Personal Space

Christoph Kaiser's Idea Incubator

Christoph Kaiser dreams of his home being a hive of creative activity, kind of a bauhaus of downtown Phoenix.

As co-founder (with Hayes McNeil) of plus minus studio and with the help of project manager Anson Chen, Christoph has made an outlet for his creative energy in terms of architecture and furniture design. But for Christoph, that wasn't quite enough. So, he's been working/experimenting with photography, graphic design, logos, corporate branding as well as various other projects on his own. "I would like for my house to be a kind of incubator for design and also a place where there's high energy and things happening." says Christoph. "I would love for that blur to happen between the rigor of life and the rigor of creating things for life.

Read more about Christoph and check out a slideshow of his place after the jump.

Christoph's two-story Garfield District home is more open and spacious than "incubator" might suggest. The extra high ceilings and giant windows of the 103-year-old home let in a ton of natural light, helping to create a tangible sense of space.

But the atmosphere isn't the only reason why he chose to live in the Garfield neighborhood, or Phoenix for that matter. After being away for seven years, Christoph started to feel the pull of home. One reason is because he's a native (yup, there are few of them around), but mainly it's because he believes in the future of Phoenix. Christoph came back to make a difference in the development of his city, a city he believes is still "in its infancy" and chock full of potential.

"Finally people are saying let's push it, let's make it," says Christoph. "ASU Downtown, the Light Rail, it's all rapidly assisting in getting us to that next level, and it's exciting to be here when that's happening. It's rare that you can be."

The big picture of Phoenix is important to him, but so is the community right outside his front door. A series of block parties, thrown by Christoph and some neighbors have brought the community together and helped to break down some barriers in a District that's had a rough past. "Every demographic that you can imagine was out, getting to know each other," says Christoph. "It was a beautiful thing."

As for the inside of his house, he leans slightly toward minimalism, but still keeps it cozy by mixing older pieces in with new ones, many of which are his own design or part of Series One, plus minus design's first furniture line.

"Not having everything be of the same vintage, but to live in an eclectic mix of objects from different eras ... that's a much richer kind of thing" Christoph says.

When not at home or riding his bike around downtown, you might catch Christoph renovating his 1968 Avion trailer. It'll soon be Royal Avion Cafe, a traveling coffee and snack bar, set to start making the rounds sometime this Fall.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Spring Eselgroth