Calen Knauf and Conrad Brown are simpatico in a way that only best friends can be, which is fitting because their Vancouver-based design studio, Knauf and Brown, has its roots in the bonds the two forged as skateboarding teenagers. The pair, who earned their bachelor’s degrees in industrial design just last year, have been making a name for themselves in Vancouver’s industrial design scene by crafting objects that marry minimalism with functional elegance. Their Nine by Nine collection of furniture meant for tiny spaces includes a standalone wardrobe. The Hull Sofa, Brown’s undergraduate thesis project, is a semicircular sectional with tall, flexible white ash slats that hover above the back, offering a quasi-transparent sense of privacy. “The overall idea was to create a place of psychological as well as physical comfort, where somebody could see without being seen,” Brown says.