It takes a certain amount of talent as a woodworker to look past the material itself and craft a piece of furniture that’s polished and can be used in a functional manner. You then need even more experience to incorporate actual design and stylisation in to a piece, making sure they are not flat or lacking aesthetically.
Brooklyn-based designer and craftsman Kai-wei Hsu really blew me away with his skillset as a woodworker and his keen eye for contemporary design. I think this is where the new generation of craftsmen are excelling, having to be so flexible with their design philosophy and adapt in this current environment that’s fast paced and ever changing. Now, skill alone is not enough, there has to be something that separates you from the pack.
Kai-wei Hsu is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design’s furniture design program and takes influence from his time spent in Asia, as well as the clean lines of traditional furniture in Scandinavia and Japan. I took a particular liking to his ‘Cove’ and ‘Arc’ series as there’s an interesting mix between modern and traditional through the overall construction of the furniture. The lines and patterns on the surface of the pieces are quite stunning. I think this kind of design is a real winner and I’m impressed with his current direction. I can’t wait to see more from Kai-wei Hsu in the future. For now see more on his portfolio linked below.