Akiko Kuwahata & Ken Winther

Carpenters Akiko Kuwahata & Ken Winther in their studio near Copenhagen, Denmark.

About Akiko Ken MADE

Akiko Ken Made is a woodworking studio consisting of makers Akiko Kuwahata and Ken Winther. Akiko’s background is as a woodworker and furniture maker in Japan combined with her study at the Aarhus School of Architecture in Denmark. Ken Winther’s skillset comes from his furniture making family and his work at PP Møbler, the main producers of furniture for Hans J Wegner.

Akiko Ken Made is a combined effort by this husband and wife duo to produce objects of timeless quality, such as furniture and wooden tableware that all have the principles of functionality and modern design in mind.

Photography: Maya Matsuura

Introduction

Just North of Copenhagen resides a real power couple! Craftsmen Akiko Kuwahata and Ken Winther. Akiko being Japanese and Ken being Danish, work from their beautiful workshop in the Danish countryside. Both skilled cabinetmakers who initiate and work on their own designs separately came together to start ‘Akiko Ken Made’, combining Ken’s background as a furniture maker and Akiko’s eye for simple, modern design.

Ken’s parents were in the furniture manufacturing business. He later went on to study at PP Møbler, known for being one of the workshops in Denmark producing the highest quality furniture, also where much of Hans J Wegner’s furniture is still made. Ken took sabbaticals in-between to Japan where he studied with Japanese carpenters to taught him complex joining methods used to construct furniture and boxes.

The styles of both Akiko and Ken are contrasting. Akiko gained her degree in Living Space Design and later worked as a cabinet maker before making a move to the Aarhus School of Architecture in Denmark. This combination of designing for open spaces, alongside architectural and craft influences, has made for quite the concoction.

Ken makes very delicate products, turning wood on the lathe until the wood is semi-transparent, Akiko on the other hand is extremely interested in the utilitarian side of object design, looking to combine quirky details that give both character and function to a piece of woodwork.

What might have first been seen as an unusual combination has come together to showcase the best of Japanese and Danish design. Not only highlighting the skills and techniques from each part of the world but also sharing the culture and values of each country, making a wonderful selection of woodwork that’s contemporary and crafted with care.