, winning the first season of HGTV’s series Ellen’s Design Challenge in 2015, being listed in Forbes “30 Under 30” in 2017, collaborating with Jeremy Scott on his F/W 2018 collection, and launching her own clothing collection in 2019. Her work has been featured in the Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara’s 2017 exhibition Free Play and the Dallas Museum of Art’s 2019 exhibition Women + Design: New Works and is in the permanent collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Dallas Museum of Art and Museum of Arts and Design.
Born in Portland, Maine, Stout grew up in New Jersey and holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.