If we look back at Alvar Aalto and the other icons of the modernist design we have take in to account that this aesthetic has become a particular style or category in design. Whether that’s good or bad can be debated, but the film grain aesthetic, which obviously matches that specific time period, matches nicely with the more blocky, bold shapes of that era.
I often talk about channeling those people you look up to and using them as inspiration, and I have to praise Japanese designer Shin Okuda in particular who works diligently at his studio Waka Waka in Los Angeles. The art direction is superb, and I wanted to bring particular attention to his chair design as it shows what can be achieved through a playful and experimental attitude during the design process.
By being completely hands on with the construction of his furniture, Shin Okuda has produced instant classics that sure jump out. As someone who respects craftsmanship above all, the attention to detail is first class and inspiring to see, each detail is carefully and strategically placed to offer a cohesive whole, as well as a quirky and characterful edge that makes Okuda’s work stand out from the rest.
Two chair designs have become the basis for many of his other designs, in-particular the ‘Cylinder Back’ that has been also stacked to make the ‘Double Back’, as well as various options in regards to the main structure of the chair. A statement piece is the ‘Counter Height Ladder’ that could look at home in any art gallery.
Although it’s not so much “fake it until you make it”, as it is “embody the person you want to be” and in turn produce work that can be a part of this world for generations to come. Shin Okuda exudes that, and he has used the greats to inspire his own classics that will definitely stand the test of time.