- J. Christopher Krok -

Growing up, Chris Krok dreamed of building aircraft and rockets. He never would have considered himself an "artist," although he always enjoyed working with his hands. Caught up in the zeitgeist of the early 1980s, Chris painted his first car camoflage, with great attention to details and accessories. Today, this would be viewed as a statement about the "pervasive influence of the military-industrial complex on consumer society." Then, he was just being a teenager. Chris studied hard and went on to earn a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from SUNY Buffalo in 1990, and a Ph.D. in Aeronautics from Caltech in 1997. He remained at Caltech for several years as a project engineer, designing and building experimental facilities.

Througout his years at Caltech, Chris favored time in the machine shop over time in front of a computer, building hardware for his experiments, parts for his motorcycles, and even furniture for his apartment. Using wood, steel, or both, Chris strove for simple designs with bold, clean lines. This was as much a way to accomodate his limited free time as it was a design ethic. Chris also found ways to mix creative design in with his engineering tasks, even if it were as simple as adding space-age weight reduction holes to structural pieces.

Chris relocated to Seattle for a change of scenery in late 2009. While searching for a day job, he became involved with a local co-op gallery, but ultimately devoted much of his free time to an upstart, banked-track roller derby league. After contributing a significant amount of labor to help rehab their practice space and build the track, he continued on as Head Referee for two seasons.

Presently, Chris is getting back into his love of building functional and interesting objects. He is hoping to dig deeper into the influence of Art Deco and Mid-Century architecture on his designs, and eventually to create art for its own sake.

Scientists study what is; engineers create what has never been.
-Theodore von Karman