Chen Chen and Kai Williams met while studying industrial design at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Upon graduating, Chen began working for Moss, eventually rising to the rank of Display Director in 2010. Williams began a CNC fabrication company, realising pieces for a range of both designers and artists. In 2011 Chen and Williams decided to begin a lasting collaboration through founding a design studio.
Chen was born in Shanghai, China in 1985 and emigrated to Laramie, Wyoming at the age of six. His family moved onto Toronto, Canada before settling in the suburbs of New York City. While at Pratt, Chen spent a semester studying design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam where he was exposed to both a nuanced and experimental culture of design that has permanently influenced his practice.
Williams was born in New York in 1984 and grew up in one of the studios of Carnagie Hall. The son of two architects, his childhood was spent sneaking into worksites and wandering through fascinating homes. During studies at Pratt he worked doing high-end architectural metal fabrication and interned at 2x4, a graphic design company. A design for one of his chairs was chosen by the IDSA and subsequently shown at ICFF in 2006. After graduation he got a job working for artist Tom Sachs. There he worked as liaison between the Artist and the studio eventually overseeing installations at the Gugenhiem in Bilabo and the preparations for his leaver house show.
Chen Chen and Kai Williams have shown work with Moss, New York; Phillips de Pury, New York; The Future Perfect, New York; Matter, New York; Elemental, Miami; Inventory Objects, Miami; Collectivo Amor de Madre, Sao Paulo; and in the Wunderkammer pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale.