Dan Johnson Porter James Sports Dan Johnson Porter James Sports


(PJS)
Hey Dan, it’s been awesome to connect with you as of late - we’ve been admiring Kiosk from afar for a while now. For those who don’t know about Kiosk, please tell us a little about the business.

(DJ)
Glad our paths have finally crossed! Thanks for having a chat. Kiosk is an online store offering a range of vintage and contemporary furniture, lighting and homewares. The offering focuses on mid-century pieces right through to more current designs, with the angle of functional and versatile pieces that will last a lifetime and adapt and adjust to the ever-changing spaces we inhabit.

(PJS)
From memory you studied architecture, but at what point did you become interested in mid-century design? Can you remember a certain moment or product that first sparked your love?

(DJ)
My architecture studies were a great awakening to quality furniture design for sure! Many of the pieces that are most well known are often designed by architects for use in their own buildings, and this crossover is something that has always intrigued me. When it came to the end of my degree, the accessibility and versatility of furniture had huge appeal, due to its ability to transform a space without having to adjust the architecture itself. I love the idea of designing houses and larger buildings, but always felt that this level of design is not accessible to the large majority of people. Adjusting the interior spaces through the use of furniture and lighting offers the perfect middle ground in my mind. It’s hard to narrow down a particular moment for when it clicked, but the first piece that really sparked my interest was the Kartell Componibili from the 1970s. Bold colours and completely modular, they are the perfect balance of function and playfulness.

Dan Johnson Porter James Sports

(PJS)
I know product sourcing to your standards can’t be easy. Tell us how you got started and how you continue to source product?

(DJ)
My favourite part of the process! It’s such a thrill hunting down all of the Kiosk inventory and something I’ll never get tired of. All of the vintage pieces are sourced locally here in New Zealand, which is both challenging and rewarding at the same time. It’s easy to look overseas and have anything and everything at your fingertips, but at this stage the idea of circulating what we already have on our shores is really appealing to me. There’s some real diamonds in the rough, and that moment when I track something down that you would never have expected to find locally is a feeling that is hard to beat.

Dan Johnson Porter James Sports

(PJS)
What’s the best piece you’ve ever owned + what’s your all-time grail piece?

(DJ)
I’m a big fan of the work of Isamu Noguchi, and the Rocking Stool is definitely a favourite piece in the store currently! With only a single point of contact with the floor, our legs act as the grounding for a fluid and surprisingly comfortable seating experience. I find my grail pieces are always changing as I dive deeper down the rabbit hole, but I have recently secured a real highlight that’s actually a perfect match for the rocking stool. A 1960s Noguchi cyclone table, produced by Knoll. Such a refined style with an incredible lightness of form, and again, one of those pieces I’d never expected to find locally! It needs a bit of love, but I'm excited to get it back out into the world as soon as possible.

(PJS)
What can we expect from Kiosk in the near future and throughout 2022?

(DJ)
I’ve been looking for a more tangible way to showcase the Kiosk Inventory, so 2022 will see our first pop-up store open it’s doors. The ability to touch and get a feel for pieces in person is something that is so important, so I’m really excited to see that space come to life and give customers the chance to view the collection in a new way. We’ve worked alongside our friends at Platform, and are opening the doors this Friday evening, 21st Jan, for a few drinks to welcome everyone to the new space. Swing by Shop 7, 294-306 Ponsonby Road, we’d love to see you.

Dan Johnson Porter James Sports

(PJS)
Now let’s make the chat a little lighter. What’s inspired you as of late? Where do you draw inspiration from (in both your personal and professional life)

(DJ)
Kiosk really started out as a passion project for me, so it’s been great to have my personal inspirations transition into something more tangible as of late! I have an ever-growing collection of vintage interior publications that offer great insight and imagery into a vast range of design styles. There’s nothing quite like flicking through a book, and the fact that many of the images never made it into the online world makes that experience all the more valuable. In a less direct way, I look to film and TV for constant inspiration. A recent highlight has been National Geographic’s documentary on French ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau. His life and experiences seem like something pulled straight from fiction. The effortless style and the bright coloured retro aquatic equipment has been on my mind for days after watching.

Dan Johnson Porter James Sports  

(PJS)
What does Dan Johnson’s summer uniform look like?

(DJ)
I’ve just returned from a week or two at the beach, the summer uniform has been in full swing! Aside from a base layer of sunscreen, I recently picked up a couple of the Braun x Highsnobiety tees which have been in constant rotation. Usually paired with a cap, some pleated cotton shorts or trousers, with a pair of Bostons on foot. I’d love to have that go-to uniform for every day, but in the wise words of George Costanza, I tend to dress based on mood.

(PJS)
You can only wear 3 pairs of shoes / footwear for the rest of your life, what are they?

(DJ)
Shoes are a big one, tough call! I’d have to go with a pair of chocolate suede Wallabies, low cut of course, a pair of classic New Balance 574’s, and finally a pair of quality black penny loafers. I’m yet to acquire them, but a pair from Alden sits at the top of my list.

(PJS)
Lastly, what does a life well-designed look like to you?

(DJ)
To me, a life well designed is one surrounded by people and objects that inspire you, and hopefully being able to provide that inspiration for others too. Slowing down to enjoy the daily rituals and feeling that connection to the things we use every day. The idea of working towards something you are truly passionate about is a hard one to beat, and I feel very lucky to be able to share my take on the world through the lens of Kiosk. I’d be content sitting in a room filled with great furniture and good friends, anything else is a bonus.  

Dan Johnson Porter James Sports

In Conversion with Dan Johnson of Kiosk