Born in eastern Germany designer Tom Kelley has travelled quite the road. Born in a small village in East-Germany, he quickly learned the limits of personal freedom, the restriction he had been born into. He lost his mother young to cancer and his father to suicide before being denied entry to a university because he "lacked socialistic personal-development." Tom Kelley landed himself in a Stasi prison at just 21 years old, after trying to escape to Hungary. His studies took him to Aachen, Munich and Long Beach in California. This multicultural bent has been a defining element in Kelley’s design and in spite of nearly insurmountable obstacles in his early life, Kelley has gone on to accomplish much. Tom Kelley is noted for his “less is more” philosophy of design but don’t call it minimalism as Kelley’s background makes him eschew isms of all kinds. Kelley has a penchant for working both internationally and very local at the same time, like the Italian model of designers and craftsman working quite near one another. He currently lives and works in Venice, Italy. Tom Kelley has amassed an impressive list of collaborations including one with TON to create the Ironica Dining collection and Lyon chairs among others.