Martin Kastner is the founder and principal of Crucial Detail. Kastner, born in the Czech Republic, trained as a blacksmith and spent some time restoring historical metalworks at a castle in Western Bohemia before moving onto natural materials design and sculpture. He founded Crucial Detail in 1998 shortly after his arrival in the US.
He is best known for his Alinea serviceware concepts, which landed him on The Future Laboratory's list of 100 most influential individuals in contemporary design. Alinea book, which he designed in collaboration with Naissance Inc., was one of the winners in 2009 Communication Arts Design Annual for Best Book Design and is included in Altitude's The Best of Cover Design. His work has been featured in numerous publications running the gamut from Gourmet to Fast Company.